Rum is alcoholic liquor which has a strong yet sweet flavor. It is indeed one of the oldest distilled spirits and is made from byproducts of sugarcane i.e., molasses and sugarcane juice. The liquor formed after the fermentation and distillation is stored in charred oak casks for aging. Aged rum has a dark brown color and can be consumed straight, with water and ice or with other drinks. Most of the world’s rum is produced in the Caribbean Islands of North America.
History And Origin Of Rum Drinks
Southern Caribbean Island was one of the first islands to produce rums. The sugarcane was widely grown here by British settlers. Sugar cane was also a prominent crop in Hispaniola, Cuba and Puerto Rico in the 16th century. The sugar factories set up in these places were making use of distillation process and molasses was used as a feed for livestock. However, in Brazil, the molasses was being used for producing a raw tasting spirit which was consumed mostly by the African and Indian slaves of that region. It was then is mid 1600s when the French, British and Dutch colonized the East Caribbean Islands that this alcoholic drink was produced by good quality sugar. Rum got its name also this time, as earlier it was referred to as brebaje. This distilled alcoholic drink is also called as Rhum in French.
The taste of this alcoholic drink at that time was strong and terrible when compared to the rums produced today. It was also named as kill-devil in Barbados because of its awful taste. In 1650s, a new version of this alcoholic drink was made and was called rumbullion which meant great uproar. Low grade West Indian rum was named as Tafia and this rum had a light brown color.
By the 19th century, rum industry flourished with a number of distilleries growing all over these islands. Approximately, 18,000 gallons of Puerto Rican rum was exported to US at a time in the year 1897.
Method of Preparation Of Rum Drinks
Sugarcane is the main component used for making rum. The sweet juice of sugarcane is extracted and then turned into molasses by a distillation process. Molasses resulting from this process contains over 50% of sugar and also comprises of minerals and other trace elements. These minerals and elements help in imparting rich flavors to this alcoholic drink. Molasses undergoes a process of fermentation and the liquor achieved is called rum. This alcoholic drink is stored in casks for aging and the type of cask used for storing is an important factor in determining the color of rum. The drink stored in charred oak casks is usually golden brown in color, while when it is stored in stainless steel, the drink is colorless. Dark caramel use also adds color to this alcoholic beverage.
Varieties Of Rum Drinks
- Light Bodied Rums- These rums are also known as white rums or silver rums. These rums are aged for a year or less and therefore have a pale color. Even the flavor of white bodied rums is also very mild. White rums are mostly used for making mixed drinks. These light rums are mostly produces in Puerto Rico.
- Medium Bodied Rums- The rums which are aged for 2-3 years are referred to as medium bodied or golden rums. The color of these rums is darker than white rum and so is the flavor. They are also called as amber rums.
- Dark Rums- As the name suggests these rum drinks are dark in color and their color reflects their long aging duration which varies from 5-7 years. Rich in flavor and aroma, these rums have an amazing taste and are mass-produced mainly in Nicaragua and Guatemala.
- Spiced Rum- This variety of this alcoholic drink is aged for less than a year and contains flavor of tropical ingredients. Spiced rum drink is also known as aromatic rums. Cinnamon, pepper, rosemary and aniseed are most often used to make this spiced alcoholic beverage.
- Demerara Rums- It is the darkest rum drink which is immensely rich in taste. It has a sweet and strong flavor and is commonly used in cocktails.
- Añejo Rums- These rum drinks are also known as aged rums. The drink is mostly aged for duration of 5-7 years. The flavor is mellow and the aroma is pretty strong in this variety of rums.
- Overproof Rums- These rums are also known as high proof rums and are often used as a float in cocktails. This variety contains 75% pure alcohol and thus can be cause danger to one’s life if consumed excessively.
Culinary Uses Of Rum Drinks
- Rum drinks can be used for a number of cocktail preparations. Light white rums are commonly used in cocktails.
- This alcoholic drink is mostly used for giving a rich flavor to the batter, creams, and sorbets.
- It is also added in variety of fruits salads.
- Rum drinks give sponginess to various cakes and also help in enhancing their flavor.
- This distilled liquor is used for marinating as well as for preparing sauces.
- For adding shine to the pancakes and softening dried and candied fruits, the rum drinks are commonly used by many.
Popular Rum Recipes
- Banana Rum Puffs -This dish consists of pastry purses with stuffing of bananas, cream cheese and rum. The pastry is baked and dusted with sugar. The dish has a creamy texture and tastes amazing.
- Banana Flambe - This alcoholic drink is used for flaming this sweet tasting creamy banana dessert.
- Ozark Pudding – This is rich pudding rum recipe which has exotic flavors of walnuts, apples, dark rum and nuts.
- Wassail- It is a traditional holiday drink, popular in Middle Europe. Rum added to the drink, enhances the flavor and makes it one of the sought after drinks during the Christmas season.
- Spiced Carrot Raisin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – Made from micro planed carrots, the cake has amazing rich flavor. Raisins, walnuts, butter and rum combined together in this recipe make this cake a perfect food option during winter months.
Storing Rum Drinks
The rum drink should be stored in a cool dark place. The bottle should be tightly closed in order to prevent the aroma of the drink from evaporation. The bottle once opened, a start lacking in aroma, however, the drink remains intact with flavors. If this alcoholic drink is suspected of a foul smell, change in color or thickness, it should be discarded immediately. The bottle of the rum if not opened can be stored in a cool dry place for a period of two years.
Trivia- Rum Drinks
- During the World War 2, rhum and coke were so popular in US that they were often termed as national drinks.
- Bacardi is the bestselling rum of the current times all over the world. It is Puerto Rican rum.
- Christopher Columbus brought the sugarcane to Caribbean in the year 1493.