Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article discusses rum the liquor. For the Scottish island called Rum (or Rhum), see Rum, Scotland. For the Arabic term for "Rome" see Rüm.
Rum is a spirit made from sugar-cane by-products such as molasses and sugar cane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak and other casks.
Rum production takes place chiefly in the Caribbean, along the Demerara river in South America; Australia, and India. Rum has famous associations with piracy and with the British Royal Navy. Dark rums, golden rums and white rums (actually colorless) exist.
Background & History
The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that by-products of the sugar production process fermented into alcohol. Later, distillation of these alcoholic by-products concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums. Tradition suggests that rum first originated on the island of Barbados.
Richard Ligon wrote in 1647 that slaves on plantations on Barbados would consume kill-devil; he described it as a "hot, hellish and terrible liquor" . (Rum has a particular reputation for its warming effects.)
The popularity of rum spread as trade between Europe and the West Indies increased. Its use as a stimulant, a disinfectant and a medicine enhanced its popularity in hot climates.
For a long period of time, rum-makers used a very crude production process and their product acquired a reputation as the drink of poor people and of sailors. Over time, and encouraged by the prize offered by the Spanish government, the rum-making process became greatly refined. Major figures in this development included the Cuban founder of the Bacardi company, Don Facundo Bacardi Masso, and Juan Serralles, the founder of Serralles Distillers, Inc., in Puerto Rico.
Unlike some other spirits, such as Cognac and Scotch, rum has no defined production methods. Depending on the producer either molasses and sugar cane juice is fermented. Distillation may be done either in batches using a pot still or in a continuous flow operation using fractional distillation. The output from different batches or runs are then blended for a more consistent product.
Aging is performed to remove the hydrogen sulfide present in newly distilled rum and to allow the rum to mature. Used bourbon casks are often used due to the fact that bourbon must be aged in new barrels. This allows rum producers to purchase the used barrels from bourbon producers at a price below the cost of new barrels. In addition to bourbon casks, some rum producers use cognac, sherry, or wine casks.
The name used for a rum is often based on the rum's place of origin. For rums from Spanish speaking locales the word ron is used. A ron aņejo indicates a rum that has been significantly aged and is often used for premium products. Rhum is the term used for rums from French speaking locales, while rhum vieux is an aged French rum that meets several other requirements.
Some of the many other names for "Rum" are Rumbullion, Rumbustion, Barbados water, Rumscullion, Devil's Death, Nelson's Blood, and Rumbo.
Within the Caribbean, each island or production area has a unique style. These styles can be grouped by the language that is traditionaly spoken.
- Spanish speaking islands traditionally produce light rums with a fairly clean taste. Rums from Cuba and Puerto Rico are typical of this style.
- English speaking islands are known for darker rums with a fuller taste that retains a greater amount of the underlying molasses flavor. Rums from Jamaica and the Demerera region are typical of this style.
- French speaking islands are best known for their agricultural rums (rhum agricole). These rums, being produced exclusively from sugar cane juice, retain a greater amount of the original flavor of the sugar cane. Rums from Martinique and Guadeloupe are typical of this style.
Rum has several grades and variations, not unlike the age and color of Tequila.
- Light Rums, also referred to as light, silver, and white rums. In general, light rum has very little flavor aside from a general sweetness, and serves accordingly as a base for drinks. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any color.
- Gold Rums, also called amber rums, are medium-bodied rums which are generally aged. The rum can obtain its flavor through addition of spices and caramel/colour (a variation often sold as Spiced Rum), but historically gains its darker color from aging in wooden casks (typically oak).
- Dark Rum classes as a grade darker than gold rum. It is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels. Dark rum has a much stronger flavor than either light or gold rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong molasses or caramel overtone. It is used to provide substance in rum drinks, as well as color. Some dark rums are considered to be fine and are consumed as sipping rum.
- Flavored Rum: Some manufacturers have begun to sell rums which they have infused with flavors of fruits such as mango, orange, citrus, and coconut. These serve to flavor similarly-themed tropical drinks which generally comprise less than 40% alcohol.
- Overproof Rum is rum which is much higher than the standard 40% alcohol. Most of these rums bear greater than 75%, in fact, and preparations of 151 to 160 proof occur commonly.
- Premium Rum: As with other alcohols, such as Cognac and Scotch, a market exists for premium and super-premium spirits. These are generally boutique brands which sell very aged and carefully produced rums. They have more character and flavor than their "mixing" counterparts, and are generally consumed without the addition of other ingredients.
- Barbados: Cockspur Rum, Malibu Rum , Mount Gay
- Cuba: Havana Club
- Dominican Republic: Brugal, Bermudez, Barcelo - Known as the "Three B'S" These fine rums are renowned for their smooth texture and rich taste. Generally unavailable except in-country, they can be found, occasionally, in Florida and the Dominican enclave in New York City. Rum making is an old tradition in the Dominican Republic. These brands have flourished for nearly 100 years.
- Grenada: Westerhall Plantation
- Jamaica: Appleton Estate, Myer's
- Martinique: Clement, DePaz, St. James
- Puerto Rico: Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Don Q, Ron del Barrilito
- Trinidad and Tobago: Angostura Rums (Angostura 1824, Angostura 1919), Fernandes Vat 19 Gold Rum, Fernandes Vat 19 White Rum, Fernandes Forres Park Puncheon Rum
- Virgin Islands: Cruzan
Central/South American Rums
- Guatemala: Ron Zacapa Centenario, Ron Zacapa Centenario XO ,Ron Botran ,
- Guyana (Demerera): El Dorado
- Nicaragua: Flor de Cana
- Venezuela: Cacique , Pampero , Santa Teresa 1796 .
Rums from Other Areas
- Austria: Stroh, often considered as rum but it is not due to the addition of aroma which is the main reason why stroh is not a rum.
- Australia: Bundaberg
- United States: Pusser's (Associated with Tortola)
Drinks with Rum
Grog, a mixture of rum and water (in varying proportions) takes its name ultimately from British Admiral Edward Vernon's grogram cloak that he would wear in foul weather. The Royal Navy for many years issued a daily grog ration to sailors. Officers, naturally, took their rum unwatered.
The cocktail rum punch comprises rum with fruit-juice. Many recipes exist: the following rhyme details a simple punch:
- One part sour, (lime or lemon juice)
- Two parts sweet, (Grenadine or cherry syrup)
- Three parts strong, (White rum)
- Four parts weak. (Water)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details