Caribbean folklore has its fair share of monsters, spirits and things that go bump in the night and many of these entities have a connection to rum. An example is the bacoo, a mischievous Guyanese spirit with magical powers.
Similar to a djinn, the bacoo has the power to grant wishes and bring good fortune to its owner. But there’s far more to the Caribbean’s answer to a djinn that meets the eye. You must always be careful of what you wish for.
Rubbing the magic bottle
Bacoo are said to live inside corked rum bottles floating in the Caribbean Sea or be found in forests across the islands. They are dwarf-like creatures with large eyes, long arms and legs and are mainly active at night. Living on a diet of bananas and milk, bacoo are happiest when they are well fed and making sure that they get their food is one of the easiest ways to have wishes granted.
Mistreated bacoo will take revenge on the people who have wronged them in a variety of ways. They can shapeshift and torment their victims with nightmarish visions. They also have the power to possess people and feed on their spirit until nothing remains.
Another thing to keep in mind is that once a bacoo enters the home, they bind themselves to the family. Once the previous owner dies, another family member will inherit the bacoo and they are responsible for feeding it.
To get rid of a bacoo, it’s recommended that you lure it into a bottle with milk and bananas. When the spirit is inside, put a stopper on the bottle and then toss it into the ocean or bury it.
Rum fit for a bacoo
Bacoo Rum has kept the legend of the creature alive, producing a wide range of bottles that include a 5-year, 8-year, 11-year and 12-year rum. Bacoo rum is made in the Dominican Republic and the brand also offers a more unusual bottle called Café, which has notes of coffee, toasted pound cake, leather and gelato.
Each bottle is striking, featuring the face of a bacoo on the label. It’s a reminder that each rum should be treated with respect, otherwise the creature that it’s based on may descend and wreak havoc.
The brand is also focused on an environmentally friendly production process, which takes place at the San Pedro de Macoris distillery. Leftover stripped cane is used to power the facility, while biomass is blended with wastewater to help fertilise the nearby sugarcane fields.
While the bacoo is unpredictable, the rum that has been inspired by it will surely grant the wish of an enjoyable drinking experience.
Another rum that’s been inspired by Caribbean folklore is La Diablesse. Learn more about brand and the legend of La Diablesse here.