There are different kinds of alcohol, depending on regional areas where they originate and come from. One such type is rum. Whether you are a bartender, a common drinker or you simply would like to know something about alcohols, understanding different types of rum is somehow important – in whichever way you deem so.
When it comes to understanding the different kinds of rum, a brief history of the drink is, in one way or another, necessary. This is to have a full picture of what rum is, and how it tastes, that is if you haven’t had the chance to.
Its history dates back in the 17th century, specifically in the Caribbean. The drink was made popular when an American engineer (in Cuba) combined lime juice, rum, water, and sugar to come up with a mixed drink. Some historians also argue that the alcoholic beverage was “discovered” by plantation slaves in the Caribbean, who claim the responsibility for figuring out how to distil the drink.
The drink became so popular that it made its way into North America through trade routes. It then spread to other continents like Europe and beyond. This happened in the mid 1600s, after rum had taken over Caribbean as the most popular alcoholic beverage.
How It’s Made
Rum is one of the many types of liquor, or spirits. You should also understand the difference between spirits and wines. Okay, rum is distilled from sugarcane, or sugarcane by-products such as molasses. No malts are used since the sugar content is very high. Some rum are distilled at high proof range while others are distilled at low proof.
Different Types of Rum
Depending on distillation methods, age and added ingredients, there exists quite a number of Rum-types. They come in different tastes and flavor, but they are still rum. Wonder why they have different tastes yet still referred as rum?
Well, think of it this way, there are several varieties of donuts, they may look and taste different, but they are still donuts. If that is not convincing, then read on.
Actually, there are three main types of rum – Light, Amber (or gold) and Dark. The differentiating aspect is color, flavor and how they are distilled. For example, Light rum has a non-intimidating flavor with no color. It is distilled at high proof range of 150 to 170.
Just as the name goes, it is LIGHT. That is, it is meant for light drinkers who prefer tasty drinks, and something that won’t slap you in the face! This type of rum is distilled repeatedly to remove impurities, and it is the shortest in aging time.
Dark rum is distilled at low proof. This allows it to retain most of its color and flavor, thus darker in color. They are aged in charred oak barrels, unlike light rums, which are aged in plain oak barrels. Most dark rums are aged for a minimum of three years.
Dark rum is recommendable for drinkers who do not mind offensive taste and odor yet prefer a strong and Slap-You-In-the-Face kind of drinks. They are very common in cocktails, and preferred by most people.
Lastly, the Amber rum has the color of a weak coffee – Its flavor is appetizing as well. The color and flavor is mainly influenced by wood casks in which they are aged. Therefore, this color may vary from rich amber to light gold.
So there you have it, good luck with your drinking or cocktail serving, if you are a mixologist or bartender. I hope this piece has been helpful in understanding the different kinds of rum.