The traditional toast of the Caribbean – rum brings to mind sun-soaked holidays thanks to the many cocktails it has spawned. Daiquiri, Pina Colada, Mojito, Mai Tai and Bermuda’s classic Dark ‘n’ Stormy are just some ways you can enjoy your rum mixed drinks – though neat is also a popular option.
Rum is distilled from either molasses or pure sugar cane, depending on where it’s made. Cachaça, for example, is a Brazilian rum made from fresh sugarcane juice.
When it comes to rum there really is no standard. Unlike many other spirits there are no universal regulations for its production – which means as a rum imbiber you can enjoy the endless creativity poured into the bottle by adventurous producers across the globe. Virtually every Caribbean country has at least one distillery to its name – but a few well-known rums come from places as far-flung as the Philippines and Australia. You’ll also want to do your research before you buy rum online, as when it comes to rum, variety is wide.
Light, clear, silver or white rum refers to a spirit that has been aged for a year or less. These tend to be lighter bodied than their darker counterparts. For something with a little more punch opt for an amber or gold rum which has been aged for at least three years and has a sweeter taste. Dark rum – also known as brown, black or red rum – has a woody character with strong notes of caramel and will have been aged for a minimum of five years.
Spiced rum, as the name suggests, has been infused with spices like peppercorn, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, vanilla or ginger to enhance the flavour, while other flavoured rums mix fruits with a light rum.
Rum is sold in various proofs, indicating the amount of alcohol in the bottle. In fact, the concept of ‘proof’ allegedly originated from soldiers in the British Royal Navy – who adopted rum as their beverage of choice - dousing their gunpowder in rum to test its potency. If the rum-soaked gunpowder still ignited, it was ‘proof’ of a high alcohol content. Overproof rums are classified as those that have an alcohol content of at least 57.7% - though many boast 151-proof, equating to a staggering 75.5% alcohol content