Rum is a distilled spirit traditionally made from sugarcane juice or molasses and typically aged in oak barrels, although experimentation with other barrels also takes place. Rum is most widely associated with the islands of the Caribbean and Latin American countries, but it is made in many countries around the world, including Scotland, Sweden, and the U.S. In Spanish-speaking countries rum is called ron, though no one knows for sure where the word “rum” itself was born. White or silver rum is either unaged or is lightly aged, then filtered to strip out the color; it is generally intended for use in cocktails. Gold or amber rum is aged in oak barrels, though there are no agreed upon standards on how long this term, nor any real distinction between the terms. Dark rum is usually made from caramelized molasses, aged for a longer period of time, and usually in barrels that have been more deeply charred. Overproof rum can hit up to 160 proof and is intended for use in cocktails, including the Volcano, where the overproof rum is floated on top and ignited. Spiced and flavored rums are also quite popular.

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Review: Ron Abuelo 12 Anos

By Christopher Null | April 17, 2009 |

12 years is a lot to ask for a rum. Well, some rums handle that kind of time without complaint. Some end up begging for mercy. When last we visited Ron Abuelo I was gushing over the Panamanian rum company’s seven-year old expression, and I stand by that. Tasting it fresh today, it’s still delicious,…

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Review: Organic Spirits Lineup – Highland Harvest Scotch, Papagayo Rum, UK5 Vodka, and Juniper Green Gin

By Christopher Null | April 13, 2009 |

Organic everything — that’s the sell of Organic Spirits (aka Maison Jomere), which imports five different products, bottles them disconcertingly in the exact same cylindrical decanter, and puts on each a label emblazoned with the Royal Warrant of HRH Prince Charles. The Warrant is offered for placement on products which have been used for five…

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Review: Mocambo Single Barrel 20 Year Art Edition Rum

By Christopher Null | March 21, 2009 |

“Top shelf rum” and “Mexico” are not terms that often go together, but Mocambo’s 20-year-old effort, straight outta Veracruz, is nearly a masterpiece. This impossibly dark rum, almost the color of maple syrup, offers a nose of smoke and thick molasses. There’s a good bit of fire on first sip, but things mellow out quickly,…

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Review: Ron Abuelo Anejo and Anejo 7 Anos

By Christopher Null | March 10, 2009 |

I’ll be blunt: Ron Abuelo’s rums are as good as rums that cost twice as much and possibly more. Right now the company (producer Varela Hermanos, a 100-year-old firm) offers two rums, distilled in Panama from sugar cane the company grows itself. (Abuelo claims to be one of few distilleries in the world to grow…

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World’s Most Expensive Drinks

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2009 |

I love lists like these (and not just because I’ve had Utopias), mainly because it’s so fun to navel-gaze at this ridiculously expensive booze. That said, I’d love to give the Macallan 1926 a shot. Or two.

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Original Recipe: Mint Juliet

By Christopher Null | January 25, 2009 |

Tales of the Cocktail is soliciting mint julep recipes to achieve a spot as the official cocktail of this year’s celebration/trade show/extravaganza. The only rules: It has to have mint and it has to have sugar. Pretty much everything else is fair game. I went pretty wide — figuring a bourbon-based julep wasn’t going to…

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Review: Sea Wynde Rum

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2009 |

Surprisingly light in color, Sea Wynde hails from both Jamaica and Guyana (it’s blended from five pot stills located in those two countries) and packs far more flavor than you’d think from such a The aroma is very sweet — and quite intoxicating — but it lacks focus on the palate. The sweetness is at…

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Esquire’s Best Cheap Booze

By Christopher Null | January 22, 2009 |

I expect to see lots of recession-minded lifestyle coverage in the upcoming months. Esquire magazine doesn’t disappoint with this roundup of the best cheap spirits — stuff that’s affordable but which you wouldn’t mind actually serving to guests. The winners: Paul Masson Grande Amber VSOP brandy, Brugal Anejo rum, White Horse Scotch, Gordon’s gin, and…

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Review: Depaz Blue Cane Rhum Agricole

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2009 |

That extra H can only mean one thing: Martinique rum, or rhum, as the locals like to call it. Depaz is arguably the biggest name in rhum agricole, with Depaz Blue Cane a staple even on supermarket shelves. The aroma is quite pungent, unmistakably sugar cane with a bit of cachaca-like funk to it. The…

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Original Recipe: The Hope and Glory

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2009 |

The folks at Yahoo! Shine asked me to come up with an “Obamatini” in honor of Barack Obama’s inauguration next Tuesday. Rather than slop some liquor into a cocktail glass and color it blue, here’s an honest cocktail that will let you celebrate the occasion in style! For an authentic Hope and Glory, all the…

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