Rum is a spirit that has many faces. It can be light and refreshing, or dark and intense. It can be enjoyed on its own, or used to make delicious cocktails. But what exactly is and is not rum? Today, we will explore the world of rum, discuss what the criteria are for an authentic rum, and marvel at its variety, versatility, and broad flavor profile for cocktail lovers of all kinds. Rum is a liquor that has been around for centuries, and its popularity is only increasing. There are many different types of rum, each with its own unique flavor profile.
But first, what exactly is rum? Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane juice or molasses. It is typically aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years. The aging process gives rum its distinct color and flavor and the longer the rum is aged, the darker it will become.
There are several types of rum across the spectrum of flavor that include gold and navy rum as well as different types of premium aged rums but white or light rum, and dark rum are the most popular choices among connoisseurs and amateurs alike.
Light rum is also known as silver or white rum. It is the lightest in color and has the mildest flavor within the run family. White rum is generally viewed as the most refreshing type of rum and used most often for fruity spirits or tropical cocktails like mojitos. It is processed several times to remove any impurities and is aged a very short time to keep its light color.
Dark rum has a rich, intense flavor. It is perfect for sipping on its own or for adding depth to cocktails. Dark rum is also known as black rum. It is very dark in color, has been aged much longer, and has a stronger flavor.
So, now that we know some of the most popular types of rum available, let’s discuss the elements that define rum. Unlike many other spirits, rum has no formal production procedures. Rather, rum is produced using regional and cultural methods that differ by distillers and locations. There are a few rules that must be followed in order to call your liquor an authentic rum. Rum must be made from sugarcane juice or molasses. It must be distilled at less than 95% alcohol by volume. Third, it must be aged in oak barrels but the length of time required to qualify does vary by region as well. Lastly, rum must be bottled at minimum 40% alcohol by volume.
Spiced rum is flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. It is very popular and can be found in most liquor stores in the rum aisle. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding spiced rum and the general consensus among distillers is that it is not actually classified as rum at all. Spiced rums have a rum base but are then flavored with sugars and fruits to create unique profiles that effectively bury the notes of the rum itself. Most guidelines state that rum liquors cannot be “cut” with other flavors and maintain its integrity as a true rum. In addition, many of the spices used in spiced rum are not traditional to the Caribbean, where rum originated.
So, why is rum so popular? The answer is simple: because the flavor combinations for cocktails and spirits made with white, gold, amber, navy, dark, or spiced rum are endless! Whether you’re looking for a refreshing summer cocktail or a cozy winter spirit, there’s a rum flavor out there for you. So go ahead and explore the world of rum to find your own new, unique, favorite cocktail.