Rum is not always sweet, all rum is made from sugar. No, that does not mean it is sweet. Yeast converts sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide before it goes into the still. A white rum can be as dry as any liquor. And aging in oak adds tannins and other wood flavorings that can produce dark rum as flavorful as Scotch.
Rum is not only best mixed with fruit juices. Rum
has traditionally been a cheap spirit, and so was often
mixed with cheap juices for frat parties. A good rum holds
its own in classic cocktails like a rum Manhattan or a rum
Old Fashioned. The finest aged rums are best appreciated
Rum is not just a Caribbean/West Indian spirit.
Rum’s commercial birthplace may have been the sugar cane
fields of the islands and the tropics, but prior to the
American Revolution, dozens of rum distilleries existed in
New England. Today, rum is a North American product, with
craft distillers making distinctive rums from Boston to
Pirates did not always drink rum. Pirates drank whatever
they could plunder, and in the early days, that was chiefly
Spanish wine. Contemporary accounts of the dreaded Captain
Morgan do not
even mention rum. It was not until the late 17th and early 18th
centuries that pirates started to drink rum, concurrent with
the rise of the West Indian rum trade.