Today is World Rum Day!
Rum is a liquor distilled from sugarcane byproducts — sugarcane juice, sugar cane syrup, or molasses.
Now, because of its different colors and tastes and lack of specific distilling guidelines, Rum has had a sordid past: from scurvy pirates, to the drunken British Navy, to the American Slave Trade. However, it survived from its “cheap slop” origins to become an excellent cocktail mixer.
Types of Rum
- White – also known as light or silver and used in most drinks
- Aged – amber color comes from the oak casks
- Gold – gold color usually comes from additives but can also be aged
- Dark – double or triple distillation process
- Spiced or Flavored
- Rhum Agricole – only made in the French-colonized Caribbean Islands
- Cachaça – only be made in Brazil
- Overproof – commonly used for drinks that require a flambé treatment
See Rum 101: An Introduction to the Different Types of Rum and How They’re Made online at The Manual for more details.
Which Caribbean Islands make their own Rum?
- Anguilla: Brand – Pyrat Rum
- Antigua: Brands – Ron Miel Jamaiquino, The Antigua Distillery, and Soldiers Bay
- Barbados: Brands – Caraibe Ron, Cockspur, Kaniche Rum, Mahiki Rum, Malibu, Mount Gay, Plantation, Rum Sixty Six, Shellback, and The Real McCoy
- Bermuda: Brand – Gosling’s Rum
- British Virgin Islands (BVI): Brand – Pusser’s Rum
- Cayman Islands: Brand – Tortuga Rum
- Cuba: Brands – Cubanacan, Guayabita Del Mar, Havana Club, Legendario, Matusalem, Pacto Navio, Ron Caney, Ron Cubay, Ron Edmundo Dantes, Ron Mulata, Ron Varadero, Santero Ron, and Santiago de Cuba
- Dominican Republic: Brands – Atlantico Rum, Ron Barcelo, Bodegas 1492, Brugal, Columbus, Cubaney, Macorix, Opthimus, Puntacana, Ron Bermudez, Ron Summum, and Vizcaya
- Grenada: Brands – Clarke’s Court Rum and Westerhall
- Guadeloupe: Brands – Damoiseau, Karukera, Longueteau, Musee Du Rhum, Reimonenq, Rhum bielle, Rhum Bologne, and Severin
- Haiti: Brand – Rhum Barbancourt
- Jamaica: Brands – A.D. Rattray, Appleton Estate, Coruba, Myer’s Rum, and Wray & Nephew
- Martinique: Brands – Clement, HSE, J Bally, La Favorite Rhum, La Martiniquaise, La Mauny, Neisson Rum, Rhum Depaz, Rhum Dillon, Rhum JM, Saint James, Tatanka Rhum, and Trois Rivieres
- Puerto Rico: Brands – Bacardi, Captan Morgan, and Don Q
- Saint Kitts: Brand – Brinley Gold Rum
- Saint Lucia: Brands – Admiral Rodney, Elements Eight, and Toz Rum
- Sint Maarten: Brand – Topper’s Rhum
- Trinidad & Tobago: Brands – Angostura, Caroni, Kraken, and Zaya
- US Virgin Islands (USVI): Brands – AH Riise Rum, Calico Jack, Cruzan, and Sailor Jerry
Central and South American Rum
Central and South American countries (Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and even Venezuela), of course, are major players in the Rum industry too.
In addition, Rum is produced all over the world in more than 80 countries from the USA to Sweden to Poland to Madagascar to the Philippines to Australia and New Zealand. Surprising list, right? Yes indeed! However, Rum from the Caribbean is still considered to be where you truly please your Rum palate.
Smooth Sipper Rum Recommendations
According to the Rums of the Caribbean blog post by Caribbean Travel online, and shown below, there are some finely distilled and aged varieties that should be savored straight or over ice.
- Antigua’s English Harbour 1981 Rum
- Barbados’ Mount Gay Eclipse Gold
- Cayman Islands’ Tortuga Citrus Honey
- Cuba’s Havana Club Añejo 15 Año
- Dominican Republic’s Ron Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Familiar
- Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve
- Jamaica’s Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old
- Martinique’s Rhum Agricole Vieux Niesson
- Puerto Rico’s Bacardi 8
- Saint Lucia’s Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
- Trinidad’s Angostura Gran Anejo
- Belize’s Traveller’s 1 Barrel Rum
- Guyana’s El Dorado Special Reserve 21 Year Old
I can definitely agree with some of the choices above. In 2019, I enjoyed slow-sipping on a Bacardi 8 in an outdoor San Juan, Puerto Rico cafe and both Saint Lucia’s Chairman’s Reserve and Antigua’s English Harbour 1981 rums over ice after doing resort site inspections on those particular islands. All different tastes and finishes and all very smooth. I cannot wait to try the others! Check out Caribbean Travel‘s blog post for details of each rum.
I’m sure you know by now that I love my cocktails, so here are some classic cocktail recipes that I have enjoyed through the years.
- 1-1/2 ounces of white rum
- 3/4 ounce of lime juice (preferably fresh-squeezed)
- 1/4 ounce of simple syrup
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups ice cubes
Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Strain into a chilled champagne glass.
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups ice cubes
- 2 ounces white rum
- 3/4 ounce Triple Sec
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons amaretto
Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Place remaining ice in a rocks glass. Add the rum, triple sec, juices and amaretto to shaker; cover and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on outside of shaker. Garnish with a lime slice and twist.
- 1 to 1-1/4 cups ice cubes
- 1 ounce vodka
- 1/2 to 1 ounce tequila
- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce white rum
- 1 ounce sour mix
- 1 ounce Triple Sec
- 1/2 ounce cola
Put ice in a Collins or highball glass. Pour all ingredients except the cola into the glass. Top the drink off with some cola, stir, and garnish with a lemon.
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon wedge
- 1 1/2 oz spiced rum
- 3/4 oz orange Curaçao
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz lemon juice
Stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a wide-mouthed bowl or on a saucer. Rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with the lemon wedge and dip in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into the prepared glass and garnish with an orange spiral.
Other Rum Favorites
Classic recipes for Mojito (it’s also National Mojito Day today), Rum Swizzle, and Caipirinha can be found in my World Cocktail Day 2020: Drinking Internationally blog post.
Cooking with Rum
Feast and West wrote an excellent article on How to Cook with Rum that includes lots of desserts and a taco recipe.
But I found a Spiced Rum-Glazed Shrimp recipe from Delish that I’m going to try sometime soon.
- 1 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
Check out the online post for Spiced Rum-Glazed Shrimp for additional instructions that include a video as well.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these at home.