Showing posts with label Rum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rum. Show all posts

Aug 15, 2015

National Rum Day

We celebrate National Rum Day on August 16 in the US. The origin of the word rum is unclear. The name may have derived from rumbullion meaning "a great tumult or uproar". Some claim that the name is from the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as rum rummers. Other options include contractions of the words saccharum, latin for sugar, or arôme, French for aroma.

In current usage, the name used for rum is often based on the rum's place of origin. For rums from Spanish-speaking locales the word ron is used. A ron añejo indicates a rum that has been aged and is often used for premium products. Rhum is the term used for rums from French-speaking locales, while rhum vieux is an aged French rum.

Go ahead and sip a bit of rum all day long. Or start today and make your own spiced rum.

    1 (750-mL) bottle light Rum
    1 Vanilla bean
    3-inch slice Orange peel, white pith removed
    1 Cinnamon stick
    2 Allspice berries
    4 Cloves
    6 Black peppercorns
    pinch ground nutmeg
    1 slice fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter

Add all the ingredients to a wide-mouthed, airtight container and seal. Let stand for about two days and taste. Strain the spices out and re-bottle the liquid.
Note - some lower-quality commercial products tend to overplay the vanilla—cut back on that and the other flavors emerge nicely.

Four Rum Myths Dispelled

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 neat.

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 Hawaii.

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.

Feb 13, 2015


It was originally called rumbullion. Richard Ligon in 1651 said, “Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill . . . is made of suggar cane distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor . . . will overpower the senses with a single whiff.” 

The world rumbullion formerly existed as either Royal Navy jargon for “an uproar” or Creole slang for “stem stew” It was shortened to rum years later, but its reviews did not get any better. In 1654 a General Court Order was issued in Connecticut to seize and destroy “whatsoever Barbados liquors, commonly called rum, Kill Devill, or the like.” Demon rum was first coined by Timothy Arthur in his 1854 temperance play “Ten Nights in a Barroom,” and it wasn't long before the phrase came to describe all forms of evil alcohol.

May 9, 2014

Bacardi Bats

Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world. It has a portfolio of more than 200 brands and labels. Rum drinkers have likely noticed the bat symbol on Bacardi products.

The Bacardi brothers purchased their first distillery in Cuba which had a tin roof and fruit bats lived in the rafters. Bats in Cuba are considered a symbol of good health, good fortune, and family unity. That is why it is used as the symbol.

When you see Ron Barcardi, it is not the owner's name, ron means rum in Spanish.

Aug 20, 2010

Rum and Tots

For hundreds of years, Royal Navy seamen lined up in galleys from the poles to the tropics to receive their regulation lunchtime tot (about eighth to half pint) of rum, but 40 years ago, the tradition was ended. On 31 July 1970, known in the navy as Black Tot Day, free rum was retired from navy life.

By 1970, the rum bosun's daily doling out of of rum at midday, diluted with water (grog) for junior ratings, neat for senior - was a reasonably gentlemanly affair. A grog was a mixture of two pints water and a half pint rum. The Admiralty took away the rum because it was concerned it would hinder sailors' ability to operate increasingly complex weapons systems and navigational tools.

Beer had been the staple beverage of the Royal Navy until the 17th Century, used as a self-preserving replacement for water, which became undrinkable when kept in casks for long periods. As the horizons of the British Empire expanded, the sheer bulk of beer, the ration for which was a gallon per day per seaman, and its liability to go sour in warmer climates, made it impractical to take on long voyages. Wine and spirits started to take the place of beer place until 1655, after the capture of the island of Jamaica from Spain, the navy introduced rum.

Until 1740 the daily ration was half a pint of neat rum, twice a day. Sailors would check their rum had not been watered down by pouring it onto gunpowder and setting light to it, from where the term "proof" originates. By volume, 57.15% alcohol has been calculated as the minimum required for it to pass the test.

Alcoholic proof in the United States is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume . Consequently, 100-proof whiskey contains 50% alcohol by volume; 86-proof whiskey contains 43% alcohol, etc.

Aug 13, 2009

Captain Morgan

The Captain wasn’t always just for mixing spiced rum with Diet Coke. In the 17th century he was a feared privateer.

Not only did the Welsh pirate marry his own cousin (like Jerry Lee Lewis and Einstein), but he ran risky missions for the governor of Jamaica, like capturing some Spanish prisoners in Cuba and sacking Port-au-Prince in Haiti. He also plundered the Cuban coast before holding for ransom the entire city of Portobelo, Panama.

He later looted and burned Panama City, but his pillaging career came to an end when Spain and England signed a peace treaty in 1671. Instead of getting in trouble for his high-seas hi-jinks, Morgan received knighthood and became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica. Now I know why I like the guy. . . and the rum.