Rum is commonly distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, cane syrup and molasses. It is aged in uncharred barrels where it picks up very little colouring (the darker rums have caramel added to deepen the colour). Most rums are blends of several aged rums – each adding its own aroma, flavour and colour.
Rums can be divided into two main types:
Light Bodied Rums: dry, with only a hint of molasses flavour. Are available in two varieties, white and gold label (or light and dark), with the gold label having a richer, more pronounced taste. Many good gold label rums are produced in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Virgin Islands. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Hawaii and the Philippines are all known for their light bodied rums.
Heavy Bodied Rums: darker, fuller and sweeter with a more pronounced body, aroma and flavour. These rums are distilled in a different (much slower) fermentation process, which allows for a more molasses-like flavour to develop. The best heavy bodied rums hail from Jamaica, Demerara, Martinique, Trinidad, Barbados and New England.
Some common rum cocktails:
Rum Old Fashioned
- * teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1dash bitters
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 * oz. light bodied rum (gold label)
- 1 teaspoon heavy bodied Rum
Stir sugar, bitters and water in an old fashioned glass, add ice cubes and golden rum. Add twist of lime peel and pour the heavy rum on top.
Put a lump of sugar into a hot whiskey glass and fill 2/3 with boiling water. Add 2 oz. rum (either heavy or light bodied), stir and decorate with a slice of lemon. Sprinkle nutmeg on top.
Pour 2 oz. rum (once again, either type will do) in a highball glass over ice cubes and fill with ginger ale or carbonated water. Add a twist of lemon peel and stir.
Rum Milk Punch
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 2 oz. rum
- 1 cup milk
Shake with ice, strain into Collins glass and sprinkle nutmeg on top.
*Much thanks to my grandfather
, whose extensive knowledge made this node factually correct
. He is also the reason why some of the place-names are slightly dated (these have been left unchanged because...well, because they provide a mysterious air to an otherwise stuffy writeup).