It is one of the oldest liquors in existence, and perhaps one of the best-tasting ones out there too. We’re talking about Rum and today, we’ll help you dispel some of the common Rum myths and misconceptions surrounding it.
But first, here’s a quick refresher to this sweet and romantic liquor that many worldwide have come to love and cherish, especially during holidays on a sunny tropical beach.
What is Rum?
Rum is defined as an alcoholic beverage that’s made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice using the distillation and fermentation process. Typically, the distillate, which is usually a clear liquid, is then aged in oak barrels.
The video below should give you a clear idea at how Rum is typically made.
Now that you know a little bit about Rum, here’s a few myths about this liquor that you must know are untrue. If anything, this will make you a better and more informed drinker the next time you decide to have a cold serving of your favourite Rum cocktail.
1. Rum is a Caribbean/West Indian liquor
While the sugar-rich islands of the Caribbean and West Indies may be its commercial birthplace, dozens of rum distilleries existed much earlier in America prior to the American Revolution.
Fact: Today, the majority of Rum is produced in the Caribbean and Latin America. Other places where Rum is produced include Scotland, Austria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Philippines, India, Reunion Island, Mauritius, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, the United States, and Canada.
2. There are only 2 types of Rum – white and dark
This particular Rum myth couldn’t be any more wrong as there are actually four types of rum. Here’s a breakdown of all four types that’s widely marketed today depending on how they’re distilled, and how long they’re aged:
i) Light or White Rum (i.e. Angostura Reserva)
This clear and colourless liquor with a light and refreshing flavour has been filtered multiple times to rid it of any impurities. It also hasn’t been aged long, and is commonly used in mojitos and daiquiris.
ii) Gold or Amber Rum
This designation is given to Rum that’s been aged for sometime, resulting in its signature colour plus its sweeter and richer flavour.
iii) Dark or Black Rum
This particular type of Rum has been aged for the longest amongst the lot. It has a darker colour with a smoky-sweet flavour to it.
iv) Spiced Rum (i.e. Captain Morgan, Sailor Jerry)
This specifically details Rum that’s aged for as long as black rum but has spices and caramel colorings added to create its signature sweet spice taste.
3. Rum is always sweet
Though it is a by-product of the sugar industry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all Rum are made sweet. That because the yeast converts the sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide before it goes into the still.
As a result, white rum can be as dry as any other liquor. Aging in oak adds tannins and other wood flavorings can produce dark rum that’s as puckery as Scotch Whisky.
4. Rum can only be mixed with fruit juices and colas
This is yet another common Rum myth that needs dispelling immediately. While the world’s most popular cocktails recipes are Rum-based, the finest aged ones are in fact appreciated neat. Classic cocktails like Rum Manhattan and Rum Old Fashioned are also enjoyed without the juices and colas.
In actuality, Rum, like any other fine liquor or spirit, can be mixed with anything. It all depends on what your desire in a mixed concoction really, and we’ll explore this side of Rum in a dedicated post.
5. “Rhum” is a French affectation
If you travel often enough in and out of French-speaking, Rum-making nations such as the isle of Martinique, you’ll often see Rum products labelled as “rhum” instead. This isn’t just French contrariness or even a typo as some have come to believe.
Rhum is typically used to distinguish Rum made from fresh sugar cane juice apart from ones made using molasses. In white rhums especially, you can expect it to have aa funkier, grassier flavour as well.
6. Pirates drank Rum
This is perhaps one of the biggest and most popular Rum myths about that’s fuelled by TV and movies.If you know your naval history well enough, pirates actually drank anything and everything they plundered, and it usually isn’t Rum. Back in the early heydays of “privateer” piracy, the spirit that’s most commonly looted and consumed by pirates are Spanish wines.
Based on contemporary accounts, Rum only became a pirate’s favourite in the 17th and 18th century instead. This coincides with the rise of the Rum trade that began bustling out of the West Indies.
About Editor 2.0
An avid boozer and word-stringer who's paid to drink and write for the revamped Boozeat Blog 2.0
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