Think of rum and you'll be forgiven for having visions of Caribbean pirates guzzling the sugary grog by the barrel full, and sailors giving the one-legged swashbucklers a run for their money. I would encourage you to throw away this ugly fairytale image and reignite your love for the drink that is experiencing a true renaissance.
The origin of the word "rum" is unclear. In 1824, Samuel Morewood, a British etymologist, believed the name derived from the British slang term for "the best", as in "having a rum time." He wrote: "As spirits, extracted from molasses, could not well be ranked under the name whiskey, brandy, or arrack, it would be called rum, to denote its excellence or superior quality."
Rum In History
In the 1650s rum was rationed to the Royal Navy as fresh water was scarce on their epic voyages. Due to every tot averaging at 70 - 80% alcohol it was later mixed with citrus juice; not only did this tasty drink raise their spirits (no pun intended) it fought off diseases such as scurvy.
Have you ever wondered why rum is often referred to as Nelson's Blood? It's a grim fable, but one I'd like to share with you. Legend has it that Admiral Nelson's body was placed in a barrel of rum after he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar. To soothe the rigours of the lonely voyage the sailors would help themselves to the rum swishing around his dead body - hence the term Nelson's Blood; I told you it was grim.
This distilled alcoholic beverage is made from sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. Nowadays it's matured and aged in oak barrels once used for Bourbon. Gone are the days where sugar and flavours are added at bottling, we now experience the pure spirit with all its wonderful complex flavours. Subtle changes in the amount of molasses, choice of yeast strains, distillation process, barrel used and durations of ageing give variations to delight every palate.
Our Treasure Trove
Meet our favourites:
Diplomatica Reserva is an exquisite Venezuelan dark golden sipping rum distilled from molasses in a copper pot and aged for 12 years. It's one of the most awarded rums, with more than 20 awards to its name.
Pink Pigeon is a Mauritian rum blended with vanilla and spices such as nutmeg. Unique and enlightening just like its name sake.
The Kraken's base rum is from Trinidad and Tobago. This spiced rum has plenty of nutty, vanilla and coffee flavours.
Doorly's is a six year old blend of rums from Barbados finished in an Oloroso sherry cask, which adds a lovely character.
Foursquare is distilled at a small family-run distillery in Barbados, every bottle of Foursquare Spiced Rum is a hand-crafted blend of fresh nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
So, if you want to explore this drink which has stood the test of time pop in to see us or visit us online.
From all at Whitmore & White, we look forward to seeing you soon.