The Rise of Rum | We Celebrate National Rum Day

National rum dayIn celebration of national rum day we wanted to have a look at the revival of the biggest thing to come out of the Caribbean since Jack Sparrow CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow.

What is Rum?

Rum is a spirit made from sugar cane. Sugar cane is cut, stripped and pressed to extract the juice. This can then be fermented, creating a grassier more pungent spirit known as Rhum Agricole.

The juice can also be boiled. This promotes sugar crystalisation and creates a syrup which is referred to as molasses. This has to be diluted again before fermentation but produces a much more characterful rum.

The fermented liquid is then added to a still to distill the spirit and concentrate the flavours. The rum can then be blended (most rums are blends of different cane spirits of different ages and fermentation methods) and aged in oak barrels and/or spiced to the distillers preference.

Why is it popular?

As a rule rum is popular because it is sweet, easy drinking and characterful. Whisk(e)y lovers are also known enjoy the oak character of premium rums. This is because their character is similar to other high end brown spirits like a single malt whisky or a single barrel bourbon.

Quality over Quantity

Around the world people’s drinking habits are changing. The rise of artisan spirits is in no small part due to drinkers opting to have a few better quality tipples, as opposed to binging on whatever’s cheap (something we’ve no doubt the world’s collective liver is thankful for).

Euromonitor predicts a $230m rise in rum sales by 2020, with pubs in the UK seeing a 17% rise. This has been mirrored again on the shelf with brands such as Bacardi and Captain Morgan’s successfully introducing new styles to their already dominant ranges and brands like mount gay muscling their way into the premium category.

Versatile Spirit

This success is partly down to the versatility of rum. Whether it be cocktails, drank neat or with a mixer, it provides myriad options. White and/or spiced rum has long been a staple of bars across the country mixed with cola as an easy drinking and sweet treat.

Cocktail bars are once again rising in popularity, with more and more information becoming available to the public and bartenders alike through the internet. Better spirits plus better knowledge and an urge to experiment with more craft oriented recipes? Sounds like a winning combination to us!

Cocktail Ideas

If you like rum but get bored of the simple “and coke” addition, check out some of our recipe ideas below.

Mai Tai featuring Ron Abuelo

For this tropical summer tipple:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. 2 shots of Ron Abuelo Anejo rum
  3. A half shot of Cointreau
  4. 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  5. A shot and a half each of orange and pineapple juice.

Shake away to combine the ingredients. Add ice and a dash of grenadine to each glass and strain the cocktail over the top. Garnish with lime wedges.

Black Mojito featuring Rumbullion

Our own little twist on a black mojito. In a highball glass:

  1. mash together 5 fresh mint leaves, a teaspoon of sugar, a shot of lime juice and a few fresh blackberries
  2. Add a double shot of Rumbullion and a single shot of Two Birds Blackcurrant Vodka
  3. Top up with soda water.

Garnish with mint and a fresh blackberry.

Buttered Rum featuring Dark Matter

OK so the time of year is a bit off for this one at the moment but it’s something to keep in mind for Christmas parties. As with most things we Brits like to do, the first step is to put the kettle on.

  1. Put a small slice of softened butter into each glass or mug
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (or half a teaspoon of maple syrup) and a dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice.
  3. Muddle together
  4. Add 2 shots of Dark Matter Spiced Rum
  5. Top up with hot water (not boiling, think earl grey tea)
  6. Stir

If you wanted to make a batch of this for a party then scale up the butter, sugar/syrup and spice mixture and make the batter in a mixing bowl. Then when it comes to making the drink just add a heaped teaspoon of the batter to a glass, add rum and water. The batter can also be frozen.

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