Martinican Rum: Appellation Martinique Contrôlée

The empty Trois Rivières, Cuvée du Moulin is probably from 5 to 8 years old, found while cleaning up my home office closet. The J. Bally, Habitation Lajus on the right is still going and is from late 2009.

Having lived in Martinique from 13 to 17 years old, bottles of the island’s sweetest nectars still always find their way to me, somehow. And they’re always greatly appreciated. :)

Huichol Fire Ceremony

On December 21st, I had the privilege to be invited to attend a traditional fire ceremony during the total solstice lunar eclipse. As per NASA, “this solstice eclipse is the first in 456 years, although so far it appears that no one has figured out when the next solstice eclipse will be.”

The ceremony was deeply rooted in the traditions of the Huichol (or Wixáritari) tribe of the Sierra Madre Occidental and was passed on to Leon, the Texas Apache shaman presiding our ceremony, when he spent 6 months studying with them a few years ago.

As all religious events, it was very serious, elaborate and intense; lasting from dusk until dawn. It is not my place to divulge all of its details, but it involved 9 people, chants/prayers and traditional sacred medicines such as food, water, tobacco, copal and peyote (which I had never tried before).

The tipi pictured above was setup in the Mexican Jungle, far from the city’s distractions. It had been used for years for native Indian ceremonies in the Bronx (of all places) and was brought to Playa del Carmen for a traditional wedding last year.

When the morning came and the ceremony was complete, we topped it all off by going bathing in a nearby hidden cenote maintained by a local community. A perfect end to an unforgettable night.