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The Red Top Crew
In 1986 when I arrived on Ambergris building my house had me visiting the hardware store frequently and scanning the shelves for hard to find supplies. I kept running across these strange little unmarked 8 oz. green bottles caped with a red plastic top. Usually they where on the paint supply shelves and I assumed they where a locally bottled paint thinner. I would also discover them in some small Mom and Pop groceries tucked away in a corner and still unmarked.
Curiosity got me asking around I discovered it was called ‘Red Top’ and considered Pure Grain Alcohol, a product from sugar cane made by the orange walk distilleries.
At that time I had a Mayan caretaker named Bowman Tun that would come to town with me on week ends after he got paid. Following a short disappearance he would return as drunk as I had ever seen a person. Singing and Speaking to the sky about how much he loved everything. For a mere $4.bz he had purchased one of these little green bottles and gulp it down.
I’ve since learned the contents of the Red Toped bottle was a distillery flop referred to as Overproof unmarketable in conventional taxable sales.
Overproof is perhaps the worst form of alcohol for you to drink.. but that doesn’t stop a lot of people. This is one of the strongest drinks in existence! Wild things are bound to happen after consumption, with one of the worst hangovers imaginable coming up the day after downing half a bottle or so...

Overproof rum is supposed to be pure alcohol before opening the bottle. Some stories tell of how the last drops of water are removed in the process of bottling. However, there's no doubting that alcohol is in abundance, and overproof rum will rank among the strongest alcoholic beverages you will ever drink. Being pretty tasteless as well, it's not at all that difficult to drink. But the blast coming up after a sip or two or three is near hallucinogenic. The overproof rum was probably not meant for the human experience...
Bowman stepped out in front of a speeding truck on the Northern highway years ago and I had forgotten about Red Top until recently when I heard one of San Pedro’s police officers refer to ‘The Red Top Crew’.
I started looking and discovered the Red Top is now labeled by One Barrel near Belmopan and for sale in groceries around town still for a low price of 5.bz. and is the popular drink of an elite group know as The Red Top Crew.




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