Rum: What is it and how is it made?
Rich in history, sweet in flavour and full of variety; rum has something for everyone.
Unlike other distilled spirits such as Scotch whisky and brandy, there is no strict definition of rum. Essentially, rum can refer to any distilled alcohol produced from sugar cane, whether it’s in molasses or cane juice form.
These lax regulations have led to a near-endless variety of rums produced throughout the world: light or white, gold, dark, spiced, aged, flavoured and overproof rums all offer a distinct taste and have their own special production method.
Rums are generally made by adding water and yeast to molasses or cane juice during fermentation, then distilling the base created in a pot still. All rums emerge from the still as clear, colourless spirits – the amber and brown tints appear from barrel-aging and the addition of caramel. Of course, since caramel is only burnt sugar, it’s fair to say that rum uses only natural colouring agents.
With such a wide variety of rums, it’s no surprise that there are an equally wide variety of ways to enjoy it. Light rums are best used when mixed in cocktails, while dark rums can be enjoyed neat or with a splash of Coca Cola to bring out the full-bodied taste of molasses. Overproof rums are best used sparingly to add some kick to your drink of choice.
Rum may lack the stringent global production standards of other distilled spirits, but the end result is a robust selection of products for your experimenting pleasure!