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Rum a Must Have Component

Rum comes from a grass (saccharum officinarum) we call sugarcane. It is the alcoholic distillate or a mixture of distillates fermented juice of sugarcane, sugarcane molasses, or
other sugarcane by-products distilled at less than 190 proof (whether or not such proof is further reduced before bottling to not less than 80 proof). The distillate must possess the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to the libation.

Rum is produced all over the world, wherever sugarcane grows and gets its name from the Latin "saccharum" which means sugar.


The production of rum begins with harvesting the cane. The freshly cut cane is brought into the sugar mills, where it is passed through enormous, very heavy crushing rollers that express the juice. The juice is boiled to concentrate the sugar and evaporate the water. Then it is clarified. The result is a heavy, thick syrup. The sugar in the syrup is separated and removed. What remains is molasses. This molasses is then fermented and distilled into rum.


There are four main classifications of rum:

  1. Very dry, light bodied rums; generally produced in the Spanish-speaking countries, of which Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Nicaragua are good examples.
  2. Medium-bodied rums; Barbados and Demerana being two examples.
  3. Rich, full-bodied, pungent rums; which are usually produced in the English speaking islands and countries such as Jamaica and a special rum out of the British Virgin Islands called Pussers Rum
  4. Light-bodied but pungently aromatic; East Indian, Batavia, Arak rum as from Java.

All of these classifications of rum are not restricted to the examples used. Any country can produce more than one type, but some areas are more famous for one particu1ar type more than others

Rums are mainly produced in the region of the Caribbean Sea, including the West Indies and the surrounding countries of Northern and Central America.

Each Rum has it's own unique qualities and attributes. Like the wines of France, rums are labeled as to the area of origin and by law can not be classified by type. Also like wine, the subtle differences in rums can come from the growing area (weather, soil type, humidity, etc.) and the affects it has on the sugarcane plant. The molasses carries the characteristics of the plants and concentrates them. Like most spirits and wines, rums are blended to achieve taste and quality consistency.

Other factors affecting the final product are the distillation process itself (Aguardentes, coming from the middle distillate), the aging process (how long, what type of barrel, charred or not, etc.) and as in special rums, the flavoring additives.

From Rum to Vodka

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