raw material

Raw material:

sugar cane juice, molasses



column still



not specified

sugar added

Sugar added:


alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:




not specified


Language is a living entity. It reflects the image of the world, shapes awareness and relationships. Unnamed doesn't even exist. Although there are words that polarize and some brands contain words or term's clusters that some find harmful. Let's determine, is Negrita racist?

Apart from the presumed guilt, I consider the dispute pointless. Why? In a market economy, the success or failure of a given enterprise is determined by the consumers who make purchase decisions. In this context, capitalism is overtly democratic because it offers a quantifiable social proof. The owner of the brand - La Martiniquaise - exceeded the turnover threshold of one billion euros (2017);  selling annually over a million cases in more than 100 countries.

Negrita has been a longstanding companion of the French for generations, with an annual consumption of 2.7 million liters. The brand was established in 1886. From the very beginning, this distinctive logo showcased the profile of a woman, adorned with a striped headscarf, gold hoop earrings, and a chunky red necklace. It is one of the first advertising images ingrained in the collective consciousness - a personified image of the exotic Caribbean. The girl is statuesque and mysterious and as I see it, exudes beauty and pride.

Having the snapshot, let's change gears to words to find ourselves in the eye of the storm. 'Negrita' is an endearing Spanish term for a black girl. Tender or sexist, cordial or patronizing -  fascination or instrumentalisation? Plus, a direct reference to skin color. Is it about a precise anthropometric definition of skin tone or rather about a word that meets the criteria of exaggerated political correctness? Which substitute is 'objectively' neutral? Does the imposed linguistic norm really overcome racial prejudice? What if the connotation from the old word migrates to the newly coined term?

The heart tells you to respect the recipient's sensitivity and not to use phrases that could hurt. Reason calls for self-reflection to abandon the manner of identifying a person on the basis of a racial origin. Changing the brand's name won't change anything (and I am not calling for it). Just look inward, it should help.


Historically, the drink was based on experiments with tafia. Negrita is the price range of Captain Morgan, budget Bacardi or Havanna Club. Therefore, it is hard to blame the producer for selling the 'friendly Caribbean' dream, instead of focusing on the transparency of the production process.

Bardinet has distilleries in Martinique (Dillon / Depaz), Guadeloupe (Bellevue) and Réunion (Rivière du Mât). The rum in front of me is most likely from Dillon, distilled in column stills. Contrary to popular opinion, it's not rhum agricole because except of sugarcane juice, it contains some molasses distillate (thus rhum industriel). In 2017, the Añejo Reserve aged in bourbon casks was launched. Añejo without any additional annotation was matured in oak barrels (and surely not too long).

Blend of warm, woody and vanilla notes.
— as they tell
Grassy, lime. Sour cider with a drip of ammonia.
— as examined by RumExam
Yellow and exotic fruits then toasted and vanilla notes.
— as they tell
Nutmeg and white pepper covered with dry, non-aromatic orange.
— as examined by RumExam
Long aromatic persistence.
— as they tell
Bitter orange.
— as examined by RumExam



Bardinet / La Martiniquaise

Price approx:

< 20



Martinique, France


not specified





rhum industriel
⁖Reviewed on: February 7th, 2021