Ah, rum! That captivating spirit that launched a thousand ships throughout history in pursuit of its glory. A by-product of sugar cane, there are few rules when it comes to rum. While most would associate rum with the Caribbean, the production of rum is actually a world wide phenomenon. There was even a time that rum reigned in the United States. During the 17th and 18th-century sugar cane was imported from the Caribbeans for the purpose of rum production in Northern America. New England became the rum capital of America.
There are many variations of rum. Here are a few:
LIGHT RUM - also referred to as "silver" or "white", light rum is clear in color and tends to have a milder, sweeter flavor.
DARK RUM - dark in color, dark rums are generally aged in charred barrels and tend to have a spicier flavor. However, some dark rums are made with the addition of caramel to achieve color.
OVERPROOF RUM - the standard rum has an ABV of 40% or 80 proof. Overproof rums have a much higher alcohol content, such as Bacardi 151 that has a proof of (you guessed it) 151 or 75.5% ABV.
SOLERA RUM - a process in which younger rums are blended with older aged rums. Solera rums have been known to cause controversy with some distilleries advertising their rum with the age of the oldest rum included in the blend. (Ex. a rum advertised as 30yrs but is really a blend that may include a rum as young as 6 years.)
Now that we've covered some of the types rums there are, here are a few of my favorite rum recipes:
Dating back to the 1930s, this cocktail follows the "old fashioned" formula of spirit, sugar, and bitters.
If you know any "tiki" drink, you must know the Mai Tai. Jamaican rum shines in this (surprisingly) refreshing but boozy cocktail.
A healthy dose of Aged Rum cooled down with pineapple juiced and topped with club soda.
An old fashioned style cocktail that features aged rum and substitutes traditional sugar with Velvet Falernum.
A refreshing mix of rum, lemon, and mint.