Light in the Atoll – Plantation Isle Of Fiji Rum

Right now rum from Fiji is kind of en vogue. This might also be the reason why Plantation released their second bottling from this small Island in the Pacific. I was a little bit indecisive as to which cocktail I wanted to make with the Isle of Fiji Rum. In the end, I found a great cocktail inspiration in the “Port of Call” cocktail.

The Plantation Isle of Fiji is fermented for four to five days from Fijian sugarcane molasses. Afterwards, the distillation takes place on column and pot stills at the Rum Co. of the Fiji Distillery. The initial ageing takes place for two to three years in 200 litre ex-Bourbon barrels on the island. In France the rum gets a second ageing in Ferrand cognac casks for another year. Before bottling at 40 % ABV, a dosage of 16 g per litre is added to the rum.

Sweet ester notes

The Plantation Rum has a lot of distinct ester notes. They are clearly differ from Jamaican or Guyanese ester notes and drift off into the direction of backing spices. Next you can find more fruity notes in the flavour reminding me of apples and raspberries. After a while a certain charcoal note emerges, which I personally would not call smoky. The aftertaste is long with a lot of spices and the Isle of Fiji clearly reminds me of its bigger brother the Fiji Vintage Rum. While this all sounds pretty good, I also have to mention that for my taste the rum is a bit too sweet and too soft. I just have to wonder what that rum would have been with half the dosage and 43 % ABV…

Port of Fiji

As mentioned above, Tom Macy’s “Port of Call” served as an inspiration for the “Light in the Atol” cocktail. Originally, the drink has gin as the main spirit, which I obviously replaced with the Fijian rum. Instead of Ruby Port I went for a good Tawny Port and for grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice. Of course, grapefruits have less acidity and therefore I updated the amount I used. Furthermore, I omitted the cinnamon syrup and cranberry preserves and instead used homemade porter syrup. I used Binkert Porter and cane sugar as well as a little vanilla.

Light in the Atoll:
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4,5 cl Plantation Isle of Fiji Rum
2,25 cl Tawny Port
3 cl Pink Grapefruit Juice
1,5 cl Porter Syrup
1 Sprig of Mint
Shake – strain – chilled metal mug over crushed ice;
Garnish: Mint sprig – two strawberries;
Song: Beirut – Light in the Atoll;


The “Light in the Atoll” lies somewhere between a Tiki drink and a more serious rum drink. This means, the drink is refreshing with a certain berry note and some rum esters. The grapefruit brings all the flavours together and the porter syrup lends additional sweetness without overpowering the other flavours. It also goes very well with the Isle of Fiji rum. It clearly is a cocktail for Summer even though the ingredients might make you think otherwise.

*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.

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