A country made famous by the animation movie "Madagascar" featuring a lion, a hippo and a giraffe. In the 10 years that I grew up on the island I never actually encountered either of those animals, but that’s probably because they simply don’t live in Madagascar.

That isn’t to say that the fourth largest island in the world doesn’t have plenty to offer. Having only been discovered around 500 AD, the country’s fauna and flora have had time to develop undisturbed, resulting in a wildlife paradise and three Unesco World Heritage sites.

The absence for centuries of European powers meant Madagascar was once a safe haven for hundreds of pirates. Ile Sainte-Marie, an island four miles off Madagascar’s east coast, was simply referred to as “the island of pirates” on maps from the time. With what we know about the pirate-life, it doesn’t require much imagination to understand where the population of Madagascar acquired it’s appetite for Rum.

About my story

With so much to love about the island, you may be wondering why I ever left...     
Despite having mangos, avocados and coconuts growing abundantly on the trees, the country is today still in the top 10 of poorest countries in the world. It’s plagued by political violence, coups and corruption, resulting in more than 77% of people living in slums.

These reasons led my mother to leave for France soon after I was born, leaving behind me and my twin-sister, so she could someday provide a better life for us. A sad and painful goodbye, but my mother had no choice to leave me and my sisters in the care of my grandmother. Eventually it took my mother and stepfather 10 years to arrange the necessary paperwork for us to be re-united in France.

As I built a new home in France and Belgium, I made sure never to forget about my childhood on the island.

With the creation of Rum Babs I am excited to share century old recipes, passed down to me by my grandmother, to create "Punch-au-Rhum"; a refined combination of locally grown spices and fruits, mixed with the best rums the island has to offer.

Creating, sharing and selling Rum Babs has a double meaning for me. I am able to share a part of my cultural heritage with my new home, whilst also contributing to the wellbeing of Madagascar. Each bottle we sell supports one of my favourite education or wildlife conservation initiatives back home.

I hope you’ll raise your glass with me and imagine yourself on my beautiful island while you take a sip from the quintessential pirate’s drink!

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A bottle of Rum Babs' rhum arrangé. Made with the finest ingredients from Madagascar our rum arrangé is made in Belgium and can truly be set against the best rums around.

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