Rum is a distilled beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses and sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak and other casks. While there are rum producers in places such as Australia, India, Reunion Island, and elsewhere around the world, the majority of rum production occurs in and around the Caribbean and along the Demerara river in South America. Some major rum brands include Bacardi, Barbancourt, Brugal, Captain Morgan, Appleton Estate, Havana Club, Stroh, Matusalem, Mount Gay, Bundaberg, Myers, Malibu Rum, Gosling's, Cruzan, Pusser's, Flor de Caña, Don Q, and Ron Zacapa Centenario. "Overproof" rums, such as Wray and Nephew, contain a higher alcohol content.
Rum is produced in a variety of styles. Light rums are commonly used in mixed drinks, while golden and dark rums are appropriate for use in cooking as well as cocktails. Premium brands of rum are also available that are made to be consumed neat or on the rocks. Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies, and has famous associations with the British Royal Navy and piracy. Rum has also served as a popular medium of exchange that helped to promote slavery along with providing economic instigation for Australia's Rum Rebellion and the American Revolution.
Origins of the name
The origin of the word rum is unclear. A common claim is that the name was derived from rumbullion meaning "a great tumult or uproar". Another claim is that the name is from the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as rummers, from the Dutch word roemer, a drinking glass. Other options include contractions of the words saccharum, Latin for sugar, or arôme, French for aroma. Regardless of the original source, the name had come into common use by May 1657 when the General Court of Massachusetts made illegal the sale of strong liquor "whether known by the name of rumme, strong water, wine, brandy, etc.,
In current usage, the name used for a rum is often based on the rum's place of origin. For rums from Spanish-speaking locales the word ron is used. A ron añejo indicates a rum that has been significantly aged and is often used for premium products. Rhum is the term used for rums from French-speaking locales, while rhum vieux is an aged French rum that meets several other requirements.
Some of the many other names for rum are Nelson's Blood, Kill-Devil, Demon Water, Pirate's Drink, Navy Neaters, and Barbados water. A version of rum from Newfoundland is referred to by the name Screech, while some low-grade West Indies rums are called tafia.


The precursors to rum date back to antiquity. Development of fermented drinks produced from sugarcane juice is believed to have first occurred either in ancient India or China, and spread from there. An example of such an early drink is brum. Produced by the Malay people, brum dates back thousands of years. Marco Polo also recorded a 14th-century account of a "very good wine of sugar" that was offered to him in what is modern-day Iran.
The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process, fermented into alcohol. Later, distillation of these alcoholic byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums.
Tradition suggests that rum first originated on the island of Barbados. Regardless of its initial source, early Caribbean rums were not known for high quality. A 1651 document from Barbados stated "The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor".


Dividing rum into meaningful groupings is complicated by the fact that there is no single standard for what constitutes rum. Instead rum is defined by the varying rules and laws of the nations that produce the spirit. The differences in definitions include issues such as spirit proof, minimum aging, and even naming standards. Examples of the differences in proof is Colombia, requiring their rum possess a minimum alcohol content of 50 ABV, while Chile and Venezuela require only a minimum of 40 ABV. Mexico requires rum be aged a minimum of 8 months, the
Dominican Republic and Panama requires one year, and Venezuela requires two years. Naming standards also vary, Nicaragua has white - ron blanco, lite, silver - ron plata, gold and dark - black label, gran reserva and the world famous centenario, with  Argentina defining rums as white, gold, light, and extra light. Barbados uses the terms white, overproof, and matured, while the United States defines rum, rum liqueur, and flavored rum.
World famous Ron Flor de Caña, produces several types of rum from its base in Nicaragua.

Regional Variations

Within the Caribbean, each island or production area has a unique style. For the most part, these styles can be grouped by the language that is traditionally spoken. Due to the overwhelming influence of Puerto Rican rum, most rum consumed in the United States is produced in the Spanish-speaking style.
• Spanish-speaking islands traditionally produce light rums with a fairly clean taste. Rums from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic are typical of this style. Also under this category the rum produced in Nicaragua can be included, it is a slow-aging, color intensifying, aromatic and flavorsome rum. Nicaragua in fact, produces some of the best rum in the whole world,. Its world renowned Ron Flor de Caña is gaining wide popularity among consumers in the United States.
• English-speaking islands are known for darker rums with a fuller taste that retains a greater amount of the underlying molasses flavor. Rums from Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Demerara region are typical of this style.
• French-speaking islands are best known for their agricultural rums (rhum agricole). These rums, being produced exclusively from sugarcane juice, retain a greater amount of the original flavor of the sugarcane. Rums from Guadeloupe, Haïti and Martinique are typical of this style.
Cachaça is a spirit similar to rum that is produced in Brazil. The Indonesian spirit Batavia Arrack, or Arrak, is a spirit similar to rum that includes rice in its production. Mexico produces a number of brands of light and dark rum, as well as other less expensive flavored and unflavored sugar cane based liquors, such as aguardiente de caña and charanda. In some cases cane liquor is flavored with mezcal to produce a pseudo-tequila-like drink.
A spirit known as Aguardiente, distilled from molasses infused with anise, with additional sugarcane juice added after distillation, is produced in Central America and northern South America.


Example of dark, gold, and light rums.
The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location that a rum was produced. Despite these variations the following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum:
Light Rums, also referred to as light, silver, and white rums. In general, light rum has very little flavor aside from a general sweetness, and serves accordingly as a base for cocktails. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any color.
Gold Rums, also called amber rums, are medium-bodied rums which are generally aged. The rum can obtain its flavor through addition of spices and caramel/color (a variation often sold as Spiced Rum), but historically gains its darker color from aging in wooden casks (typically oak).
Dark Rum, also known as black rum, classes as a grade darker than gold rum. It is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels. Dark rum has a much stronger flavor than either light or gold rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong molasses or caramel overtone. It is used to provide substance in rum drinks, as well as color. In addition to uses in mixed drinks, dark rum is the type of rum most commonly used in cooking. It was this type of rum immortalized in the song 'The Old Black Rum' by the Newfoundland folk group Great Big Sea.
Flavored Rum: Some manufacturers have begun to sell rums which they have infused with flavors of fruits such as mango, orange, citrus, coconut, and limke which is a lime rum found in Sweden. These serve to flavor similarly themed tropical drinks which generally comprise less than 40% alcohol.
Overproof Rum is rum which is much higher than the standard 40% alcohol. Most of these rums bear greater than 75%, in fact, and preparations of 151 to 160 proof occur commonly.
Premium Rum: As with other sipping spirits, such as Cognac and Scotch, a market exists for premium and super-premium spirits. These are generally boutique brands which sell very aged and carefully produced rums. They have more character and flavor than their "mixing" counterparts, and are generally consumed without the addition of other ingredients.

Production methodology

There are two methods of fermentation-
Quick method –produce white & light flavor rum
Slow method – produce dark & heavy rum

Unlike some other spirits, such as Cognac and Scotch, rum has no defined production methods. Instead, rum production is based on traditional styles that vary between locations and distillers.


Sugarcane is harvested to make sugarcane juice and molasses. Most rum produced is made from molasses. Within the Caribbean, much of this molasses is from Brazil. A notable exception is the French-speaking islands where sugarcane juice is the preferred base ingredient.
To the base ingredient yeast, and potentially water, are added to start fermentation. While some rum producers allow wild yeast to perform the fermentation, most use specific strains of yeast to help provide a consistent taste and predictable fermentation time. Dunder, the yeast-rich foam from previous fermentations, is the traditional yeast source in Jamaica. "The yeast employed will determine the final taste and aroma profile," says Jamaican master blender Joy Spence. Distillers that make lighter rums, such as Bacardi, prefer to use faster-working yeasts. Use of slower-working yeasts causes more esters to accumulate during fermentation, allowing for a fuller tasting rum.


As with all other aspects of rum production, there is no standard method used for distillation. While some producers work in batches using pot stills, most rum production is done using column still distillation.  Pot still output contains more congeners than the output from column stills and thus produces a fuller-tasting rum.

Aging and blending

Many countries require that rum be aged for at least one year. This aging is commonly performed in used bourbon casks, but may also be performed in stainless steel tanks or other types of wooden casks. Due to the tropical climate common to most rum producing areas, rum matures at a much faster rate than is typical for Scotch or Cognac.  An indication of this faster rate is the angel's share, or amount of product lost to evaporation. While products aged in France or Scotland see about 2% loss each year, rum producers may see as much as 10%. After aging, rum is normally blended to ensure a consistent flavor. As part of this blending process, light rums may be filtered to remove any color gained during aging. For darker rums, caramel may be added to the rum to adjust the color of the final product.

Features of popular rums

Puerto Rican rum The molasses is fermented in huge vats together with some of the mash from the previous fermentation. The resultant wash that contains about 7 per cent alcohol is distilled in patent still. The spirit obtained is matured in uncharred oak casks. The following styles of rum are obtained according to the maturation period.
•    White rum: matured for a period of one year. It is light-bodied and neutral-flavoured rum
•    Gold rum: matured for a period of three years and coloured with caramel
•    Vieux/liqueur rum: matured for a period more than six years
Puerto Rican rums are generally light-bodied rums.
Jamaican rum The molasses is allowed to ferment naturally by yeasts in the air and then distilled twice in pot still at 140-160 proof. It is matured in oak casks for a minimum period of five years. It gets its very dark colour from the addition of caramel. Much of the rum is matured and blended in the UK. The rum is full-bodied and pungent. It is bottled at 80 and 87 proof.
Martinique rum It is distilled in pot still from wash obtained by fermenting concentrated sugarcane juice. Bottled at 80 proof, it gets its colour from the oak cask in which it is matured. Haiti produces rum in the same manner.
Demeraran rum It is dark-coloured rum and is less pungent compared to Jamaican rum. It is produced in Guyana along the Demerara River. It is distilled in pot still and bottled at 80, 86, and 151 proof. It is a traditional drink for 'grog' and the 'zombie'.

Batavia Arrack A little rice cake is added to molasses and allowed to ferment naturally. It is produced in Java, Indonesia. After the initial ageing in Java, it is transported to Netherlands for further ageing up to six years. It is then blended and bottled.
  • Imitation rum is the mixture of strong rum and spirit made from sugar beet. It is made in cold countries where sugarcane does not grow.
  • Smugglers of alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition period were called rumrunners and the offshore vessels were called rum rows.
  • Jamaica and Martinique are known for dark rum.
  • Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and Martinique produces most of light and white rum.
  • Rum goes well with coke.

Brands of Rum

Following are the brands of rum: • Dark rums
 - Rhum Barbancourt (Haiti)
List of rum producers

Caribbean Rums

Antigua: Antigua Distillery Ltd (Cavalier and English Harbor), Bambu Rum
Barbados: Hanschell Inniss Ltd. (Cockspur Rum), Caribbean Spirit/Twelve ,Islands Shipping Co (Malibu Rum), Mount Gay, R.L. Seale & Company Ltd.(Foursquare Rum)
 Bermuda: Gosling Brothers Ltd. (Gosling's Rum)
 Cayman Islands: Tortuga Rum Company Ltd (Tortuga)
 Cuba: Havana Club
 Dominica Soca Rum
 Dominican Republic: Brugal, Bermudez, Barcelo (The Three B'S), Matusalem
 Grenada: Westerhall Plantation
 Haiti: Rhum Barbancourt
 Jamaica: Appleton Estate, Myers's, Estate Industries Ltd (Tia Maria)
 Martinique: Clement, DePaz, St. James
Puerto Rico: Bacardi (part of American Whiskey Trail), Captain Morgan, Don Q, Ron del Barrilito
Trinidad and Tobago: Angostura Rums (Angostura 1824, Angostura 1919), Fernandes Vat 19 Gold Rum, Fernandes Vat 19 White Rum, Fernandes Forres, Park Puncheon Rum, 10 Cane Rum
US Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands Rum Industries, Inc (Cruzan)
British Virgin Islands: Pusser's Ltd. (Pusser's), cntral/South American Rums
Costa Rica: Ron Centenario
Colombia : Ron Santa Fe, Ron Caldas
Guatemala: Ron Zacapa Centenario, Ron Zacapa Centenario XO, Ron Botran,
Guyana (Demerera): El Dorado, Lemon Hart
Nicaragua: Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua, S.A. (Flor de Caña and Ron Plata)
Panama: Carta Vieja, Varela Hermanos (Ron Abuelo, Ron Cortez)
Venezuela: Cacique, Ocumare, Pampero, Ron Santa Teresa 1796.
Mexico: Porfidio

Rums from Other Areas

Austria: Stroh, often considered a rum but, due to the addition of aroma, is not.
Australia: Bundaberg, Beenleigh
Canada: Lamb's
India: Old Monk
Mauritius: Green Island
Newfoundland: Newfoundland Screech, London Dock, Old Sam, & Cabot, Tower
Philippines: Tondeña, Tanduay
Spain: Arehucas, Barceló
Sweden: Träkumla
Puerto Rican rums:
• Bacardi
• Palo Viejo
• Don Q
• Licor 43

Key terms:

Caramel- it is sugar melted or dissolved in a small amount of water and heated until it turns golden or dark brown, often used to colour and flavor products.
dunder- it is yeast rich foam left behind fermentation.
Ester- it is a fragrant compound formed in a reaction between an acid and an alcohol with the elimination of water.
Flambé- it refers to pouring liquor over food and lighting it in order to burn off the alcohol and impart the flavor of the liquor to the dish and for eye appeal.
Grog- it is rum diluted with water. It is also a rum based cocktail with lemon juice and sugar.
Molasses- it is a by product obtained during sugar manufacturing process. It is thick sticky sweet syrup, brown in colour.
Zombie- it is a rum bsed cocktail with pineapple juice and fresh lime juice.


Popular posts from this blog

gueridon service

parts of bar

types of buffet