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Exploring the World of Rum

By: Courtne

We aren't shy about our love affair with rum. And this month seemed as befitting as any other to exploit it.

Ah, the inevitable dog days of summer. If any month deserved a cocktail (or two, or three, or four), it would indeed be August; a month filled with the last trappings of summer's heat.  And who doesn't require a refreshing beverage during these days of heavy air and slow Friday afternoons? 

Which is why, after some pontification on the matter, it became painfully obvious that this was the appropriate month for an exploration of rum-the quintessential spirit of the summer.

Let us start from the beginning. Pirates. Pirates and rum have always gone hand in hand. Even the origin of the word rum can be linked as such. Some believe the name came from the word rumbullion, which means an uproar (much like how you would describe a pirate overtaking your vessel). Others say it comes from the word rummer, the type of glass seamen used when imbibing on the tumultuous ocean. We think it got it's name because it rhymes with yum. Just kidding.

Anyway, rum is made from raw sugar cane. The juice is extracted and in some cases like in Brazil, distilled to create cacacha. In most cases, however, cane juice is turned into molasses and molasses is fermented and distilled to create all sorts of delicious rums. The majority of rum is made in the Caribbean and Latin America but a few are made in Europe as well.  Rum, by nature of it's sugarcane component, is inherently sweeter than most other spirits. Rums can range in color from clear to dark based on its aging. Clear, silver or white rums are aged for a year or less in stainless steel drums. They are the truest flavor you get from the distillate. Gold, Dark and Aged rums can range from 2 to12+ years of aging in oak casks, from which they draw their color and flavor nuances.

Every rum has a signature based on the island it comes from. Flavor nuances can come from the type of casks used; the humidity and temperature of the island; the distillate process (copperpot, continuous column) and of course the aging and blending. Although rum was once considered the scourge of the seas, today is is a respectable and highly lauded spirit category that is gaining in appeal and fervor for producing some of the best tasting sipping spirits around. The best way to explore rum is to go out and buy a few different brands from different islands and see if you can taste the flavor nuances yourself.  And while we love sipping rum with an ice cube and a squeeze of lime, we naturally think they are best enjoyed in a cocktail. Which is why we created the RumFest Collection. It features three different rums from three different islands. It is by no means a complete exploratory, but it should get you started on your journey!

Posted: August 15, 2013 | Permalink
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