Rum, with its rich history and smooth, sweet flavour profile, is a unique and timeless drink. As a rum drinker and lover who better to tell you more about it, here are five things you never knew about rum.
Oldest Branded Spirit
It is a known fact that rum is the first ever branded alcoholic spirit, It has been around longer than any other modern spirit. Don’t confuse this as being the first ever alcoholic drink, It is the first ever branded alcoholic drink.
Rum has humble origins. It’s precursors date back to ancient India and China and are thought to have spread from here. As far as distillation goes, it was sugar plantation slaves in the Caribbean who discovered that sugarcane molasses could be fermented and then distilled for a pleasant tasting drink we know today.
Pushing Tourism Growth
Modern rum actually owes a lot to advancements in air conditioning and the growth of tourism. The later half of the 20th century saw the viability of modern-day air conditioning, which made it possible for large numbers of people to migrate to warm weather regions where rum remained a dominant spirit. This massive increase in tourists in such regions led to a rise in the popularity of the drink.
A Pirate’s Drink
Rum has had a long association with piracy. While it began due to English privateers trading it as a valuable commodity, many of these privateers became pirates whose fondness for the sweet drink never vanished. This association was only further strengthened by epic literary works such as Robert L. Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island.’
Rum has medicinal properties that were especially useful for armies at war until a few decades ago. The British Army in particular was known to give rations of rum to its sailors as a mixture of rum and wine kept the risk of scurvy (a major threat at the time) at bay. This ration was referred to as ‘tot o’ rum’ and what actually prevented the scurvy was the dash of lime added to the mixture.