Party time

“Having a rum time”

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Rum Day is upon us! I’ve been finding out about alcoholidays just a smidge too late to properly celebrate, but I caught this one in time. So, start planning your festivities! On August 16, we will be commemorating the 348th anniversary of the establishment of the first Colonial American rum distillery on National Rum Day.

Here is your guide to ordering, drinking, and talking about the celebrated beverage:

Rum- the making of

Made by distilling sugar and water.  The sugar is fermented from sugar cane juice or molasses, distilled, and then aged in oak barrels.

Rum- the lingo

Double distilled- SMOOTHER. More impurities taken out.

Agricultural Rum- made only with sugar cane juice (no molasses)

Slow aged- every part has to be at least as old as advertised on the bottle.

Neat- no ice, straight out of the bottle (no mixer)

Cooking Rum- same rum as you would drink straight.  Look for one based from molasses, like dark rum (see below).

Rum- the evaluation of

From light to dark and from under 40 proof to 86 proof, rum comes in a wide variety and can have a wide range of effects on your body.

  1. Light (White or Silver) Rum- not much flavor other than sweet, used mostly as a mixer. Filtered to remove color.
  2. Gold Rum- medium bodied. More flavor, and stronger than white, less than dark. Aged in charred wooden barrels.
  3. Dark Rum- hints of spices, molasses, and caramel.  Aged in heavily charred wooden barrels. Comes in red, brown, and black.
  4. Spiced Rum- usually dark rum with spices and maybe caramel added in.
  5. Flavored Rum- high sugar content, very sweet. Used in mixed drinks. Fruity flavor. Usually 40% ABV
  6. Overproof Rum-rum with ABV of 60-80%.
  7. Premium Rum- Specialty rum, carefully aged and produced as a sipping rum.  Order neat. Most expensive.

Rum- the cocktails 

Fruity, girly drinks galore! While some cocktails are pretty tame, beware of what you’re drinking.  The super sweet and fruity flavor can hide some pretty serious alcohol content.

  • Caribou Lou– rum+Malibu rum+pineapple juice
  • Rum and Coke a.k.a Cuba Libre – rum+Coke or rum+Coke+lime.  A new variation is Coppertone– Malibu rum+ cherry coke.
  • Blue Hawaii– rum+vodka+curacao+pineapple+sweet & sour
  • Bumbo– rum+water+sugar+nutmeg
  • Corn ‘N Oil– blackstrap rum+ falernum
  • Dark ‘N Stormy– dark rum+ginger beer
  • Daiquiri-family of drinks whose base is rum+lime juice+sweetener
  • Hurricane– white rum+dark rum+fruit juicce+lime juice+syru
  • Long Island Iced Tea– gin+tequila+vodka+rum+usually lemon juice+triple sec+Gomme syrup+cola
  • Mai Tai-white rum, dark rum, curacao, Orgeat syrup, lime
  • Mojito– white rum+sugar+lime juice+sparkling water+mint
  • Pina Colada– rum+cream of coconut+pineapple juice
  • Rum Swizzle– rum+orange juice+pineapple juice+ lemon juice+falernum
  • Zombie– white rum+golden rum+dark rum+brandy+pineapple juice+papaya juice+ 150 proof rum+ grenadine (FYI the name is a warning.)

'Rhum Saint James' photo (c) 2011, Frédéric BISSON - license:
Rum- the skinny

  • Because it is made from sugar and is usually combined with sugary mixers, it pays to be mindful of calories when you’re dealing with rum.
  • An average daiquiri runs at about 675 calories. Those are even smaller portioned and less fruit juice than many rum based cocktails. Yikes…
  • A less damaging choice on Rum Day might be a rum and diet coke (a diet Cuba Libre?) or a neat rum.

Rum- the legend

  • George Washington reportedly gave out bumbo to influence voters in Virginia to vote for him. He used 160 gallons out on 391 voters. The practice came to be know as “swilling the planters with bumbo.”
  • Sometimes referred to as “Devil’s Water” or “Pirate’s Drink”
  • Made mostly in and associated with the Caribbean and Latin America. However, its origin is suspected to be China or India.
  • Jack Sparrow uses rum to escape abandonment on a deserted island twice.