You might have enjoyed a delicious cocktail and questioned how rum is made. This quick guide is here to answer your questions about the delicious liquor.
The best drinks in the world have a story. In fact, you could say that they take you on a journey and when you appreciate where some spirits come from and how they are made, they touch the human spirit in all of us.
In this article, you will read about how rum is made. There are 3 basics steps, each contributing to the unique flavor of the rum you drink. The culture of rum has depth as deep as the ocean and you will enjoy it more when you know the craft behind the drink.
The Fuel of Fermentation
Sugar is always the basis of fermentation and that principle with sugar cane is what drives rum production. However, there are some choices that distillers can make with the base ingredient.
Sugar cane can be crushed to produce a sweet juice that can be used directly in the fermentation process. Alternatively, the juice can be further processed into a syrup or further refined into molasses. Each of these stages affects the flavor and style of the rum.
How Rum Is Made - Fermentation Stage
This is usually achieved using large copper pots and stills. This is the stage where the active ingredient of yeast is added to the water and base sugar. The yeast feeds on the sugars and this is what drives fermentation.
The longer the fermentation the stronger the alcohol content. Some rums are distilled more than once to drive up the alcohol content and enhance the flavor. It is worth mentioning at this stage that the type of yeast and where it comes from also makes a difference to the final flavor of the rum produced.
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
Some rums are not aged very long. These tend to be white rums and golden colored rums with added ingredients like caramel and even things like cinnamon for your classic spiced rum.
Real dark rums are aged rums that take on the flavor and color from the barrels that they are aged in. These barrels are often bourbon barrels and can be aged for many years.
Like whiskey, the longer the aging process, the more complex and layered are the flavors offered. Some rums are aged up to 15 years and should be appreciated in their own right.
Time for A Drink
In this article, you have read about 3 basic stages of how rum is made. Now you know that rum comes from sugar cane, is fermented, and aged in barrels. Some younger rums are flavored with caramel or spices.
This is a good foundation in your growing understanding and hopefully appreciation for rum. Rum is very versatile and can be used with a multitude of cocktails, can be mixed with coke for a classic rum and coke, or it can be supped like a fine whiskey.