Some stills are very simple, while others have devices which allow the distiller more control. Overproof or high-proof rum is often only used as a float in cocktails. The crushing extracts the sugar cane juice from the fibrous pulp. The pH of the molasses will also affect fermentation and ideally will be in a range between 4.4 to 4.6 and this may be adjusted but the addition of the acidic residue (lees) left in the still after an earlier distillation. Cachaça is one of the sweetest rums available, though many people—particularly in Brazil—don't like to categorize it as a rum. The process of extracting sugar from cane juice produces a by-product called molasses and this is what most rum is made from. Like rhum agricole, cachaça is location-dependent and can only be made … They are often quite rich and surprisingly smooth. In addition, yeast also initiates chemical reactions in the wash to create compounds such as aldehydes, esters and acids which are collectively known as congeners. Before bottling, quality rums are left to marry in tanks - this allows the different flavours and bouquets of the many rums in the blend to fuse together. The third batch of sugar produced by this process is known as Low-grade sugar and this is used to mix with the next batch of syrup to start the process again. The fewer congeners, the lighter the rum, the more congeners the heavier it will be. So with rum what you see is not necessarily what you get. This taste profile is a result of either the production of congeners (organic compounds produced during production) or the addition of caramel. Some distillers use chilled heads on their retorts which condense the vapours as they rise up causing them to fall back into the chamber. Depending where you are, the pulp waste can later be burned to generate power or to heat the still. Similar in color and body to gold rum, aged rums should be distinguished from their counterparts because these do not include any additives. Sure, alcoholism is a rising problem and it had led to many deaths, broken families and illnesses. Put simply steam is introduced at the bottom of the still and the wash mid way up. The harvested cane is washed, chopped into short lengths and milled (pressed) to extract the water and sugar juice. Many rum producing nations have precious few rules governing age statements and additives, and I am not being controversial by saying that some producers take advantage of the lack of regulations or governing bodies. This delicious concoction is the traditional rum punch recipe used in the West Indies, passed down for years. Rum is termed 'light' or 'heavy' depending the level of flavour components or 'congeners' - products of fermentation that are not ethyl alcohol. Rum is a hard alcohol made from fermented sugar. Molasses are so rich in nutriment that the yeast needs to be propagated and slowly introduced to progressively higher concentrations of molasses as its cell numbers increase. Rum, like most alcoholic drinks, is a misunderstood and unsung hero. The use of sugar cane distinguishes rum from all other liquors. It is the most common … It is common for stills with retorts to have tanks under each retort where the low wines and the high wines are sent in preparation for charging the retorts above for the following distillation. Rum 101. Additives used to boost a rum's flavour include prune wine, chaptalized fruit juice, boisse, sugar, spice and flavourings. After six years or so it was common to plant another crop to reinvigorate the soil but modern fertilisers are now often used to stretch a few more years of cane growth. This is filled with high wines from the previous distillation, again diluted with water but to a higher strength. Almost any aged rum can be mixed into drinks and many can stand on their own and enjoyed straight. Look for bottles like Cruzan Black Strap and Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. Light rums tend to have a short fermentation while heavy pot still rums are usually distilled from a wash formed by a long fermentation. The odour, texture and taste of light rums are more subtle and refined than those of heavy rums, which have a heavy, syrupy flavour to match their dark colour. While cachaça was once only available in South America, it's enjoying worldwide fame today. Instead, it's often thought of as a unique distilled spirit that is its own category. These are the richest rums that receive their flavor from aging in charred oak casks. The Singularity of Cuban Rum. A good cutter will average three tons of cane per day but this is a tiny fraction if what a machine can cut and (gradient allowing) mechanised harvesting is now used. Dunder is the term given to lees which have been left in open dunder pits to concentrate the ester content and the acetic/butyric acids. Fermentation can be a quick as 24 hours or as long as a fortnight. Some of these heavier congeners are oily and are referred to as fusel oils. It includes both the light-bodied rums, typified by those of Cuba and Puerto Rico, and the heavier and fuller-flavoured rums of Jamaica.. Rums originated in the West Indies and are first mentioned in records from Barbados in about 1650. Extensively they are glorified copper kettles - indeed in some countries such as the Netherlands even call them 'kettles' rather than stills. Many rum distillers will also use old bourbon barrels for aging because they cannot be reused in that whiskey's production. The volatile 'high wines' or 'heads' will be given off first and set aside. They've purchased 50 tonnes of the Hunter Valleys smoke-tainted grapes and, Not to be confused with their more bitter and alcoholic siblings, Italian red bitter liqueurs, these similarly coloured aperitivo liqueurs are altogether. Appleton Estate master blender Joy Spence, the first woman to hold that job title, … It's also common to find them mixed along with a light rum in many tiki cocktails such as the popular hurricane. Rum is produced from Genus Saccharum officinarun, the giant grass that’s better known as sugar cane. Diplomatico Reserva. The rums produced in tropical climates will generally be aged for a shorter period of time than those in cooler climates. The way the distiller can influence the type of distillate produced varies according to which of these two types of still are used. The type of yeast used varies tremendously from country to country and distiller to distiller. They are the most popular rums to use for cocktails like the Cuba Libre and among the most affordable rums on the market. Charcoal filtration can also remove the colour imparted by age so a three year old rum may be crystal clear when bottled. Also, never use overproof liquors of any kind in cooking or near an open flame because they are highly flammable. Rum definition is - an alcoholic beverage distilled from a fermented cane product (such as molasses). How to use rum in a sentence. The two columns are linked, the second further purifying the vapours from the first while at the same time heating the wash that will charge the first (analyzer) colum. Some popular brands include: Colleen Graham is a cocktail expert, professional bartender, and cookbook author with over 10 years of experience in the food-writing world. Distilleries producing light and heavy rums often blend the two to produce a rum having characteristics of both. White rum: Also known as light rum, white rum is the most common type of rum used in a classic Rum and Coke. Choosing a quality light or gold rum to stock in your bar is a good place to begin. By law, cachaça must be produced in Brazil. It is important to note that climate plays a significant role in how long any distilled spirit is aged for and rum is no exception. Rhum agricole must be produced in the French territories, most commonly the island of Martinique, and it is governed by an AOC (appellation d’origine controlle), similar to Cognac. Rum distinguishes itself from other spirits by the plant from which it is made. As for age statements, in many cases they are just that, statement and not fact. It is at this blending stage where some of rums controversies occur. This potent rum is 75 to 75 1/2 percent alcohol by volume (150 to 151 proof) and can be as dangerous to drink as Everclear if it is not diluted in some way. Or it is a second or third re-fill will make a huge difference to the effect the cask has on the maturing spirit. Conversely, some aged rums are charcoal filtered to remove any colour and are bottled completely clear. This is due to the rules of bourbon dictating that the whiskey must be aged in new white oak casks so once used they are useless to the bourbon industry, other than as a commodity to be sold to other distillers around the world. Rum is made from sugarcane, a crop that Christopher Columbus introduced to the Americas in the 1400s. Due to their plentiful supply, rum is most commonly aged in American oak casks which have previously been used to age American whisky (bourbon). In rum making one of the common additions to pot stills are retorts. As touched upon earlier, particularly when discussing the difference between light and heavy rums, there are basically two types of still used in rum production: pot (alembic) stills and column (Coffey) stills. As the sugar processing industry becomes more efficient so the amount of rum that can be produced per ton of molasses is failing. ('Fancy molasses' is a term for 'inverted sugar' syrup where sucrose has been converted to glucose and fructose with acid or enzymes.). The fact that ageing in oak barrels improves the raw rum was discovered when ships carried rum on the long passage to Europe, it arrived darker in colour and with an improved flavour. This mixture is boiled and then cooled to encourage the sugar crystals to enlarge. But rum isn't exclusive to just one cocktail, as it's the alcohol of choice for everything from mojitos to mai tais to hurricanes. Rum can be made by distilling the beery type liquid produced from fermented fresh sugar cane juice. The origins of a rum and its 'terroir', will affect its style, not only due to local production method traditions, but also the micro-climate, origin of the sugar cane juice / molasses and location and style of ageing warehouses. Coconut rum and spiced rum are the most popular and have been around the longest. Few spirits can make a beach cocktail like rum can. Many distillers, such as Novo Fogo, even play with different types of woods that impart unique flavor profiles to the spirit. This will be the most used bottle because it's versatile and required for the majority of rum … Besides adding a rich, sweet flavor to cocktails, dark rums are the preferred sipper of the rum family, especially fine rums like Angostura 1824. The cane can only be harvested in the dry season and the juice must be extracted within three days. © Copyright odd firm of sin 2020. Column stills are also known as 'continuous stills' because, as their name suggests, they can be run continuously without the need to stop and start between batches as in pot stills. It soon became popular in New England and was produced there as well. This caramelises natural sugars on the wood's surface increasing the vanillins. Photo by Alex Lau. That man's name was Facundo Bacardi Masso and the drink was known as "aguardiente,"" the Spanish word for firewater. The higher alcohol content makes these a popular choice for lighting drinks on fire. Once the cane is burnt it must be quickly harvested and then milled within 24 hours to prevent deterioration of its sugars and bacterial infection. ('Fancy molasses' is a term for 'inverted sugar' syrup where sucrose has been converted to glucose and fructose with acid or enzymes.) Others portray the average age of the rums in the blend and some are simply meaningless. The Brazilian rum known as cachaça differs from others because it skips the molasses and instead uses pure sugar cane juice in the distillation process. These are made from the darkest molasses produced during the third boil while refining sugar. While rum generally does not have tight regulations on its production, rhum agricole is an exception. Because these rums are in contact with the wood for a longer time, they naturally pick up the flavors and colors of the barrel. On rare occasions, a natural infusion of fruits or herbs is used. More modern three and four column stills allow for more efficient rectification. Some newer rums are a blend of agricole and traditional, Rum can also be made from cane syrup, made by boiling cane juice to remove some of its water content. The resulting 'wash' can then be distilled to make rum. All editorial and photography on is copyright protected, Please confirm you are over 21 years old and enter your email, Reviews, Ratings & Our Rules of Engagement. Rum and Coke, or the Cuba libre (/ ˈ k juː b ə ˈ l iː b r eɪ / KEW-bə LEE-bray, Spanish: [ˈkuβa ˈliβɾe]; literally "Free Cuba"), is a highball cocktail consisting of cola, rum, and in many recipes lime juice on ice. The sugar and molasses produced by the first process are termed A-grade and the second B-grade. Gold rums are often aged in oak casks, which also contribute to their dark, smooth characteristics. So if you're soaking in a pool with an umbrella drink in your hand, raise a glass to rum. Reflux increases copper contact and effectively raises the boiling point so producing a lighter distillate. This process is repeated a couple of times and the sugar produced sold on the world market. Get our free book when you sign up for our newsletter. Thus each island and country where rum is produced tends to have its own style, favoured by the native population who have grown-up drinking that style of rum. Many of the early Caribbean rums were produced with molasses and "skimmings" from the production of sugar. This syrup is clarified and mixed with sugar crystals, which provide a core for the dissolved sugar in the syrup to crystallise on. Most will have a sweet flavor. Ethanol alcohol and other desirable compounds are less volatile (slightly heavier) and so follow the low wines. The old rhyme goes, 'One of sour, two of sweet, three … The majority of rum is bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume (80 proof). By far the majority of rums are produced from molasses - known as 'rhum traditional', but also sometimes rather unkindly described by producers of rhum agricole as 'rhum industriel' (industrial rum). Many of these rums make a smooth sipper and can be used in place of light rum in some darker cocktails. You could even think of them as the desserts of the rum world. The liquids placed in the retorts will have a dramatic affect on the finished distillate. In the case of the best producers and regulated markets, these age statements (rightly) represent the age of the youngest rum in the blend. The plant takes between ten months and two years to reach sufficient maturity to harvest and extract its sugars. Some distillers increase the surface area of wood in the cask by inserting oak or charred oak chips. The hot steam rises through the still with each floor or plate acting to distil the wash with heavier compounds unable to rise to the next floor so falling while lighter compounds vaporise and ascend the still. In the 1850s, a Spanish wine merchant living in Cuba set out to improve upon a cheaply made alcoholic drink that was common in the area. Each of these will give the individual rum various and distinct characteristics. These rums are generally aged in stainless steel tanks for up to a year and filtered before bottling. The compounds are flavoursome and depending on the type of rum to be produced, their formation will be encouraged or discouraged by the type of yeast used and the temperature of the fermentation. The hot vapour causes the liquid in the 'low wine retort' to boil and so concentrate the strength of the vapour which then moves on the second retort. The cane is left standing and is only singed by the fire due to its high water content. Rum drinks range from hot to cold, easy to complicated. A longer, slower fermentation will result in a heavier, more acidic wash due to other contaminating bacteria also given time to reproduce during the process. The cut cane is promptly transported to the mill where it is crushed in a machine. It's always a good idea to read the labels so you know what you're buying, especially when it comes to the potential of additives. Charcoal filtration may be used before and after ageing. This is where the distillation step of making your own rum comes in. Rum produced from a pot still or single distillation column is usually described as heavy. Flavoring rum by adding spices and aromatics during distillation became popular in the latter part of the 20th century. Even if this is your first foray into rum, we think it’s OK to … The distillate from the pot still is directed into the first of two retorts, a copper chamber filled with low wines from the previous distillation diluted with water (to approx 50% alc./vol.). The sweet taste of rum makes it a versatile mixer and it is essential for any well-stocked bar. Some say that every year of 'tropical ageing', where the oak's pores are wide open so allowing the rum to soak deep into the wood, is equivalent to three years in a cold warehouse were the pores will be more closed. Perforated copper trays or 'plates' sit horizontally in each, like the floors in an skyscraper. Rum is produced throughout the world and each region and country have different laws and traditions that are used in its production. This filters harsh and undesirable components from the rum and different types of charcoal can be used to remove different substances and so "smooth" the rum. This is fermented and then distilled to make rum (or the neutral alcohol on which some liqueurs are based). Thus Trinidadian rums taste very different to Jamaican rums or Martinique rums. The heaviest compounds, the 'high wines' (those with a high boiling point) come off the still last. For example the first retort may contain low wines mixed with fermented wash, dunder and even some high wines. There are many fascinating brands available to explore and they run the gamut of price and quality. Distillation works on the principle that alcohol boils at a lower temperature (78.3°C /165°F) than water (100°C /212°F). For rum production ideally molasses should have at least 52% sugar content but sadly for the distillers there is no specification for molasses as this is a waste product of sugar processing. This, coupled with the higher concentration of alcohol in the final distillate, makes column stills much more economical to operate than pot stills. As in the first retort, the vapour causes the liquid to boil and the alcohol strength of the vapour is boosted a second time. The sweetness can vary widely and the flavor is also balanced with the smoothness, richness, smokiness, and drinkability. Casks may be scraped clean to remove any previous charring, and/or re-charred before being filled with rum: the quality of these casks, what they previously held, how many times they are refilled and their treatment dramatically affects the character they impart to the rum stored within them. The level of these (esters, aldyhydes and lower alcohols) is dependent on the length of the fermentation and the purity to which it was distilled. Once a field of cane is ready to be harvested, that particular field is sometimes burnt to remove the leaves (and scorpions and such like). Rum can also be made from cane syrup, made by boiling cane juice to remove some of its water content. I wanted to make some rum so that I could make my own Captain Morgans Spiced Rum you will need 1 x 25L fermentation vessel a long spoon, you can get these from homebrew shops yeast nutrient, you can substitute tomato puree for this if you have trouble getting hold of yeast nutrient. These are undesirable compounds, partly due to being tainted as these first vapours effectively clean the still from the previous distillation. Another rum made directly from sugar cane juice, cachaça gained some popularity in the U.S. following the 2016 Olympics. Colour in rum is the result of ageing in oak casks (and also the possible addition of caramel colour). It is produced in more than 80 … It's worth remembering that distillation can only separate and remove flavours while fermentation generates flavour in the first place. Today, rum is produced throughout the world. There are a number of styles of rum produced. In Jamaica it is common for the cutters to leave an odd cane or two standing at the edge of the field. White rums generally have a light sweetness and are an agreeable, easy-to-drink choice. This process of distilling the fermented rum wash will make for a purer and more concentrated spirit. The rate of fermentation and the alcohol level produced is partly governed by the levels of non-sugar dissolved solids, being mainly minerals and Potassium Chloride, high concentrations of which inhibit yeast growth. Modern column still technology allows light and extra-light rums to be produced efficiently and cheaply. The pineapple infusion is sure… Try some of these: As with all rum, quality and price vary greatly from one brand to another. If you are already drunk, don't try to play with fire in your drinks. The type of wood used is often the determining factor in the color of rum produced in the end. White rum can simply be a sugar cane distillate watered down and bottled. There are also origin-specific styles like cachaça and rhum agricole available. This process usually includes the fermentation of the juices of the sugarcane plant, as well as of molasses and other by-products of sugar production. That rum wash currently contains some undesirable contents that you’ll need to separate out and dispose of. The most famous cachaça cocktail is the caipirinha, Brazil's national drink. This method of rum production is common on the French islands, particularly Martinique where it is called 'rhum agricole'. The variety has grown to rival the number of flavored vodka options available. They also allow the production of lighter, cleaner rums. In the US, rum is defined as a spirit distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane byproducts at less than 95% abv and bottled at at least 40% alcohol by volume. By the mid-1700s, rum was being made throughout the Caribbean and South America. Light rums tend to originate from countries originally colonised by the Spanish, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. You can also find mango, strawberry, and many other flavors to choose from. Creating great tasting cocktails at home is easy once you have some recipes. Many rums are then aged in wood casks. The resulting rum is equally as dark, rich, and thick. Aged rums will obtain their golden color from the barrels that they are aged in. 5 Best Cachacas for Mixing up a Fantastic Caipirinha. Don’t splurge on an expensive, mature bottle; it doesn’t taste that much better, and its oakiness will sometimes quarrel with the spices. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Plantation What's left is the thick black liquid by-product known as molasses. Light, gold, dark, spiced, and flavored rums are among the most popular. Thus, you might start with ten casks of rum from a particular batch and ten years later be left with only five casks. These are the kind of stills used in Scotland to make malt whisky and France to make cognac. It is the most common style of rum and is a very subtle liquor, much like vodka with a sweet tooth. Medium-bodied rums are often called gold or amber rum. Malibu is a coconut flavored liqueur, made with Caribbean rum, and possessing an alcohol content by volume of 21.0 % (42 proof).As of 2017 the Malibu brand is owned by Pernod Ricard, who calls it a "flavored rum", where this designation is allowed by local laws. You must log in to your account to make a comment. Traditionally, cane is harvested by cutters wielding machetes, who cut the cane close to the ground as this part of the stem has the highest concentration of sugars, before lopping off the leafy tops. All rights reserved. In general, heavily-bodied rums are those with more congeners and they tend to be made in pot (alembic) stills. Heavy rums traditionally come from former French and English colonies, including Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados, Guyana and the Virgin Islands. Rum is made from sugar cane juice or its by-product called molasses. The majority of "dark" rums fall into this category as well. Put simply the yeast eats sugar and in doing so produces alcohol, heat and carbon dioxide. It is distilled from fresh-pressed sugar cane juice using a Creole continuous column still. Blending is the final process available to the distiller to alter a rum's character. This is a popular rum for creating flamed drinks because the high alcohol content makes it easy to burn. Taken in moderation, alcohol can be helpful and rum is its very tasty kind. Rum is made throughout the world and, while the Caribbean is best known for its rum, there are some fantastic brands produced elsewhere. Rum, distilled liquor made from sugarcane products, usually produced as a by-product of sugar manufacture. Light-bodied rum is sometimes referred to as white or silver rum. Dark rum: Aged longer than most white rums, dark rums have a stronger, more noticeable flavor due to the barrel aging process.