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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Havana Club Tributo 2017
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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2008

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2008 |

It’s official: WhiskyFest is awesome. Bouncing around the dozens of booths and hundreds of spirits being poured was tons of fun: More intimate than the enormous wine events and studded with wall-to-wall kilts. My final tally: 24 whiskeys tasted (plus a rum and a gin). That’s more than I was expecting to sample, but as…

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Review: 10 Cane Rum

By Christopher Null | September 19, 2008 |

Read any bar menu and you’re likely to find at least one cocktail containing 10 Cane Rum. Why’s it so popular? Let’s explore. For starters, unlike most rums, which are made of molasses, the 80-proof 10 Cane is made from pure, pressed sugar juice. Though it’s technically a white rum, it’s also aged in oak…

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Review: Sagatiba Pura Cachaca

By Christopher Null | September 3, 2008 |

“Fusing more than 500 years of tradition with advanced technology” brings us Sagatiba Pura cachaça, another big entrant into the rapidly proliferating cachaça craze. Sagatiba is a largely representative example of the spirit, 80 proof, fairly clean and noticeably sweet when sipped straight. There is citrus — lemon/lime and a bit of orange — on…

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Review: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2008 |

There’s a dearth of spiced rums on the market, and a severe shortage of ones that are any good. (We’re fans of Kilo Kai, but it remains terribly hard to find at retail.) Sailor Jerry is the personal recipe of Jerry Collins, a 1920s Hawaiian tattoo artist and apparently quite the rum connoisseur. Distilled in…

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Recipe: Leblon-Lychee Popsicle

By Christopher Null | August 28, 2008 |

I haven’t tried this yet, but it does sound awfully good. Recipe courtesy Leblon. Leblon-Lychee Popsicle 1 1/2 oz. Leblon Cachaça 4 oz. Coconut water with the pieces of young coconut meat 1 oz. simple syrup 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice 1 oz. Boiron Lychee Puree Add all ingredients into a shaker tin. Pour contents…

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Review: Mekhong Liqueur

By Christopher Null | August 18, 2008 |

Complicated and heavily spiced liqueurs are always a difficult bag. They tend to blend poorly with other spirits and on their own can be imbalanced. Put it this way: No matter how much you like spiced rum, when’s the last time you had it mixed with anything other than Coke? Mekhong is an unusual spirit…

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Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver, Eclipse Gold, and Extra Old Rum (2008)

By Christopher Null | August 15, 2008 |

Tomorrow (August 16) is National Rum Day, so what better way to celebrate than to sip a little Mount Gay, the first commercially produced rum (per the company), continually produced since 1637 (though the bottles say 1703). They even say George Washington drank this stuff on a stopover in Barbados (my favorite island, by the…

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Review: Leblon Cachaca

By Christopher Null | August 12, 2008 |

Leblon was the first cachaça I ever tried and it remains a perfectly acceptable introduction to the beauty of the spirit. The company was kind enough to send a fresh bottle, and it remains as charming a cachaça as ever. You won’t miss that gigantic green bottle on the shelf (it barely fits in my…

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Review: Tommy Bahama Rum – White Sand and Golden Sun

By Christopher Null | August 8, 2008 |

When the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Felten named Tommy Bahama white rum his favorite of some 10 rums in a blind tasting, I figured I had to try it. The company was kind enough to send both of its rums, light and dark, to be put to the test. Both are bottled in Barbados (not,…

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Original Recipe: El Cosmito

By Christopher Null | August 8, 2008 |

Something fun for the ladies using rum as the base spirit instead of vodka… El Cosmito 1 1/2 oz. white rum 1/2 oz. Cointreau (or other orange liqueur) 1/2 oz. peach brandy 1/2 oz. Damiana 1/4 oz. agave nectar cranberry juice Put first four items in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into…

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