Rum

Alcohol BottlesRum is an alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane and its by-products. After being fermented, the sugarcane juice or molasses is then distilled and aged.

Description

Interestingly enough, there are no specific requirements that must be met in order for the alcoholic drink of fermented sugarcane to be classified as “Rum”, but some countries do require that the aging process last at least one year. This can be done in used bourbon or oak casks to produce dark rum, or stainless steel tanks to produce a white rum that is virtually colorless.

The various types of rums can be classified according to the following descriptions:

  • White Rum: light in flavor as well as color, these rums are often used for mixes in cocktails.
  • Gold Rum: amber in color due to being aged in used bourbon casks, the have a stronger flavor than light rums.
  • Spiced Rum: significantly darker in color and flavored by caramel and spices such as cinnamon, rosemary, aniseed, or pepper.
  • Dark Rum: darker in color due to a longer aging period and with a strong flavor of spices and caramel, dark rum is often used in mixed drinks and cooking.
  • Flavored Rum: infused with flavors of various tropical fruits, these rums are often used in cocktails or drunk as shots.
  • Premium Rum: carefully produced and aged to produce more character and flavor, these rums are traditionally served straight, as opposed to being mixed into drinks.

Background

Rum and Coke

Versions of Rum have been around for thousands of years, first occurring in ancient India or China. But Rum as we know it today was first created in the 17th century when slaves on Caribbean sugarcane plantations discovered that molasses could be fermented into alcohol and distilled into a potently strong beverage. Since then it has played an important part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies and when used as currency, Rum helped fund slavery, organized crime, and rebellions. It has also been linked to piracy with common expressions, such as, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum!” While Rum is now produced all over the world, the majority of it still comes from the Caribbean and Latin America where the culture of Rum truly began.

Bartending Tips

Rums of good or premium quality, especially those that have been aged longer, can be drunk straight or on ice, whereas light rums are commonly used in cocktails. From the basic Rum & Cola, or Cuba Libre, to the variety of fruity mixtures such as Daiquiris, Mai Tais, and Pina Coladas, rum based cocktails and rum punches are definite holiday drinks. Rum cocktails can also be served warm like the Rum Toddy. Rum is a versatile alcohol that can be drunk straight or mixed into a variety of cold or hot cocktails.


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