Rum: A Historical Alcoholic Beverage Consumed Around The World

For centuries, people have enjoyed alcoholic beverages as part of their social, cultural, and religious activities. One of the oldest and most popular of these beverages is rum. Originally derived from the distillation of molasses, from either sugarcane juice or the by-products of sugar production, rum is widely recognized as a major staple among alcoholic beverages. 

From the Caribbean to Europe and everywhere in between, rum is consumed and enjoyed on a variety of different occasions. To this day, rum’s popularity remains as high as ever, and its production has also been refined and improved over the centuries. Today, there’s a rum for everyone’s taste, preference and budget. So, let’s take a look at some of the different types of rum that are available today.

What is Rum?

Rum is an alcoholic beverage created through the distillation of sugarcane or its by-products. Depending on the origin and the method of production, it can range in color, flavor and aroma. Light rums are usually crystal clear and possess a light or mild flavor. Darker rums will be much richer in flavor and feature a subtle sweetness. Some rum producers also tend to add flavorings, spices, and in some cases, even syrups, to give the beverage a unique flavor profile.

Light Rums

Light rums, also known as silver or white, are the purest and cleanest of all the types of rum. They are the lightest in body, and possess little to no flavor or color. Light rums are typically distilled and stored in stainless steel for several months, before being bottled. This type of rum is generally used to create popular cocktails, such as mojitos, daiquiris, and pina coladas. Some popular varieties of light rums include Bacardi Superior, Don Q Cristal, Santa Teresa Claro, and Brugal Extra Dry.

Gold Rums

Gold rums are aged in oak barrels or charred oak barrels, which give this type of rum a richer and more complex flavor than white or light rums. They also tend to have a golden hue and a slight woody flavor. Gold rums are usually used in popular rum punches, as well as in other cocktails such as the Mai Tai, Hurricane and Mojito. Some popular varieties of gold rums include Appleton Estate 12 Year Rum, Mount Gay Barrell Select, Bacardi 8 Year Reserve, and Appleton Estate 21 Year Reserve.

Dark Rums

Dark rums are made from high-grade molasses and are typically aged in heavy, charred oak barrels for several years. The aging process gives this type of rum a unique flavor and color, making it a favorite for use in rum punches and other cocktails. Dark rums generally possess a bold flavor with pronounced notes of molasses, spice and caramel. Some popular varieties of dark rums include Leblon Cacacha, Gosling’s Family Reserve, El Dorado 12 Year and Zaya.

Spiced Rums

Over the years, distillers have experimented with various spices to give their rum a unique flavor profile. Spiced rums are made from light or dark rums and are infused with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and other spices. Spiced rums are often used to make popular cocktails such as the Bajan Mule and Dark ‘N Stormy. Popular varieties of spiced rums include Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and Angostura 7 Year Aged Rum.

Flavored Rums

In the last few decades, distillers have experimented with a whole host of flavors to give their spirits a unique taste. Flavored rums are made by infusing light or dark rums with various fruits, such as strawberries, bananas, or mangoes. They are usually sweet and smooth in flavor, making them ideal for a variety of cocktails and punches. Popular varieties of flavored rums include Cruzan Pineapple Rum, Malibu Coconut Rum, Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, and Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum.

Overproof Rums

Overproof rums, also known as “151-proof” rums, are high-proof spirits that have an ABV of at least 75%. They are usually used to create tiki drinks and rum punches, as their intense flavor and intense aroma can stand up to other strong flavors. Popular varieties of overproof rums include Lemon Hart 151, Gosling’s 151, Cruzan Rum 151, and Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum.

Naval-Strength Rums

Naval-strength rums are a type of overproof rum that is typically used by naval forces. These rums come with a high ABV of 57% or more, making them the most powerful types of rum. They are generally used to craft rum punches and tiki drinks, and some popular varieties include Admiral Nelson’s Overproof Rum, Smith & Cross Rum, Pusser’s Rum, and Coruba Jamaican Rum.

Rum is one of the most popular and widely consumed alcoholic beverages in the world. From light, gold and dark rums to spiced, flavored and overproof rums, the variety and versatility of this particular alcoholic beverage is remarkable. Whether you’re looking for a rum to enjoy neat or one to craft up a delicious cocktail, you’re sure to find the perfect type for your taste and preference. So, grab a bottle of your favorite rum and have a drink!