Before the rise of tourism as Jamaica's main industry, the island was highly prized for its sugarcane production. Vast fortunes were made here during colonial times, and many of the island's historic great houses remain as reminders of that time. Much of the sugarcane was processed into molasses, the main ingredient in the production of rum. Appleton Estate, still one of the Caribbean's premier rum distillers, offers guided tours illustrating the history of rum making
in the region. After a lively discussion of the days when sugarcane was crushed by donkey power, the tours move on to a behind-the-scenes look at the modern facility. After the tour, samples flow freely, and every visitor receives a complimentary bottle of rum.