Rum – What you need to know.
Rum is one of the most versatile spirits, from fairly neutral white rums to sweet golden rums and rich dark rum, there are huge variations in flavour. Its low entry price point also makes it far more accessible than some other fine spirits.
Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. This usually clear distillate is often aged in oak barrels, which impart the colour and flavour to aged rums.
Many countries require rum to be aged for at least a year, and the ageing is often carried out in used bourbon barrels which leads to darker rums, while ageing in steel tanks leaves the rum relatively colourless. In order to keep the look of certain brands consistent, white aged rums are often filtered to remove colour gained during ageing, and dark rums may have caramel added to adjust the colour.
It is thought that the first fermented sugarcane juice drinks were produced in ancient China and India, however the first distillation of this fermented juice traces its roots back to the 17th century Caribbean .
Rum has a huge association with the naval forces, with the British Royal Navy still issuing Rum rations up until 1970. Navy rum was also the origin of the term proof, as full strength rum being mixed with gunpowder and ignited to prove that it had not been watered down.
Rum Classic Cocktails
The Daiquiri is the quinticential rum classic. The simple marriage of rum, lime and sugar is as classy as they come and is to Rum as the Margarita is to Tequila. It’s spawned plenty of fresh fruit and frozen variants in its time, but the classic lime Daiquiri will always be king.
Add a little mint to your Daiquiri flavours and you get the mighty Mojito. Okay, so you make it a little differently, muddling your mint and limes, but when you break it down, it’s a small step from the Daiquiri rather than any kind of leap. If these are popular in your bar mak sure you’re properly set to make them as they spread around your bar like a virus after the first couple are ordered and the rest of your guests smell the fresh mint!
While it has the reputation as a drink stuck in the 80s, a well made (and not too outlandishly garnished) Piña colada can be an amazing drink. Rum, coconut and pineapple are perfect together and when made with good fresh ingredients, this is a wonderful drink to relax by the pool with.
The Zombie mixes multiple Rums, often dark, gold and overproof with orange, pineapple, lime and oreget to create a cocktail that will kick you in the ass after a couple of glasses. Variations include apricot brandy and drop the Orange juice, some add Curaçao too, so check the menu if you want to know what ordering a Zombie might get you in any given bar.
The Hurricane is a tropical tasting juicy drink combining Rum with citrus and passion fruit, and often a little grenadine more for colour than taste. However it’s well balanced and easy drinking when made by a skilled bartender and gets a well deserved place in the ranks of popular rum drinks.