You are on page 1of 4

An early alcoholic drink, rum has been around since ancient times.

Nothing if not old, it is practically forced to walk with a (sugar) cane. Though it wasn’t first distilled in plantations until the 17th century, rum is believed to have existed thousands of years prior in the form of brum, a drink made by the Malay people. In the 14th century, Marco Polo (the explorer, not the swimming pool game) wrote about a wine made of sugar, giving further credence to the belief that rum was around before the 1600s. When the first distillation of rum began, it began in the Caribbean when plantation slaves realized that molasses, left over from sugar refinement, could be turned into alcohol. This alcohol, however, was not well received… at least not at first. Like the beginning of most things, the beginning of rum was a little shaky and the spirit was dispirited to learn that it was initially thought to be a terrible tasting liquor. Once the Caribbean set the rum ball in motion, it quickly spread to the American colonies. In 1664, the first distillery for rum was set up in what is now Staten Island; a distillery in Boston quickly followed. New Englanders had a special penchant for making rum; not only was the rum industry their most profitable industry, but the rum they produced was considered to be of higher quality than all others. An alcoholic drink determined to have a place in history – even the dark parts of history - rum was involved in the slave trade, as slaves, molasses, and rum were part of the triangular trade. When this trade was interrupted because of the 1764 Sugar Act, another straw was thrown on the American colonists' back. Thus, bottles of rum can often be overhead bragging to bottles of wine and bottles of whiskey that they were the reason for the American Revolution. More than any other alcoholic drink, rum was associated with pirates (yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, anyone?). This initially started when English privateers began trading it. As some of these men eventually became pirates (aim high, kids), they carried with them their liking of rum. Works of literature that coupled rum and piracy perpetuated this notion. Rum was also associated with the British Royal Navy, an association that began in 1655 when Jamaica was captured by British sailors. Once ashore, rum was so available that the seamen began drinking it instead of the brandy to which they were accustomed. The refinement of rum began in the place it all started, the Caribbean. Prior to the late 1800s, rums were dark and heavy. The Spanish Royal Development Board set out to make rum more appealing to the general public and offered a reward for anyone who could improve its quality. And so enters Don Facundo Bacardi Masso. After moving to Cuba from Spain in 1843, Masso began to refine his rumming techniques. He improved distillation, filtering, and aging in casks made of American oak. This all worked together to produce a rum that was light and smooth, a spirit that today we have come to love, to drink, and one that makes our senses rum…ble.

produced two of the most award-winning dark rums in the world: Flor de Caña and Ron Zacapa Centenario. The majority of light rums come from Puerto Rico. However. A 1651 document from Barbados stated. Most dark rums come from areas such as Jamaica. In addition. also referred to as silver or white rums. and based on gold rums. They have more flavor and are stronger-tasting than light rum. as opposed to drinking them straight. The Brazilian cachaça is generally this type." Grades The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location where a rum was produced. Despite these variations. Some are significantly darker. These gain their dark color from aging in wooden barrels(usually the charred. Marco Polo also recorded a 14th-century account of a "very good wine of sugar" that was offered to him in what is modern-day Iran. Dark rums. though two Central American countries. Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island of Barbados. in the decade of the 1620s. black. distillation of these alcoholic byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities. they often serve as bases for cocktails. giving them much stronger flavors than either light or gold rums. The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Consequently. rum production was recorded in Brazil. the following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum:  Light rums. a byproduct of the sugar refining process. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any color. are medium-bodied rums that are generally aged. and can be considered midway between light rum and the darker varieties. white oak barrels that are the byproduct of Bourbon whiskey). Plantation slaves first discovered molasses. such as brown. caramel. and this is made of sugar canes distilled.[35] Spiced rums obtain their flavors through the addition of spices and. also called amber rums. brum dates back thousands of years. Development of fermented drinks produced from sugarcane juice is believed to have first occurred either in ancient India or China. Most are darker in color. have very little flavor aside from a general sweetness. and hints of spices can be detected. dark rum is the type most commonly used in cooking. and Martinique. Nicaragua and Guatemala. or red rums. producing the first true rums. are classes a grade darker than gold rums. along with a strong molasses or caramel overtone. Later. while many cheaper    . also known by their particular color. sometimes. in heavily charred barrels. Produced by the Malay people. but some varieties are more akin to "gold rums". can be fermented into alcohol. Haiti. "The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion. hellish. They commonly provide substance in rum drinks. respectively. and terrible liquor. as well as color. Their milder flavors make them popular for use in mixed drinks. They are generally aged longer.Origins The precursors to rum date back to antiquity. a hot. and spread from there. Gold rums. in general. An example of such an early drink is brum. alias Kill-Divil.

is the traditional yeast source in Jamaica. Premium rums. Distillers who make lighter rums. or pepper. and preparations of 75% to 80% ABV occur commonly. and are also often drunk neat or on the rocks. The aging process determines the color of the rum.[36] Distillation As with all other aspects of rum production. While some rum producers allow wild yeasts to perform the fermentation.   Fermentation Most rum produced is made from molasses. Aging and blending Many countries require rum to be aged for at least one year. citrus." says Jamaican master blender Joy Spence. where sugarcane juice is the preferred base ingredient. most use specific strains of yeast to help provide a consistent taste and predictable fermentation time. They have more character and flavor than their "mixing" counterparts. absinthe/aniseed. such as Cognac and Scotch. prefer to use faster-working yeasts. rosemary. This aging is commonly performed in used bourbon casks. allowing for a fuller-tasting rum. whereas rum aged in stainless steel tanks remains virtually colorless. such as Bacardi. no standard method is used for distillation. so produces fuller-tasting rums. One example is Diplomático Ambassador Selection from Venezuela made by DUSA in La Miel. coconut.[37] "The yeast employed will determine the final taste and aroma profile. most rum production is done using column still distillation. serve to flavor similarly themed tropical drinks. such as banana. in fact. Most of these rums bear greater than 60%. as with other sipping spirits. it becomes dark. These are generally less than 40% ABV.[16] A notable exception is the French-speaking islands. When aged in oak casks. the yeast-rich foam from previous fermentations. Among the spices added are cinnamon. mango. Use of slower-working yeasts causes more esters to accumulate during fermentation.brands are made from inexpensive white rums and darkened with caramel color. One example is Jack Iron Rum from Grenada made by Westerhall Estate Ltd. While some producers work in batches using pot stills. starfruit or lime.[2] Yeast and water are added to the base ingredient to start the fermentation process. Due to the tropical climate common to most . Pot still output contains more congeners than the output from column stills. Overproof rums are much higher than the standard 40% ABV. orange. These are generally from boutique brands that sell carefully produced and aged rums. but may also be performed in stainless steel tanks or other types of wooden casks.  Flavored rums are infused with flavors of fruits. Dunder. are in a special market category. much of this molasses is from Brazil. Within the Caribbean. and are generally consumed straight.

rum-producing areas.5% Tanduay Rhum White Premium 72 proof.36% . For darker rums. As part of this blending process. Tanduay Rhum 80 proof. rum is normally blended to ensure a consistent flavor. While products aged in France or Scotland see about 2% loss each year. 40%. or amount of product lost to evaporation. tropical rum producers may see as much as 10%. Blending is the final step in the rum-making process. 65 proof/32. light rums may be filtered to remove any color gained during aging. After aging. caramel may be added to adjust the color of the final product. An indication of this faster rate is the angels' share. rum matures at a much faster rate than is typical for Scotch or Cognac.