“Why is the rum gone?”
-Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Rum is easily one of the most popular alcoholic drinks. It is used in a variety of popular cocktails including the Daiquiri, Mai Tai, Pina Colada, and of course the classic rum and coke. Rum is made through the process of fermentation and distillation. It comes from sugarcane byproducts or directly from sugarcane juice. Most rum is made in the Caribbean and Latin America.
How to Drink Rum
Rum is one of the most versatile kinds of alcohol there is. There are also different kinds of rum. Light rums, which are typically clear, are more commonly used in cocktails. Darker rums, which typically have a golden color, are more often consumed straight, or on the rocks (in a glass of ice).
It is also not uncommon for rum to be used in cooking. Premium rums can also be purchased, these are made to drink straight. Generally speaking you don’t want to waste a nice expensive bottle of rum on a mixed drink; instead opt for drinking it straight.
The History of Rum
This drink has a very long history. The start of fermented drinks from sugarcane juices is said to originate in ancient India or China. It was first distilled on the sugarcane plantations located in the Caribbean during the 1600′s.
Slaves on the plantation found out that a byproduct of sugarcane called molasses can be fermented to create alcohol. Later these alcoholic byproducts were distilled which concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities.
This was the first step towards making the rum that we know and enjoy today. After the drink gained popularity in the Carribean, the first distillery was established in 1664 by the British colonies in North America in present day Staten Island.
How Rum is Made
Unlike other types of alcohol, the production methods the drink vary depending on the location and distiller. Most rum that is made today comes from molasses.
The majority that is made in the Caribbean gets its molasses from Brazil. Despite this, many French-speaking islands use sugarcane juices as their main ingredient. The fermentation process begins after yeast and water is added to the base ingredient( the base ingredient being molasses or sugarcane juices).
Many distillers use a specific kind of yeast in order to have a consistent taste, aroma, and fermentation time. After the fermentation process the distillation process begins. Most distillers use a column still, but some use a pot still instead.
The final step is the aging process. It is not uncommon for the drink to be aged in barrels previously used to age bourbon. The aging can also take place in other wooden casks or steel tanks. The rum’s color is created during the aging process.
When aged in a wooden barrel it will typically gain a darker color. When the aging takes place in a stainless steel tank the rum remains colorless. After the aging process it is not uncommon for rum to be blended with caramel in order to adjust the color of the final product before bottling.