Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage that’s produced by fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses or juice. After that, the clear liquid is aged in oak barrels. The spirit is mostly made in sugar-producing countries ... the Caribbean, the Americas, Philippines, and India.
Produced in various grades, light rums are popular in cocktails, while dark ones are often had straight or iced. Some rum enthusiasts even use rum for cooking!
The history of rum is by no means less fascinating than the beverage itself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything to do with pirates. So, in the 17th century, sugar farmers of the Caribbean had a huge industrial waste problem. The sugar was produced by crushing sugar cane, boiling the juices, and later leaving the boiled syrup to cure in pots. The liquid would sip out of the clay pots and the sugar would stay behind.
That liquid was molasses. These days, molasses is used in a lot of product, gingerbread, pies, and bread. In the 17th century, however, no one used it, so planters couldn’t give it away. Some of it was given to livestock, but for the most part, it was just a waste. Two pounds of sugar equalled approximately a pound of molasses and there was a lot of sugar made. Without any exports at the time or practical use at home, most molasses was dumped into the ocean.
Luckily, someone finally figured out a way to use the liquid substance to create a starting point for distillation. Now, the distilled product is known as rum.
Today, it’s one of the world’s most famous beverages, with the annual sales in the USA alone averaging north of two billion dollars.
Aged rum can be just as flavourful and aromatic as the finest whiskey, just a lot cheaper. There is hardly a need to pay more than $100 for a bottle unless it’s an extra old or vintage rum.
There are many different kinds of rum, light, dark, gold, flavoured, overproof, spiced, and premium.
Light rums are often referred to as “white” or “silver” rums. They are often filtered after ageing to remove the colour and are most popular in cocktails, as opposed to drinking them straight. The most popular cocktails made with light rums are a Mojito and a Daiquiri.
Dark rums are known for their colour. They can be black, red, brown, or golden. Often they are made from caramelized sugar or molasses and are aged longer than gold or light rums.
Gold rums are also known as “amber” rums. Aged in wooden barrels, that have a lot more flavour and character than white rum, so gold rums are considered something in-between the light and dark rums.
Flavoured rums are spirits that are infused with flavours of various tropical fruits, such as oranges, pineapple, mango, banana and coconut. Flavoured rums are both added to tropical-themed drinks and drank straight, as their alcohol volume is generally less than 40%.
Overproof rums are much higher than 40% ABV, usually at around 75%-80%. These rums are usually used in mixed drinks.
Spiced rums are often darker rums that are “spiced” with cinnamon, rosemary, pepper, cloves, etc. to enhance the flavour.
Premium rums are generally consumed straight, as there is a lot of work and effort involved in their production and ageing. Much like aged scotch and cognac, premium rums are quite pricey.
As you can see, there are plenty of rums to choose from. If you want to purchase a bottle of the Caribbean liquor, buy rum at the ZYN liquor store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada or shop online at ZYN.ca!