Bonaire, Salt and Liquor...


After Alonso de Ojeda discovered the Dutch Caribbean Islands in 1499, they were captured and occupied by several countries. Although they were again a part of Spain in early 1600, Curacao and Bonaire were still most interesting 'targets' for the Dutch. Finally, they recaptured the islands and started in 1636 with trading and shipping SALT, which was a necessity, because the Dutch needed it desperately for the preservation of herring!

At that time the people from Bonaire built four big OBELISKS and painted them in the colors of the Dutch flag. These obelisks 'guided' the ships to their anchor positions right in front of the salt pans. These ships brought many products in from Europe and the Far East, such as new ingredients and spices for the local 'cuisine'.

They came also with alcoholic beverages, because friendships needed to be celebrated! After the ‘party’ the ships loaded with salt and sailed back to Holland.

Alcoholic beverages are always important for a community and also the people from the Dutch Caribbean created at that time, new liquors with cinnamon, vanilla, clove and delightful anise, all ingredients from other countries or continents.

Anise is from the East Mediterranean. It is sweet, aromatic and distinguished by its characteristic flavor! It is delicious in confectioneries like British 'aniseed balls', Italian 'Pizzelle' and the famous Dutch 'muisjes'. Anise is also very popular as an after dinner liquor, or digestive, as we have 'Sambuco', 'Raki' and the Colombian 'Aguardiente'.

After a lot of research, we know that anise, cinnamon, clove and vanilla were very popular ingredients for liquors in the Dutch Caribbean. However, no one ever found a name for one of those unique 'compositions'!

Fortunately we discovered some 'secrets’, and now, after more than 300 years, we understand why especially the Anise with Lemon (our 'Lamoenchi') was one of the most popular liquors from Bonaire!

So, what did we do...?

We did not change the recipe, but designed a special Obelisk bottle in the four original colors, and gave it a name…