sugar cane juice, molasses
Alcohol by volume:
Language is a living entity. It reflects the image of the world, shapes awareness and relationships. Unnamed doesn't exist. Although there are words that polarize and some brands contain words or term's clusters that some find harmful. Let's put straight, is Negrita racist?
Apart from the presumed guilt, I consider the dispute pointless. Why? In a market economy, the consumers making purchase decisions determine the success or failure of a given enterprise. 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 accompanied the French for generations; annual consumption in France is 2.7 million liters. The brand was established in 1886 and from the very beginning it was based on a highly personalized logo with a woman's profile; a stripy headscarf, goldhoop earrings and a chunky red necklace. It is one of the first advertising images in collective consciousness; a personified image of the exotic Caribbean. Statuesque and mysterious. In my opinion, beautiful and proud.
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. And that's a direct reference to skin color. After all, it is not about a precise anthropometric definition of skin shade, but rather about a word that meets the criteria of blown up 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 created term?
The heart tells you to respect the recipient's sensitivity and not to use phrases that could hurt him. Reason calls for self-reflection to abandon the manner of identifying a person on the basis of his racial origin. Changing the brand's name won't change anything (and I am not calling for it); start with yourself.
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 (definitely for a short time).