Many moons ago (please don’t ask, smile) I was employed with the Ministry of Works in Arima. The main office was located in a small building opposite the Arima Municipal stadium (“The Velodrome”). My first assignment was on the Blanchieusse road where one of the bridges collapsed. Not long after that assignment I was sent to work on the construction of the Bridge across the Arima River located on the Arima Old Road. This Bridge leads to the Arima Senior Comprehensive School and was an important link for the buses to get to the school. OK, so I was the “Checker” who kept the records at the site and our foreman’s name was Mr. Julian Reid – a wonderful man. This is where I learned the ins and outs of Babash.
Harrilal Singh, a resident of Central Trinidad would bring the “coffee” as we called it because the guys working in the river area needed “something to warm up the insides”. We had this triangular piece of half inch steel that Clyde, our in-house steel bender, designed that would act as our cow bell to call the guys in. The sound of the bell did not indicate that it was break time, it was a call to the senses that something special had arrived. The sounding bell was not like that of the primary schools where one would cringe because it was time to get to classes - this was different. It was used to let the guys know that it was time to leave the the rive and come up for some “coffee”. The only thing is that this “coffee”, if poured on a piece of lumbar and lighted would easily behave like gasoline – and it felt like fire rushing down your throat, not because it was hot like a traditional coffee drink, but because of the alcohol content. To be honest and in retrospect, that was literally fire-water. The concoction also had a unique scent that is typical of this home brew. Yes it was an illegal brew but those were the good ole days – say whatever you want but that is how I feel about that period of my life.
These memories and the need for a new name for one of my earlier blogs led me to select Babash as the new name for the previously named site Trini2DMarrow.vox.com. Vox was a free site owned by Six Apart - the Typepad people. Babash the blog does not exist anymore but the brew that lit up our senses back then now has a regal name to it. A refined and remix of the original recipe has been given the midas touch by Moët Hennessy and is being sold to the International community under the name 10 Cane Rum.
This legal brew is only available for purchase,in Trinidad, at the duty free section at Piarco Airport but is easily available in the United States and other major cities around the World. The procuct is produced in St. Madeline in South Trinidad and is made from the first press of the sugar cane and not brewed from molasses. The first press of the sugar cane is then sent to Angostura limited where it is now blended with aged Angostura rum to produce the latest iteration of the brew. "Hey,what a t'ing indeed." Bush Rum that is; Babash has grown up and it took a French Company to see the light.
Indeed, the drink has a kick and lit up many lives back in the day. Now it has a regal price of US $31.00 a bottle. However, the changes to the brew have kept the original babash drink unique and can still stand alone as the original fire-water. Some have likened the 10 Cane Rum drink to the Brazilian Cachaça rum. The Hennessey site states that it takes 10 stalks of sugar cane to produce one bottle of the rum, hense the name 10 Cane Rum. So when you think of Babash the drink, think about the regal nature of 10 Cane rum, a product of Trinidad recreated and reblended by Moët Hennessy and all the stars will be aligned just right.