There’s more to rum than just the types of rum to discover. Find out the history of rum!

If you’re a rum lover, you already know that each island in the Caribbean produces its own distinctive rums. Coinciding with the effects of colonization, the dawn of rum culture meant that each island’s rums varied in character, flavor, and even fermentation technique.

The History of Rum

While the exact origin of the name, ‘Rum,’ is disputed, historians and scholars agree that the drink was discovered in the 17th century on the colonized islands of the West Indies. They discovered that fermenting and distilling molasses produced alcohol creating the drink that we all know today as rum.

Different Kind of Rum Come from Different Caribbean Islands

Some distillers produce rum from sugarcane juice instead of molasses, a process that retains more of the sugarcane’s original flavors and often can comes at a higher price. While it should be noted that other parts of the world fermented their own sugar based drinks independently of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, it is Caribbean rum which has come to dominate the global marketplace, largely due to role created for it by European colonization in the 17th century.

Once discovered, rum spread quickly through the colonies, including: North America, Canada, India, and Australia. The well-known liquor even played a part in historical events. For example, in 1808, Australian mutineers seized control of the government when their governor attempted to regulate the use of rum in what was called the Rum Rebellion.

In North America, George Washington celebrated his 1789 inauguration with a barrel of Rum from Barbados. Rum was even included as a part of the daily rations given to British sailors until 1970. Some versions of the legend also state that after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the Royal Navy preserved the body of freshly deceased Admiral Nelson in a barrel of rum as his fleet made the voyage home.

Finding the Spirit of Rum in Modern Culture

Beyond its presence as a staple in tiki culture, rum has also influenced culture far beyond the cocktail world. The sugarcane based liquor has also influenced the history of the United States and the Americas, flowing through the politics and even cuisines of countries all the way from Brazil to Jamaica. Rum is also part of the beginning of modern mixology, with some of the original staples including rum punches and fruity cocktails called ‘grogs.’

Classic Rum Cocktails You Should Try

Given it’s tropical origins, it’s no surprise that many classic rum cocktails feature fruity, complex, and refreshing ingredients. Some signature rum cocktails to try on your next night out should include:

Introducing the Perfect Rum for Any Recipe

From light and refreshing cocktails to warm recipes that will keep those winter chills at bay, Yolo is the perfect addition to any rum recipe. Find out by trying out our favorite rum recipes today!

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