Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage; obtained by the fermentation of sugarcane molasses or sugar cane juice. The distilled result is aged in oak barrels for increasing its qualities. Molasses is a by-product of the sugar-making process and it comes from crushed sugar cane or sugar beets. Most rums are produced in the Caribbean and North and South American countries but also other sugar-producing countries, such as the Philippines, India, and Taiwan.
Though such a popular beverage, its etymology is still difficult to trace back because there are several possible origins for the word “Rum”. It may be derived from Saccharum, meaning sugar or sweet, or from Rumbullion, i.e. Kill Divil. It may have also been named after “rumbustion” which was street language for “uproar” or any obstreperous exuberance. It is often connected to the British slang adjective “rum”, meaning “high quality”, and indeed the collocation “rum booze” is substantiated. However, considering the harshness of early rum, this is unlikely. It is related to ramboozle and rumfustian, popular British drinks of the mid-17th century. However, neither was made with rum, but rather eggs, ale, wine, sugar, and various spices. So that theory is also not very probable. Its also been theorized that it comes from the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as rummers, from the Dutch word roemer, a drinking glass. Other theories consider it to be short for iterum, Latin for “again; a second time”, or arôme, French for aroma.
Its production includes the extraction of the juice firstly, then the fermentation of the product, its ageing and blending and finally it’s bottling.
Many countries require rum to be aged for at least one year. This ageing is commonly performed in used bourbon casks, but may also be performed in other types of wooden casks or stainless steel tanks. The ageing process determines the colour of the rum. When aged in oak casks, it becomes dark, whereas rum aged in stainless steel tanks remains virtually colourless. The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location where rum was produced. Despite these differences, rum can be classified into some specific types.
Our focus for today will be to learn the differences between dark rum and light rum.
dark rum Vs Light Rum
Light, silver or white rum
It is aged for less time than other varieties, that too, mostly in steel tanks to preserve their achromatism.
Light rums have a sweet but subtle flavor and just as much alcohol by volume as darker rums.
Directly after this spirit is distilled it is already clear. To make it into rum that can be sold, producers typically just filter the liquor until it’s free from impurities and ready for a cocktail. Their milder flavors make them popular for use in mixed drinks, as opposed to drinking them straight.
Its characteristics match a lot with Vodka. The production of dry, light-bodied rums began in the late 19th century. This type, produced mainly in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, employs cultured yeast in fermentation, and distillation is accomplished in modern, continuous-operation patent stills.
Good brands for Light Rum are : The Real McCoy (3 Year Old), Bacardi Superior, Ten to One White Rum, Havana Club Anejo Blanco, Myer’s PLatinum Rum, Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc, Diplomantico Planas, Plantation 3 Stars, Don Q Cristal, Bayou White Rum, Flor de Caña (4 Year Old Extra Seco), Cutwater Three Sheets Rum.
Dark, black or golden rum
It starts off as the same clear spirit that makes light rum. However, instead of being filtered and bottled right after being distilled, dark rums are aged first. By ageing the rum in charred oak or wooden barrels for some time, they end up with a darker colour and a bolder flavour.
The longer the rum is aged, the darker it is. Rum that isn’t aged as long may be called golden. Rum can also be darker if molasses, burnt sugar or caramel is added for its colour and flavour.
Dark rums are usually utilized in kitchen use, but they are also used for making cocktails. They are often floated on top of the actual drinks.
Caribbean islands like Jamaica were one of the first places where dark rum was made.
Good Dark Rum Brands are: Gosling’s 151 Rum, Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, Myers’s Dark, Diamond Head Special Dark Rum, Plantation Original Dark Rum, Old Brigand Black Label Rum, Koloa Kaua’i Dark Rum.