Rum
Overview
Rum is a distilled
Distilled beverage
A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

 alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 made from sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 by-products such as molasses
Molasses
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

, or directly from sugarcane juice
Juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

, by a process of fermentation
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 and distillation
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 barrels. Rum can be referred to by descriptors such as "ron viejo" ("old rum") and "ron añejo" ("aged rum").

The majority of the world's rum production occurs in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 (including The Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, U.S.
Quotations

"There's naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion." -- Lord Byron

"The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor". -- 17th Century account

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!" -- Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

"Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash." -- Attributed to, and denied by, Winston Churchill

"Where I go, I hope there's rum" - Jimmy Buffett

"But why's the rum gone?" - Johnny Depp as "Captain Jack Sparrow", The Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

"Hide the rum." - Johnny Depp as "Captain Jack Sparrow", The Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest

"I prefer rum. Rum is good." - Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean:At World's End

Encyclopedia
Rum is a distilled
Distilled beverage
A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

 alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 made from sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 by-products such as molasses
Molasses
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

, or directly from sugarcane juice
Juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

, by a process of fermentation
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 and distillation
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 barrels. Rum can be referred to by descriptors such as "ron viejo" ("old rum") and "ron añejo" ("aged rum").

The majority of the world's rum production occurs in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 (including The Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, U.S. Virgin Islands, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

, Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, and Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

). Rum is also produced in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, The Philippines, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Reunion Island
Réunion
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France...

, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

.

Light rum
Light rum
Light rum , is a dry, light-bodied rum, light in color and lightly sweet in flavor. It is produced from sugarcane juice and molasses, and normally has a short aging period....

s are commonly used in cocktail
Cocktail
A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients—at least one of the ingredients must be a spirit.Cocktails were originally a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. The word has come to mean almost any mixed drink that contains alcohol...

s, whereas "golden" and "dark" rums are typically consumed individually (i.e., "straight") or for cooking. Premium rums are also available, made to be consumed either straight or iced.

Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies, and has famous associations with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog
Grog
The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water or "small beer" and rum, which British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the Royal Navy on 21 August 1740. Vernon wore a coat of grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or...

) and piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 (where it was consumed as Bumbo
Bumbo
Bumbo is a drink made from rum, water, sugar and nutmeg. Cinnamon is sometimes substituted for or added to the nutmeg...

). Rum has also served as a popular medium of economic exchange, used to help fund enterprises such as slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

, organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and Australia's Rum Rebellion
Rum Rebellion
The Rum Rebellion of 1808 was the only successful armed takeover of government in Australia's history. The Governor of New South Wales, William Bligh, was deposed by the New South Wales Corps under the command of Major George Johnston, working closely with John Macarthur, on 26 January 1808, 20...

).

Etymology

The origin of the word "rum" is generally unclear. In an 1824 essay about the word's origin, Samuel Morewood, a British etymologist
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

, suggested that it might be from the British slang term for "the best," as in "having a rum time." He wrote:
Given the harsh taste of early rum, this is unlikely. Morewood later suggested another possibility: that it was taken from the last syllable of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word for sugar, saccharum, an explanation that is commonly heard today. The -um is a very common noun ending in Latin, and plenty of Latin word roots end in r, so in reality, one could apply this logic to a plethora of Latin words to draw the link.

Other etymologists have mentioned the Romani
Romani language
Romani or Romany, Gypsy or Gipsy is any of several languages of the Romani people. They are Indic, sometimes classified in the "Central" or "Northwestern" zone, and sometimes treated as a branch of their own....

 word rum, meaning "strong" or "potent." These words have been linked to the ramboozle and rumfustian
Ramboozle
Ramboozle is a popular British mid-seventeenth century alcoholic beverage, similar to rum. The drink, and its variation, rumfustian, were made by mixing eggs, ale, wine, sugar, and various spices, and then distilling. The names, both British slang, have been linked with the gypsy word rum, meaning...

, both popular British drinks in the mid-seventeenth century. However, neither was made with rum, but rather eggs, ale, wine, sugar, and various spices. The most probable origin is as a truncated version of rumbullion or rumbustion." Both words surfaced in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 about the same time as rum did, and were slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 terms for "tumult" or "uproar." This is a far more convincing explanation, and brings the image of fractious men fighting in entanglements at island tippling houses, which are early versions of the bar.

Another claim is that the name is from the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as rummers, from the Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 word roemer, a drinking glass.
Other options include contractions of the words iterum, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for "again, a second time", or arôme, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 for aroma.
Regardless of the original source, the name was already in common use by 1654 when the General Court of Connecticut
Connecticut General Assembly
The Connecticut General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member House of Representatives and the 36-member Senate. It meets in the state capital, Hartford. There are no term limits for either chamber.During...

 ordered the confiscations of "whatsoever Barbados liquors, commonly called rum, kill devil and the like". A short time later in May 1657 the General Court of Massachusetts also decided to make illegal the sale of strong liquor "whether knowne by the name of rumme, strong water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, wine, brandy, etc."

In current usage, the name used for a rum is often based on the rum's place of origin. For rums from Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

-speaking locales the word ron is used. A ron añejo indicates a rum that has been significantly aged and is often used for premium products. Rhum is the term used for rums from French-speaking locales, while rhum vieux is an aged French rum that meets several other requirements.

Some of the many other names for rum are Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

's Blood
, Kill-Devil, Demon Water, Pirate's Drink, Navy Neaters, and Barbados water.
A version of rum from Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 is referred to by the name Screech
Newfoundland Screech
Newfoundland Screech is 40% alcohol rum sold in Newfoundland. Screech is an award winning rum that, through clever marketing, has a name that was once just a colloquial term to describe almost any cheap, high alcohol spirit, including moonshine...

, while some low-grade West Indies rums are called tafia
Tafia
Tafia is a kind of cheap rum made from sugarcane juice. It is typically unaged whereas rum is typically aged in wooden barrels to reduce the level of fusel. Most of the fusel is absorbed in the first two years...

.

Origins

The precursors to rum date back to antiquity. Development of fermented drinks produced from sugarcane juice is believed to have first occurred either in ancient India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 or China, and spread from there.
An example of such an early drink is brum. Produced by the Malay people, brum dates back thousands of years.
Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 also recorded a 14th-century account of a "very good wine of sugar" that was offered to him in what is modern-day Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century.
Plantation slave
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

s first discovered that molasses
Molasses
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

, a by-product
By-product
A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced.A by-product can be useful and marketable or it can be considered waste....

 of the sugar refining process, can be fermented into alcohol.
Later, distillation of these alcoholic by-products concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums. Tradition suggests that rum first originated on the island of Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

.
A 1651 document from Barbados stated, "The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor".

Colonial America

After rum's development in the Caribbean, the drink's popularity spread to Colonial North America
Colonial America
The colonial history of the United States covers the history from the start of European settlement and especially the history of the thirteen colonies of Britain until they declared independence in 1776. In the late 16th century, England, France, Spain and the Netherlands launched major...

.
To support the demand for the drink, the first rum distillery in the British colonies of North America was set up in 1664 on present-day Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

. Boston, Massachusetts had a distillery three years later. The manufacture of rum became early Colonial New England's largest and most prosperous industry. New England became a distilling center due to the technical, metalworking and cooperage
Cooper (profession)
Traditionally, a cooper is someone who makes wooden staved vessels of a conical form, of greater length than breadth, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads...

 skills and abundant lumber; the rum produced there was lighter, more like whiskey. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 rum even joined gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 as an accepted currency in Europe for a period of time.
Estimates of rum consumption in the American colonies before the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 had every man, woman, or child drinking an average of 3 gallons (13.6 l) of rum each year.

To support this demand for the molasses to produce rum, along with the increasing demand for sugar in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, a labor source to work the sugar plantations in the Caribbean was needed.
A triangular trade
Triangular trade
Triangular trade, or triangle trade, is a historical term indicating among three ports or regions. Triangular trade usually evolves when a region has export commodities that are not required in the region from which its major imports come...

 was established between Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, the Caribbean, and the colonies to help support this need.
The exchange of slaves, molasses, and rum was quite profitable, and the disruption to the trade caused by the Sugar Act
Sugar Act
The Sugar Act, also known as the American Revenue Act or the American Duties Act, was a revenue-raising act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain on April 5, 1764. The preamble to the act stated: "it is expedient that new provisions and regulations should be established for improving the...

 in 1764 may have even helped cause the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

.

The popularity of rum continued after the American Revolution, with George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 insisting on a barrel of Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 rum at his 1789 inauguration.

Rum started to play an important role in the political system; candidates attempted to influence the outcome of an election through their generosity with rum. The people would attend the hustings to see which candidate appeared more generous. The candidate was expected to drink with the people to show that he was independent and truly a republican. In the 1833 Mississippi state senate election, one candidate, Judge Edward Turner, poured his drinks and socialized with the people. He was more personal and it appeared as if he was going to win. The other candidate, a Methodist parson named Dick Stewart, announced that he would not be pouring their drinks and they could have as much as they wanted; Dick Stewart won.

Eventually the restrictions on rum from the British islands of the Caribbean, combined with the development of American whiskey, led to a decline in the drink's popularity.

Naval Rum

Rum's association with piracy began with English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

s trading on the valuable commodity. As some of the privateers became pirates and buccaneers, their fondness for rum remained, the association between the two only being strengthened by literary works such as Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

's Treasure Island
Treasure Island
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "pirates and buried gold". First published as a book on May 23, 1883, it was originally serialized in the children's magazine Young Folks between 1881–82 under the title Treasure Island; or, the...

.
The association of rum with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 began in 1655 when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

. With the availability of domestically produced rum, the British changed the daily ration of liquor given to seamen from French brandy
Brandy
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink...

 to rum.
While the ration was originally given neat, or mixed with lime juice, the practice of watering down the rum began around 1740. To help minimize the effect of the alcohol on his sailors, Admiral Edward Vernon
Edward Vernon
Edward Vernon was an English naval officer. Vernon was born in Westminster, England and went to Westminster School. He joined the Navy in 1700 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1702 and served on several different ships for the next five years...

 had the rum ration watered down, a mixture that became known as grog
Grog
The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water or "small beer" and rum, which British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the Royal Navy on 21 August 1740. Vernon wore a coat of grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or...

. While many believe the term grog was coined in honor of the grogram cloak Admiral Vernon wore in rough weather, the term predates his famous order. It probably originates in the West Indies, perhaps of African etymology (see Grog
Grog
The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water or "small beer" and rum, which British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the Royal Navy on 21 August 1740. Vernon wore a coat of grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or...

). The Royal Navy continued to give its sailors a daily rum ration, known as a "tot," until the practice was abolished after July 31, 1970.

Today the rum ration (tot) is still issued on special occasions. This is done by an order to "splice the mainbrace
Splice the mainbrace
"Splice the mainbrace" is an order given aboard naval vessels to issue the crew with a drink. Originally an order for one of the most difficult emergency repair jobs aboard a sailing ship, it became a euphemism for authorized celebratory drinking afterward, and then the name of an order to grant...

", which may only be given by the Queen, a member of the Royal Family or, on certain occasions, the Admiralty Board in the UK with similar restrictions in other Commonwealth navies. Recently, such occasions have included Royal marriages or birthdays, or special anniversaries. In the days of daily rum rations, the order to "splice the mainbrace" meant double rations would be issued.

A story involving naval rum is that following his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

, Horatio Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

's body was preserved in a cask of rum to allow transport back to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Upon arrival, however, the cask was opened and found to be empty of rum. The pickled body was removed and, upon inspection, it was discovered that the sailors had drilled a hole in the bottom of the cask and drunk all the rum, in the process drinking Nelson's blood. Thus, this tale serves as a basis for the term Nelson's Blood being used to describe rum. It also serves as the basis for the term "Tapping the Admiral" being used to describe drinking the daily rum ration. The details of the story are disputed, as many historians claim the cask contained French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 brandy
Brandy
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink...

 whilst others claim instead the term originated from a toast
Toast (honor)
A toast is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill. The term may be applied to the person or thing so honored, the drink taken, or the verbal expression accompanying the drink. Thus, a person could be "the toast of the evening," for whom someone "proposes a toast"...

 to Admiral Nelson. Variations of the story, involving different notable corpses, have been in circulation for many years. The official record states merely that the body was placed in "refined spirits" and does not go into further detail.

The Royal New Zealand Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

 was the last naval force to give sailors a free daily tot of rum. The Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 still gives a rum ration on special occasions; the rum is usually provided out of the CO's fund and is 150 proof. It is consumed on the order "up spirits".

Colonial Australia


Rum became an important trade good in the early period of the colony of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

. The value of rum was based upon the lack of coinage among the population of the colony, and due to the drink's ability to allow its consumer to temporarily forget about the lack of creature comforts available in the new colony. The value of rum was such that convict settlers could be induced to work the lands owned by officers of the New South Wales Corps. Due to rum's popularity among the settlers, the colony gained a reputation for drunkenness even though their alcohol consumption was less than levels commonly consumed in England at the time.

When William Bligh
William Bligh
Vice Admiral William Bligh FRS RN was an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. A notorious mutiny occurred during his command of HMAV Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift in the Bounty's launch by the mutineers...

 became governor of the colony in 1806, he attempted to
remedy the perceived problem with drunkenness by outlawing the use of rum as a medium of exchange. In response to this action, and several others, the New South Wales Corps marched, with fixed bayonets, to Government House and placed Bligh under arrest. The mutineers continued to control the colony until the arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie
Lachlan Macquarie
Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB , was a British military officer and colonial administrator. He served as the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1810 to 1821 and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony...

 in 1810.

Categorization

Dividing rum into meaningful groupings is complicated by the fact that there is no single standard for what constitutes rum. Instead rum is defined by the varying rules and laws of the nations that produce the spirit. The differences in definitions include issues such as spirit proof, minimum aging, and even naming standards.

Examples of the differences in proof is Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, requiring their rum possess a minimum alcohol content of 50 ABV
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....

, while Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 require only a minimum of 40 ABV. Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 requires rum be aged a minimum of 8 months; the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

  and Venezuela require two years. Naming standards also vary. Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 defines rums as white, gold, light, and extra light. Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 uses the terms white, overproof, and matured, while the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 defines rum, rum liqueur, and flavored rum. In Australia, rum is divided into Dark or Red Rum (Under Proof known as UP, Over Proof known as OP, and triple distilled) and White Rum.

Despite these differences in standards and nomenclature, the following divisions are provided to help show the wide variety of rums that are produced.

Regional variations

Within the Caribbean, each island or production area has a unique style. For the most part, these styles can be grouped by the language that is traditionally spoken. Due to the overwhelming influence of Puerto Rican rum, most rum consumed in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is produced in the Spanish-speaking style.
  • Spanish-speaking islands and countries traditionally produce Añejo rums with a fairly smooth taste. Rums from Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

    , Guatemala
    Guatemala
    Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

    , Panama
    Panama
    Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

    , the Dominican Republic
    Dominican Republic
    The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

    , Nicaragua
    Nicaragua
    Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

    , Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

    , Colombia
    Colombia
    Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

     and Venezuela
    Venezuela
    Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

     are typical of this style. Rum from the U.S. Virgin Islands is also of this style. The Canary Islands
    Canary Islands
    The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

     produces honey rum.

  • English-speaking islands and countries are known for darker rums with a fuller taste that retains a greater amount of the underlying molasses flavor. Rums from Barbados
    Barbados
    Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

    , Belize
    Belize
    Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

    , Bermuda
    Bermuda
    Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

    , Saint Kitts
    Saint Kitts
    Saint Kitts Saint Kitts Saint Kitts (also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island (Saint-Christophe in French) is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean...

    , Trinidad & Tobago, the Demerara
    Demerara
    Demerara was a region in South America in what is now Guyana that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British invaded and captured the area in 1796...

     region of Guyana
    Guyana
    Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

    , and Jamaica
    Jamaica
    Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

     are typical of this style.

  • French-speaking islands are best known for their agricultural rums (rhum agricole
    Rhum Agricole
    Rhum Agricole is a type of rum distilled in one of the French West Indies islands from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice rather than from molasses. Most rum is made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining but when France began to make sugar from sugar beets, sugar prices plunged heavily. The...

    ). These rums, being produced exclusively from sugar cane juice, retain a greater amount of the original flavor of the sugar cane and are generally more expensive than molasses-based rums. Rums from Haiti
    Haiti
    Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

    , Guadeloupe
    Guadeloupe
    Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

     and Martinique
    Martinique
    Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

     are typical of this style.


Cachaça
Cachaça
Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

 is a spirit similar to rum that is produced in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. (Some countries, including the United States, classify cachaça as a type of rum.) Seco, from Panama, is also a spirit similar to rum, but also similar to vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

 since it is triple distilled.

The Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n spirit Batavia Arrack, or Arrak, is a spirit similar to rum that includes rice in its production. Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 produces a number of brands of light and dark rum, as well as other less expensive flavored and unflavored sugar cane based liquors, such as aguardiente de caña and charanda
Charanda
Charanda is an alcoholic liquor derived from sugar cane, similar to rum. Typically the drink is associated with the state of Michoacan in Mexico, in particular the Tarascan populated areas in the vicinity of Uruapan. The flavor is a buttery sweet, similar to vanilla and is usually served at room...

.

A spirit known as Aguardiente
Aguardiente
Aguardiente , aiguardent , aguardente , and augardente are generic terms for alcoholic beverages that contain between 29% and 60% alcohol by volume...

, distilled from molasses and often infused with anise
Anise
Anise , Pimpinella anisum, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor resembles that of liquorice, fennel, and tarragon.- Biology :...

, with additional sugarcane juice added after distillation, is produced in Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and northern South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

.

In West Africa, and particularly in Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

, cane juice (also known as Liberian rum or simply CJ within Liberia itself, is a cheap, strong spirit distilled from sugar cane, which can be as strong as 86 proof. A refined cane spirit has also been produced in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 since the 1950s, simply known as Cane
Cane
Cane are either of two genera of tall, perennial grasses with flexible, woody stalks from the family Poaceae that grow throughout the world in wet soils. They are related to and may include species of bamboo. The genus Arundo is native from the Mediterranean region to the Far East. Arundinaria...

.

Within Europe, a similar spirit made from sugar beet
Sugar beet
Sugar beet, a cultivated plant of Beta vulgaris, is a plant whose tuber contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production. Sugar beets and other B...

 is known as tuzemák (from tuzemský rum, domestic rum) in the Czech Republic and Kobba Libre on the Åland Islands.

In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, a cheap substitute for genuine dark rum is called Rum-Verschnitt (literally: blended rum). This distilled beverage is made of genuine dark rum (often from Jamaica), rectified spirit
Rectified spirit
A rectified spirit, rectified alcohol, or neutral spirit is highly concentrated ethanol which has been purified by means of repeated distillation, a process that is called rectification. It typically contains 95% alcohol by volume...

, and water. Very often, caramel coloring is used, too. The relative amount of genuine rum it contains can be quite low since the legal minimum is at only 5%, but the taste of Rum-Verschnitt is still very similar to genuine dark rum. In Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, a similar rum called Inländerrum or domestic rum is available. However, Austrian Inländerrum is always a spiced rum, (brand example: Stroh
Stroh
The Stroh Austria GmbH is a manufacturer of strong spiced rum from Austria.-History:The brand started in 1832 at Klagenfurt, named after the founder Sebastian Stroh. It was awarded a gold medal at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Today Stroh is available in 30 countries...

) German Rum-Verschnitt, in contrast, is never spiced or flavored.

Grades

The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location that a rum was produced. Despite these variations the following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum:
  • Light Rum, also referred to as silver rum and white rum. In general, light rum has very little flavor aside from a general sweetness, and serves accordingly as a base for cocktails. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any color. The Brazilian Cachaça
    Cachaça
    Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

     is generally this type, but some varieties are more akin to "gold rums". The majority of Light Rum comes out of Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

    . Their milder flavor makes them popular for use in mixed-drinks, as opposed to drinking it straight.

  • Gold Rum, also called amber rum, are medium-bodied rums that are generally aged. These gain their dark color from aging in wooden barrel
    Barrel
    A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of vertical wooden staves and bound by wooden or metal hoops. Traditionally, the barrel was a standard size of measure referring to a set capacity or weight of a given commodity. A small barrel is called a keg.For example, a...

    s (usually the charred white oak barrels that are the byproduct of Bourbon Whiskey). They have more flavor, and are stronger tasting than Silver Rum, and can be considered a midway-point between Silver/Light Rum and the darker varieties.

  • Spiced Rum: These rums obtain their flavor through addition of spices and, sometimes, caramel
    Caramel
    Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars. It is used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, and as a topping for ice cream, custard and coffee....

    . Most are darker in color, and based on gold rums. Some are significantly darker, while many cheaper brands are made from inexpensive white rums and darkened with artificial caramel color. Among the spices that may be added to create Spiced Rum are Cinnamon, Rosemary, absinthe/aniseed, or pepper.

  • Dark Rum, also known by the rum's particular colour as brown rum, black rum, or red rum, classes as a grade darker than gold rum. It is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels. Dark rum has a much stronger flavor than either light or gold rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong molasses or caramel overtone. It is used to provide substance in rum drinks, as well as color. In addition to uses in mixed drinks, dark rum is the type of rum most commonly used in cooking. Most Dark Rum comes from areas such as Jamaica
    Jamaica
    Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

    , Haiti
    Haiti
    Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

    , and Martinique
    Martinique
    Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

    , though two Central American countries, Nicaragua and Guatemala, produced two of the most award-winning dark rums in the world: Flor de Caña
    Flor de Caña
    Flor de Caña is a brand of rum distributed by Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua which is headquartered in Managua, Nicaragua.-History:...

     and Ron Zacapa Centenario
    Ron Zacapa Centenario
    Ron Zacapa Centenario is a popular premium rum produced in Guatemala. Zacapa was created in 1976 to celebrate the centenary of the foundation of Zacapa, a town in eastern Guatemala....

    , respectively.

  • Flavored Rum: Some manufacturers have begun to sell rums infused with flavors of fruits such as banana
    Banana
    Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

    , mango
    Mango
    The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

    , orange
    Orange (fruit)
    An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

    , citrus
    Citrus
    Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

    , coconut
    Coconut
    The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

     or lime
    Lime (fruit)
    Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and...

    . These are generally less than 40% alcohol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

    , serve to flavor similarly themed tropical drinks, and are also often drunk neat or on the rocks.

  • Overproof Rum is rum that is much higher than the standard 40% alcohol. Most of these rums bear greater than 60%, in fact, and preparations of 75% to 80% abv
    ABV
    ABV is a three-letter acronym that may refer to:* Alcohol by volume, a measure of the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks* Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, from its IATA airport code...

     occur commonly.

  • Premium Rum: As with other sipping spirits, such as Cognac
    Cognac (drink)
    Cognac , named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name, in the French Departements of Charente and Charente-Maritime....

     and Scotch
    Scotch whisky
    Scotch whisky is whisky made in Scotland.Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky , Blended Grain Scotch Whisky, and Blended Scotch Whisky.All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three...

     a market exists for premium and super-premium rums. These are generally boutique brands that sell carefully produced and aged rums. They have more character and flavor than their "mixing" counterparts, and are generally consumed straight.

Production method

Unlike some other spirits, such as Cognac
Cognac (drink)
Cognac , named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name, in the French Departements of Charente and Charente-Maritime....

 and Scotch
Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky is whisky made in Scotland.Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky , Blended Grain Scotch Whisky, and Blended Scotch Whisky.All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three...

, rum has no defined production methods. Instead, rum production is based on traditional styles that vary between locations and distillers.

Fermentation

Most rum produced is made from molasses. Within the Caribbean, much of this molasses is from Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

.
A notable exception is the French-speaking islands where sugarcane juice is the preferred base ingredient.

Yeast
Yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

 and water are added to the base ingredient to start the fermentation process.
While some rum producers allow wild yeast to perform the fermentation, most use specific strains of yeast to help provide a consistent taste and predictable fermentation time.
Dunder
Dunder
Dunder is the yeast-rich foam leftovers from one batch of rum that is used to start the yeast culture of a second batch. It is the traditional yeast source in Jamaican Rum. Similar in process to sour mash in Bourbon whiskey, it is a crucial step in achieving an authentic rum flavor.Otherwise can...

, the yeast-rich foam from previous fermentations, is the traditional yeast source in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

.
"The yeast employed will determine the final taste and aroma profile,"
says Jamaican master blender Joy Spence.
Distillers that make lighter rums, such as Bacardi
Bacardi
Bacardi is a family-controlled spirits company, best known as a producer of rums, including Bacardi Superior and Bacardi 151. The company sells in excess of 200 million bottles per year in nearly 100 countries...

, prefer to use faster-working yeasts.
Use of slower-working yeasts causes more ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s to accumulate during fermentation, allowing for a fuller-tasting rum.

Distillation

As with all other aspects of rum production, there is no standard method used for distillation.
While some producers work in batches using pot still
Pot still
A pot still is a type of still used in distilling spirits such as whisky or brandy. Heat is applied directly to the pot containing the wash or wine . This is called a batch distillation ....

s, most rum production is done using column still
Column still
A column still, also called a continuous still, patent still or Coffey still, is a variety of still consisting of two columns invented in 1826 by Robert Stein, a Clackmannanshire distiller, and it was first used at the Cameron Bridge Grain Distillery in Fife, Scotland. The design was enhanced and...

 distillation.
Pot still output contains more congener
Congener
Congener has several different meanings depending on the field in which it is used. Colloquially, it is used to mean a person or thing like another, in character or action.-Biology:In biology, congeners are organisms within the same genus...

s than the output from column stills and thus produces a fuller-tasting rum.

Aging and blending

Many countries require that rum be aged for at least one year. This aging is commonly performed in used bourbon
Bourbon whiskey
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky . It has been produced since the 18th century...

 casks,
but may also be performed in stainless steel tanks or other types of wooden casks. The aging process determines the coloring of the Rum. Rum that is aged in oak casks becomes dark, whereas Rum that is aged in stainless steel tanks remains virtually colorless.
Due to the tropical climate common to most rum-producing areas, rum matures at a much faster rate than is typical for Scotch or Cognac
Cognac (drink)
Cognac , named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name, in the French Departements of Charente and Charente-Maritime....

.
An indication of this faster rate is the angels' share, or amount of product lost to evaporation
Evaporation
Evaporation is a type of vaporization of a liquid that occurs only on the surface of a liquid. The other type of vaporization is boiling, which, instead, occurs on the entire mass of the liquid....

.
While products aged in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 or Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 see about 2% loss each year, rum producers may see as much as 10%.
After aging, rum is normally blended to ensure a consistent flavor. Blending is the final step in the Rum making process.
As part of this blending process, light rums may be filtered to remove any color gained during aging.
For darker rums, caramel
Caramel
Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars. It is used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, and as a topping for ice cream, custard and coffee....

 may be added to the rum to adjust the color of the final product.

In cuisine

Besides rum punch, cocktails such as the Cuba Libre
Cuba Libre
The Cuba Libre is a highball made of cola, lime, and white rum. This highball is often referred to as a Rum and Coke in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland, where the lime juice is optional.-History:...

 and Daiquiri
Daiquiri
Daiquiri is a family of cocktails whose main ingredients are rum, lime juice, and sugar or other sweetener. There are several versions, but those that gained international fame are the ones made in the El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba....

 have well-known stories of their invention in the Caribbean.
Tiki culture
Tiki culture
Tiki kitsch culture is a 20th-century theme used in Polynesian-style restaurants and clubs originally in the United States and then, to a lesser degree, around the world...

 in the US helped expand rum's horizons with inventions such as the Mai Tai
Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is an alcoholic cocktail based on rum, Curaçao liqueur, and lime juice, associated with "Polynesian-style" settings.-History:It was purportedly invented at the Trader Vic's restaurant in Oakland, California in 1944. Trader Vic's rival, Don the Beachcomber, claimed to have created it in...

 and Zombie
Zombie cocktail
The Zombie is a cocktail made of fruit juices, liqueurs, and various rums, so named for its perceived effects upon the drinker. It first appeared in the late 1930s, invented by Donn Beach of Hollywood's Don the Beachcomber restaurant...

.
Other well-known cocktails containing rum include the Piña Colada
Piña Colada
The piña colada is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge or a maraschino cherry or both...

, a drink made popular in America by Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes is an American-British composer, singer-songwriter, musician and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his number one pop hit "Escape " and the song "Him", which reached the number 6 position on the Hot 100 U.S. pop chart in 1980...

' song "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)",
and the Mojito
Mojito
Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball.Traditionally, a Mojito is not very strong and made of five ingredients: white rum, sugar , lime juice, sparkling water and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, a mint variety very popular on the island...

.
Cold-weather drinks made with rum include the Rum toddy
Hot toddy
A hot toddy is a mixed drink, usually including alcohol, that is served hot. Hot toddies are traditionally drunk before going to bed, or in wet or cold weather...

 and Hot Buttered Rum.
In addition to these well-known cocktails, a number of local specialties utilize rum. Examples of these local drinks include Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

's Dark 'N' Stormy
Dark 'N' Stormy
A Dark and Stormy is an alcoholic highball style cocktail popular in many British Commonwealth countries, such as Bermuda and Australia. It consists of dark rum and ginger beer over ice. It is optionally accompanied by a slice of lime...

 (Gosling's Black Seal rum with ginger beer
Ginger beer
Ginger beer is a carbonated drink that is flavored primarily with ginger and sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.-History:Brewed ginger beer originated in England in the mid-18th century and became popular in Britain, the United States, and Canada, reaching a peak of popularity in the...

), and the Painkiller
Painkiller (cocktail)
A Painkiller is a rum cocktail. A painkiller is traditionally made by frothing a mixture of dark rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, sweetened coconut cream, and shaved ice, and topping with nutmeg....

from the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands, often called the British Virgin Islands , is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S...

.

Rum may also be used as a base in the manufacture of liqueur
Liqueur
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.The...

s. Spiced Rum is made by infusing rum with a combination of spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s. Another combination is jagertee
Jagertee
Jagertee is an alcoholic beverage made by mixing overproof rum with black tea. It is served warm and is typically consumed during winter in the cold parts of Central Europe....

, a mixture of rum and black tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

.

Rum may also be used in a number of cooked dishes. It may be used as a flavoring agent in items such as rum ball
Rum ball
Rum balls are a truffle-like confection, being sweet, dense balls flavoured with chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa. As their name implies, these cookies contain rum and because they are not baked, the...

s or rum cakes. Rum is commonly used to macerate fruit used in fruitcake
Fruitcake
Fruitcake is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts, and spices, and soaked in spirits. A cake that simply has fruit in it as an ingredient can also be colloquially called a fruitcake. In the United Kingdom, certain rich versions may be iced and decorated...

s and is also used in marinades
Marination
Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origins of the word allude to the use of brine in the pickling process, which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid...

 for some Caribbean dishes. Rum is also used in the preparation of Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with the sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then the alcohol is added and ignited. The bananas and sauce are then served over the ice cream...

 and some hard sauce
Hard sauce
Hard sauce is a sweet, rich dessert sauce made by creaming or beating butter and sugar with rum , brandy , whiskey, sherry , vanilla or other flavorings...

s. Rum is sometimes mixed in with ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

 often together with raisins.

Ti Punch
Ti'Punch
The Ti'Punch is a rum-based mixed drink that is especially popular in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, French Guyana and other French-speaking Caribbean states...

 is short for "petit punch", little punch. This is a very traditional drink in the French-speaking region of the Caribbean.

See also

  • Cachaça
    Cachaça
    Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

  • Charanda
    Charanda
    Charanda is an alcoholic liquor derived from sugar cane, similar to rum. Typically the drink is associated with the state of Michoacan in Mexico, in particular the Tarascan populated areas in the vicinity of Uruapan. The flavor is a buttery sweet, similar to vanilla and is usually served at room...

  • List of Puerto Rican rums
  • List of rum producers
  • Rum cocktails
  • Pirate
  • Rum row
    Rum row
    A rum row was a Prohibition-era term referring to a line of ships loaded with liquor anchored beyond the maritime limit of the United States. These lines became established near major U.S...

  • Rum-running
    Rum-running
    Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...


Further reading

(extract) (Introduction)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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