No matter whatever the reason, rum is for all seasons, wouldn’t you agree? It is perhaps one of the most well-liked alcohols around the world. The history of rum dates far back to the colonial era when it was considered to be a trade necessity.
In today’s times, it is preferred not only as a stand-alone drink but, as an ingredient in cocktails too! So let us briefly brush up the ‘grammar’ of rum. As common knowledge goes, rum is a fermented & distilled alcoholic drink made from sugarcane & its by-products such as molasses, sugarcane juice, sugarcane syrup etc., and then aged in wooden or stainless steel casks.
Rums are generally categorized by colour, the process of distillation, and the period of ageing based on regional variations such as varying rules & laws of the rum-producing countries.
While the colour of rum is determined by the ageing process, the taste and aroma depend upon the yeast, which is added during the process of fermentation. The longer the rum is left to age, the darker it is. However, it also depends upon the molasses which are used in the rum-making process. Dark rums are commonly preferred for consuming neat or straight up, and the lighter rums are mostly used in cocktails.
So, let’s quickly take you through a short list of the types of rums –
Most dark rums are made from caramelized sugar or molasses and go through the process of double distillation. The third distillation leads to a darker, full-bodied black rum with rich and intense flavours. Rum is left in the casks to age for longer which gives a bolder and dense flavour in comparison to gold or light rums and are commonly used in cooking.
Gold rums are medium-bodied, they have a smoother taste in comparison with dark rums and a stronger richer taste than white or light rums.
White rums are also called ‘light’ or ‘silver’ rums and age for a much lesser duration in comparison with gold or dark rums. White rum is left to age in stainless steel casks and often filtered during the process to reduce the colour. Light rums have a slightly sweeter and milder taste which makes them the preferred choice in cocktails.
Spiced rums are golden or darker in colour and made from molasses or sugarcane syrup. Once the clear spirit is left to age in oak barrels and a certain golden tint attained, the rum is then infused with herbs and spices. These spices include rosemary, anise, black pepper, cinnamon etc. Added herbs and spices give a unique flavour to the rum.
This rum is a unique blend of rum infused with fruit flavours such as pineapple, banana, mango, etc., which amplifies the sweetness of rum and, gives it a distinct and complex flavour. Much like spiced rum, this infusion of fruit flavours occurs after the process of fermentation and distillation. These types of rums are a popular choice as a cocktail ingredient.
These are left to age in oak barrels for a long duration which gives a very rich character and flavour. Premium rums are mostly produced and sold by boutique brands.