Published by Red & White March 29, 2021

The 5 Most Useful Rules for Drinking Rum

Rum is an underappreciated spirit.

When one thinks of manly, sophisticated, classic drinks, rum is rarely on the list. Different to both Whiskey and Vodka, the first choice spirits of many in Eastern Europe, Rum is most often perceived as being mixed with soft drinks or tropical fruit beverages.

Despite those old perceptions, rum has a rich history and an even richer presence in the future as a spirit that can be enjoyed neat, with ice or as the main ingredient in a number of spectacular cocktails.  

Rum is an alcoholic beverage distilled from sugar cane, either from the raw juice or more commonly, molasses (refined from sugar).

After distillation, rum is either immediately bottled, as a clear product, often only used as a cocktail mixer, or, alternatively, aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 1 year, but oftentimes longer, creating a dark, rich spirit that can be sipped like whiskey.

Unlike whiskey, rum has no real standard for grading, aging, labeling, etc. Rums can be clear to very dark. They can be spiced or aged, naturally or artificially with added colour.

While this can make understanding rum a little more difficult, it makes it an incredibly diverse spirit.

Today, you can enjoy a quality rum neat or on the rocks for much less than whiskey.

Rum is undoubtedly a delicious spirit, but there are five rules that need to be taken into consideration in order to enjoy this beverage at it’s best.

The Most Useful Rules for Drinking Rum:

1. Rum is not only for tropical drinks

Rum is usually used as an ingredient to make tropical drinks, but It’s wrong to think rum is only good for Mojitos or Frozen Daiquiris. Rum has a lot more to offer. Don’t be afraid to try another beverage with rum as the foundation.

2. Find a bartender who is knowledgeable about rum

Want to explore how far rum can surprise you with it’s unique taste?

Find a knowledgeable bartender to be your guide… Start a conversation! A good bartender will always be happy to share their passion.

3. Rum isn’t always sweet

Just because rum is made from a sugar cane, it doesn’t mean it has a sweet taste.

Rum is distilled from molasses, a byproduct of making sugar as we know it.

Anything that is distilled isn’t sweet. However, if you take a sip of rum and detect a certain sweetness, you’re not imagining things… Some manufacturers add sugar after distillation giving the spirit the sweet aftertaste.

4. You can drink it with a splash of water or ice

Most liquor is distilled to 40 percent alcohol by volume or 80 proof, but many rums are even higher. These are called ‘overproof’.

For the stiffer serves, you can add some ice or a splash of water to soften them up to help the subtile flavours not be overpowered by the alcohol vapors.

As a rule of thumb, 45% (ABV) or lower you should drink it neatly, but anything above, a little dilution goes a long way.

5. It makes a fantastic cocktail

Dark rum is a great substitute for whiskey in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned in addition to making a classic fresh Daiquiri (rum, lime and sugar mixed with ice and strained into a martini glass.

Those five rules are some helpful information that you need to know, to help you enjoy the taste of rum perfectly.

There are many variants of rum. Choosing your favorite comes down to personal preference.

Red & White

Red & White is Indonesia’s leading full-service wine and spirits retailer since 2014. I'm very happy to provide you information about the liquor world and let's have a drink together at the nearest Red & White store.

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