Rum is an alcoholic beverage made through a process of fermenting or distilling sugarcane juice or its by-products, such as molasses. The clear liquid or distillate is then aged in barrels made of oak. Rum plays an active role in society as it is a spirit with a vast history. The majority of the rum production of the world occurs in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Usually, dark or golden rum is consumed straight or ‘neat’ and used for cooking or baking recipes. On the other hand, light rum is usually used in cocktails. There are also premium rums that people like to drink straight or on the rocks. Most bartenders will probably tell you that there is hardly a time that rum is not available in a bar, as many cocktails require rum. Is this something you are interested in? If so you might want to check out this course that shows you how to bar-tend like a man.There are variations and grades used for describing rum depending on where the rum was produced in. This is not unlike the variations of wine mentioned in this article, which you might be interested in as well. Even with the variations, these terms are used for describing the various rum types:
Also referred to as ‘white’ or ‘silver’ rum, this type has minimal flavor aside from being sweet. To get rid of any color, light rum is filtered after being aged. Puerto Rico is where majority of light rum comes from. Rather than drinking this straight, a lot of the time it is used in mixed drinks due to its light flavor. For example, a drink called the Cuba Libre is made of lime, coke and light rum. Other drinks that include light rum include the Pina Colada, Mojito and the Daiquiri.
Also known as ‘amber rum,’ this type is a generally aged to achieve a ‘medium body.’ They gain their amber color from getting aged in charred wooden barrels and taste stronger than light rum. Depending on what types of barrels were used, subtle flavors of coconut, caramel, citrus, almond and vanilla may be present. Often gold rums are enjoyed neat or on the rocks, aside from being used in mixed cocktail drinks. These are also popular in dessert and baking recipes such as in the creation of rum cake.
Known for their specific color such as red, black or brown, dark rum is a grade darker than gold rum. These are usually made from caramelized molasses or sugar. As a general rule, these are also aged in heavily charred barrels for longer periods of time. For this reason, dark rums have stronger flavors than either gold or light rum. You might also detect some hints of a spice or two, along with the overtone of caramel or strong molasses. Dark rums also provide the color and the foundation for rum-based mixed drinks. Aside from this, it is the most usual rum-type used for recipes in cooking. Here is a course on basic bar tending that shows you how to create various mixed drinks that include rum. Many types of rum in this category come from areas such as Martinique, Haiti, and Jamaica.
As with other spirits for sipping such as Scotch and Cognac, premium rums are in their own category. Generally, these are bought from boutique brands that carefully sell aged and produced rums. Aging in oak barrels is one essential element for producing a product this superior. It is common to use bourbon and whiskey barrels for premium rums. The rum alcohol interacts with wood to develop smooth characteristics and add subtle flavors. Compared to regular rums, these cost more due to the way they are made. Unlike non-premium rums, this type is aged carefully, resulting in a smoother drink that is full of character and flavor.
It is through the addition of caramel and spices that spiced rum gets its flavor. Many have a dark color with added spices that include pepper, aniseed, rosemary or cinnamon.
Generally less than eighty proof (40% alcohol content), flavored rums are infused with fruit flavors. These may include lime, star fruit, coconut, citrus, orange, mango or banana. Mostly flavored rums are used for adding flavor to other drinks that have a tropical theme such as in a party. For those of you interested in partying like a VIP with maybe a shot of rum in your hand, here is a course that shows you how to do just that.
Usually, mixed in drinks, these go as high as 150 proof and are definitely higher than the standard 80 proof alcohol content than most other rums in the market.
While we’re on the topic, now that you know about the types of rum, here is a course on the four ingredients you need for beer, which you may enjoy as well.