Food + DrinkProduct know-how
An introduction to rum
Rum – same same but different? Pure, in long drinks or in cocktails, real rum experts know about the many different categories, styles and types of rum produced around the world. Read on to find out more about this popular spirit.
One of the best-selling distilled beverages in the world, rum differs from other distillates in its strength and taste. As with all spirits, there are many different categories, styles and types of rum.
Unlike other spirits, rum isn’t made from grain or fruit, but from sugar cane. There are several methods of processing sugar cane and turning it into rum: More than 95% of all rum types are made from molasses. To produce this type of rum, referred to as «Rhum Industriel», sugar cane is chopped up and pressed to extract its juice. The juice is boiled until it turns into concentrated syrup and then into a dark liquid: molasses. Rum is produced by fermenting these molasses. As this is the traditional method to produce rum, this rum is called «Rhum Traditionnel».
Rum made from molasses
Barbados Rhum XO (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
Reserva Exclusiva (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
See our full range of rum made from molasses
As the increasing popularity of sugar cane in Europe lead to a shortage, rum producers needed to react. In the French Antilles, rum producers began distilling fermented sugar cane juice instead of producing molasses. This type if rum is referred to as «Rhum agricole». The sugar cane that’s used for Rhum agricole is grown for the sole purpose of producing rum. As its juice ferments fast, locally sourced sugar cane is used to produce this rum. While fresh sugar cane juice is used for Rhum Agricole, so-called virgin sugar cane honey is used for other types of rum. Rum made of fresh sugar cane juice comes from the French overseas departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and La Réunion and is in a class of its own.
Rum made from sugar cane juice
15 Years (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
Rhum Agricole Ambré (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
See our full range of rum made from sugar cane juice
Rum made from virgin sugar cane honey
Centenario XO Solera (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala
Botran Solera 1893 (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
exclusive rum cocktails
See our full range of rum made from virgin sugar cane honey
Another type of rum that’s worth mentioning is «spiced rum». Artificial flavours are added to this type of rum, making it unsuitable to drink pure, but great for cocktails.
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's Rumbullion (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
William Grant & Sons
Sailor Jerry Spiced (Rum + Cachaça, 1 x 70 cl)
See our full range of spiced rum
More rum terms
While the method of production is crucial for the taste of the final product, there are a range of other terms that you’ll see on rum bottles.
Original rum: This term describes an original rum imported from the country of origin, which is sold unchanged and can have an alcohol content of 74% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Real rum: The same as original rum, but may be reduced to an alcohol content of 74% ABV by manufacturers.
Rum-Verschnitt: A German version of spirit that’s made by mixing genuine dark rum, rectified spirit and water.
Blended rum: Rum which is made by blending together several rums from the same distillery, different distilleries or from different origins.
To go with your rum:
This globe bar featuring a 16th century cartographic reproduction sets a stylish accent in any room.
These articles might also interest you
Eight types of gin you should know about
Exploring the world of beer
New Year’s Eve: Silver and gold highlights for a glamorous start!