Meet Eric Judor, a man of gold

Meeting Eric Judor in person is a bit like going to the Musée Grévin and suddenly the statue of Michel Sardou starts talking to you. And yes, to meet Eric, even without Ramzy, is to meet a monument: that of those hours of hair-raising, saturated belly and foggy glasses in front of his inimitable Aimée de H, a double, West Indian seducer not so far removed from the real Eric. And yes, the genius of Aladdin and experimental filmmaking has a mad charm, with his Buddhist monk face. Often on the verge of a smile, in his mischievous eye, the little eternal flame of the Great Bullshit is just waiting for a signal to set the surrounding area ablaze with great bursts of laughter. Eric is a Sage. No wonder, then, that he chose the Cambodian restaurant Heng Heng Rapide for our meeting, an ark of benevolence under the magical direction of his boss, the aforementioned rapide, who practices a little magic in his spare time. But we’re here to talk about rum, and Eric is not one to take such a serious subject lightly.

Eric Judor

Team RFP: But what brought you to rum, Maître Judor?

Eric: My Austrian origins naturally led me to Guadeloupe. Isn’t it said that West Indians are great seducers? My father is Guadeloupean and he hooked up with my mother, who is Austrian, in Paris, when they were both students there. For reasons that will not escape the most perceptive of your readers, we went to Austria more often than to Guadeloupe for the vacations, but like all military families, we were entitled to a trip home from time to time. So I might as well have thrown in a Schnapps, a largely unknown spirit in my eyes.

Team RFP: But when you say Guadeloupe, you say rum…

Eric: My love of rum came to me very early on, and in small bursts. My father comes from Grands Fonds Saint-Anne, in the south of Grande Terre. When you come back home, it’s always the round of the tontons and tatas, and of course, between the dekolaj’ and the landing, there’s no shortage of opportunities. When I was a kid, I didn’t drink rum directly, but my memories are colored by everything that surrounds the Ti-Punch ritual: the smells, the colors, the sugar, the lemon, the fruit. I have two real Proust’s madeleines: the passion fruit my aunts used to give me and the ice cream from the mammas on Saint-Anne beach.

Team RFP: Ah yes, those famous mammas who make crushed ice!

Eric: Yes, I have a very sensual memory of those little beach stands where they would rub ice and serve it to us, crushed, in plastic cups with a dash of orgeat syrup.

When the young company Cane came to see me to propose a collaboration, I accepted on condition that we make a product that really makes sense. It’s not really my job, but I didn’t want us to create yet another bottled cocktail. For this first “Jus d’or”, we worked to revive my memories, and did many, many tests – a tough job – to find the right balance between maracuja (editor’s note: a variety of passion fruit), orgeat syrup and rum.

Eric Judor

Team RFP: Where do the ingredients come from?

Eric: The fruit purée that goes into the composition comes from Guadeloupe and the rums, without going into detail, are a blend of rums from Basse Terre and Marie-Galante. During our tests, to simplify our work and reduce our carbon footprint, we tested solutions in France for sourcing the fruit purée, but none of the tests were conclusive. I can’t say where that comes from. Do purees travel badly? I don’t know, but it’s better over there! I’m very happy with the result and the public response has been fantastic. We were able to show it off at the Rhum & Food festival in Guadeloupe, and it was very well received, regardless of my personality. As proof of this, the friends I gave a bottle to come back regularly to see me for a refill.

Team RFP: When will metropolitan France be able to discover Golden Juice?

Eric: That’s one of our challenges at the moment, especially as we’ve received an enthusiastic welcome in Saint-Barth: a local winery bought the entire first production batch from us. We’re in the process of reproducing it so that we can take part in the Rhum Fest Paris, meet a wider public and look for a distributor in mainland France.

Eric Judor

Team RFP: What does the future hold for Jus d’Or, which some people think is just another joke, with that label reproducing the shape of your skull?

Eric: We’re taking things one day at a time, but if I’m asked for my opinion on what’s next, I’d like to see other recipes, but always related to my childhood memories or my travels back home, because, as I’ve said before, I’m only interested in this adventure if it has real meaning.