You could travel to Antigua a dozen times and never know about Bushy’s 1 & 9 Best Matured Rum, but you would be missing one of the island's most treasured spirits... and now perhaps rarest. Made by one man: John Gonçalves, better known as Bushy, this rum begins life as an overproof base obtained form Antigua Distillers Ltd—the folks behind, among other things, English Harbour Rum. After a bit of aging in oak barrels and the addition of several secret ingredients and blending techniques Bushy would never reveal, you get a rum that's surprisingly smooth, dry, and even a little spicy with vanilla and nutmeg coming through.
That explains why it's treasured, but why is it rare? Well, that's because Bushy passed away back in 2013 leaving no one to follow in his spirited footsteps. Should you find yourself in a proper local bar, try asking for Bushy’s, or, if you’re really in tune with the local scene, simply 1 and 9.
If you're lucky, you'll get a last taste of an Antigua classic.