Winter Special – How Is Rum Made?
Winter season is here and so is the time to sip on some warming drinks. For years, people have believed that dark rum keeps you warm and give you comfort in cold weather and for the same reason avoid it during the summer months. People who believe also suggest that it helps to relieve the symptoms of cough and cold. But, we don’t endorse that one bit!
Keeping advantages aside, have you ever wondered how dark rum is actually made? And what is it that makes it so warm and cosy in this cold weather? We have got all the answers.
Although the roots of rum are not exactly known, it is believed that the development of fermented beverages produced from sugar cane was the first to occur in China. Another version attributes the origin of rum to Barbados Island. Rum is made from sugar cane, which is aged between 10 months and two years, after which it is harvested to be converted to alcohol. The spirit is made from sugar cane juice or by-products such as molasses and honey by fermentation and distillation.
Making of Rum involves many major processes and they are-
Harvesting of sugarcane
It requires about a year or so, and when the field is ready to be harvested, the field is sometimes burned to remove leaves and insects, etc. What has been left is the sugar cane standing due to its excessive water content. It is then dried, chopped and pressed or milled to draw water (75 per cent) and sugar juice (10-16 per cent).
Extraction of sugar
The method of extracting sugar from cane juice creates a by-product called molasses, which is what most rum is produced from. The sugar cane is boiled in order to reduce the water content and leave behind the syrup known as ‘ wet-sugar ‘ which contains approximately 30% sugar. This syrup is clarified and blended with sugar crystals that allow the centre of the dissolved sugar in the syrup to be crystallized. Now, this mixture is boiled and then cooled down to allow the sugar crystals to be enlarged. It is then spin to isolate the crystals from the liquid. The process is repeated a few times; what’s left is a dark liquid that is then fermented and distilled to produce rum.
The manufacturer can determine which base to use to make rum. They then fermented with water and cultivated to create a beer like consistency. The subsequent wash can then be distilled to produce rum.
Rum distillation involves alcohol boiling at a lower temperature than water. The distillation process influences the final flavour and aroma of the different types of rum. The use of the distiller is to isolate and store the desired spirits and flavour compounds in the finished form.
Ageing of rum
Rums are transparent when they are condensed after distillation. Appearance of colour in rum is the result of its ageing in oak caskets other than the possible addition of caramel colour. On the other side, white rum is actually a filtered sugar cane distillate. The aging of rum helps to improve colour and taste.
This stage is to isolate the undesired components of rum, and different types of charcoal can be used to extract and smooth the different substances.
Blending and bottling
It is the final process. Several preservatives are used to enhance the flavour. It is standard practice to add caramel to the aging rum in order to correct the colour and make it look a little older. In the end, the prepared rum is bottled and sold.