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Rum, that spirit that reminds you to the beach, sun, simply the good life.
Most of the rum is produced in the Carribbean & Latin America. Back in the day, slaves discovered that molasses, the by-product of the sugarcane tree that is used for making sugar, can be fermented & distilled to rum. Men say that the very first rum comes from the island of Barbados.
Nowadays, rum is also produced in other countries like Scotland, Spain, South Africa & Japan.
Rum is made from molasses of sugarcane juice. They both a by-product of the sugarcane tree that is used to make sugar. Firstly, sugarcane is harvest from the fields, washed & pressed to get the juice flowing. The juice is then filtered to clear it from any dirt & unwanted fiber leftovers. After the filtration the juice is cooked whereby the water in the juice evaporates, resulting in a thick syrup that’s called molasses.
The molasses is then diluted with water & yeast added, before it is fermented & distilled. A pot still is often used to distil the rum, but some producers using column stills too. After the distillation, the rum can be transferred into charred oak barrels to age. The oak gives the rum colour & the typical flavours of spice, dried fruit, tropical fruit & toffee depending how long it’s aged for.
An interesting fact is that due to the tropical climates in some of the countries, rum matures much quicker than for example a whisk(e)y or cognac.
As said, the aging process determines often the type of rum. You can find rum in the following categories: white, golden, spiced or dark rums.
These rums have little flavour besides the general sweetness from the sugarcane. Often, they’re (charcoal) filtered after a short period of aging, removing all the colour. White rums are a popular ingredient used in cocktails.
Gold rums are aged in oak barrels for a period of time. They have more flavour than the white rums & are stronger tasting with fruity aromas.
Spiced rums are gold rums with spices & caramel added. During the aging spices like cinnamon, rosemary, aniseed or pepper are added.
As the name explains, these are the darkest in colour. Aged the longest in charred oak barrels, it gives them much stronger flavours than the golden rums. Hints of spices like cinnamon can be tasted, as well as molasses & caramel.
White rums are commonly used in cocktails, where golden, spiced & dark rums are drunk ‘’straight’’ or ‘’on the rocks’’. Although, in established cocktail bars you see the darker rums used as ingredient in cocktails too.