Jan 7, 2012 1:51 PM by AP
LACASSINE, La. (AP) - Louisiana-grown sugar cane could be a key to the success of a rum distillery planned in Jefferson Davis Parish.
Louisiana Spirits President Trey Litel said the company will be drawing sugar cane and other supplies from across the state to operate the distillery, which is under construction in Lacassine.
The project is estimated to cost nearly $3 million.
The American Press reported (http://bit.ly/qjfACs) that the first phase of work on the 18,000-square-foot plant began in November.
"Our Louisiana rum will represent the best the state has to offer in the way of local sugar cane, molasses and raw sugar," Litel said. "We're committed to delivering products that honor Cajun heritage and are worthy of the 'Made in Louisiana' label."
Litel said the company expects to have equipment in place by April. A few months of will be required to refine formulas and recipes necessary to produce rum.
The company hopes to have its first rum available by summer. It expects to initially produce three to four different varieties of rum, including a seasonal rum made from fresh-crushed cane.
The idea for the distillery emerged about five years ago during a local hunting trip.
"My brother and I have been duck hunting in the Lacassine area a long time and thought this would be a good project for this part of the state," Litel said.
About 20 full-time jobs in distribution, operations, sales, marketing and administration will be created, Litel said.
Jefferson Davis Parish officials have supported the project.
"Louisiana Spirits is important to the economic engine of Jeff Davis Parish, providing a new tourist attraction and adding value to area agriculture products," economic development director Marion Fox said.
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