All about Rum
Rum is one of the earliest spirits, thanks to its simple production process. With the main ingredient being sugarcane, rum can come in various forms, most ranging from 20% alcohol by volume (ABV) to 75.5% ABV. By now you might be able to guess that rum is a rather sweet spirit. Rum can be aged from one year to multiple decades. Typically rum that has been aged longer is darker and is usually better for sipping. How is rum made? Rum is often associated with the Caribbean, but is now produced in just about every region of the world that produces sugar. Each production area has its own unique method, with one being relatively consistent. The process of sugarcane fermentation is usually consistent, regardless of the location or producer. Sugarcane plays an important role in the production and final product. It can influence the rum quality. Rum is typically produced from molasses as a result of the sugarcane fermentation process. However, French-speaking islands often prefer sugarcane juice. Yeast and water are added to the sugar, and the spirit goes on to the distillation process. This is where methods can vary. To complete the rum, the aging process takes place and can vary, based on the region or type of rum being produced. Once the aging process is complete, the rum is blended for a consistent flavor and some may be filtered to remove color (light rums). Dark rums may have caramel added. What are the different types of rum? There are different types of rum. Being familiar with the types of rum and what makes them unique can help you choose the right rum. Aged rum: Rums can be aged for a period of time, which can vary. More sophisticated rums are usually aged to achieve complexity and distinct flavors. You can spot aged rum by its color, and taste. Most are on the darker side with a rich flavor, the kind you might want to enjoy over the rocks like a fine whiskey. Aged rum is any rum that has spent time in a barrel and has color. Light rum: Light or clear rum is exactly as it sounds - without color. When you think of rum, this is probably what you think of, and might be what you gravitate towards thanks to a high ABV. Most light rum is sold at around 40% ABV or 80 proof. While it’s colorless, it is aged one or more years and then filtered to remove the color. Compared to other types of rum, it has a milder flavor and is usually used in cocktails, not sipped. Dark rum: Dark rums don’t have many attributes except for their color, which separates them from light or gold counterparts. Typically, they are aged giving them their color, and offer bold flavor profiles. You can enjoy dark rum sipped or mixed in a cocktail. Spiced & flavored rum: Some classic rum names are found in the spiced and flavored rum category. For example, Malibu or Captain Morgan. Spiced or flavored rums are usually enhanced with flavors from seeds, fruit, root, leaf or bark of edible floral like ginger, allspice, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Additional flavors can be added such as fruit extracts of coconut, mango, pineapple, and other tropical tones. In order for rum to meet the U.S. requirement it needs to be 40% ABV. If it does not meet this requirement, it can be sold as a spiced or flavored rum. Combine spiced or flavored rum with a soda or juice to compliment the flavor and sip away. Black rum: Black rum is a unique rum, as its darkest in color as you might assume but has a light to medium body. Oftentimes, black rum has burnt caramel added to darken the color. In most cases, black rum is charred and fired heavily to give it a smoky flavor. You might already be thinking where we are going, but, yes, black rum can be a substitute for a whiskey cocktail. Let your taste buds (or your selection) decide what type of spirit to use. One example of a cocktail that you can use whiskey or black rum for is an Old Fashioned. Other types of popular rum include. . . Jamaican rum: Jamaican rum is made from sugarcane juice, can syrup, sugar, molasses, or some combination of these ingredients. Distilled in copper pots, it can be aged in oak barrels in Jamaica. Coconut rum: Yes, like Malibu. A coconut rum can fall under the spiced or flavored rum category as we mentioned earlier. Coconut rum is usually a smooth and sweet, coconut-flavored rum. Craft a delicious cocktail with coconut rum and feel like you are in the Caribbean staring at breathtaking views. Dominican rum: Dominican rum is spiced rum of the Dominican Republic. Dominican rum represents centuries of passion and a rich culture; a global icon that has put the Caribbean on the map. Known for rich, captivating flavors, Dominican rum must follow the regional rules for rum. In the Dominican, rum producers are required to harvest the sugar cane, ferment, distill, and age the alcohol in oak barrels for at least one year. All of this has to happen within the country’s borders. Popular rum brands: • Kraken (black spiced rum) • Malibu (coconut rum) • Bumbu (craft rum) • Bacardi (light rum) • Captain Morgan (spiced rum) Popular rum drinks: • Piña Colada • Mojito • Mai Tai • Rum Punch • Long Island Iced Tea • Painkiller • Rum Runner
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