Rum is a Caribbean classic that conjures up the feelings of a tropical island holiday, but did you know that British rum is a rising star in the category?
Taking influence from the Caribbean, it evokes the same thoughts of paradise, but it’s made right here in the UK! Check out our online store for our wide range of homegrown English rums.
If you haven’t tried many rums, you might be surprised to find out how diverse the category is. To set the record straight, we’ve compiled a list of the world’s most famous rums and how to drink them.
What Exactly is Rum?
Before we get into the different types of rum, let’s quickly touch on how rum is produced. There are four major processes involved in the production of rum:
- Fermentation: Molasses, cane sugar, or cane juice are combined with water and yeast and allowed to ferment for 36 - 48 hours.
- Distillation: After fermentation, the mixture is boiled, and its vapour is condensed to collect the alcohol.
- Ageing: The rum is stored in oak barrels (usually ones used for sherry or bourbon) and aged for a minimum of one year and up to seven years - although some are aged for longer.
- Blending: Blending involves combining different types of rum to create a particular blend. This is where master blenders show off their skills and is a crucial step that differentiates fine rum from bottom-shelf offerings.
British rum is made from light molasses, which is then transformed into a dark treacle. From there, the final product produced is blackstrap molasses. If the syrup is of lesser quality, it will likely be distilled once more to refine the taste and texture.
Now that you know how rum is produced, here are five types of rum you need to try.
1. White Rum
White rums are renowned for their smoothness, delicate sweetness, and subtle citrus flavours. Often unaged and distilled in steel, this type of rum is frequently used in cocktails that come with an umbrella and are a perfect option to capture the feeling of a never-ending summer.
Here are some of our favourite cocktails you can create with white rum:
- Piña Colada
- Cuba Libre
- Rum Margarita
- White Rum & Pineapple Juice
2. Aged Rum
Aged rum (sometimes called añejo rum) is as smooth as white rum but has a deeper bronze colour and more robust flavour. Because they’re aged in charred barrels and allowed to age for much longer than white rum, they develop beautifully powerful notes of caramel, spices, and molasses.
If aged rum is filtered through charcoal, the colour can be removed until they’re clear - so colour isn’t always a reliable indicator of an aged rum.
Here are some of our favourite ways to drink aged rum:
- On the rocks
- Añejo Highball
3. Dark Rum
Dark rum is created through a third distillation process, producing a more robust rum with a gloriously deep, dark colour. These tend to have a smoky sweetness with notes of caramel, spiced dried fruit, and chocolate.
Dark rums are sometimes flavoured with additional ingredients like coconut and spices to give them a richer, more complex flavour.
Here are some of our favourite dark rum cocktails:
- Dark and Stormy
- Dark Rum Mojito
- Rum Sour
- Mai Tai
- Bahama Mama
4. French Caribbean Rum
There are official rules determining how French Caribbean Rum is made, so you can expect a pretty consistent taste between different rum producers.
Also called Rhum Agricole, it’s produced using sugar cane juice and offers unique aromatics that you won’t find in most other rums. Grassy, earthy notes combine with fruit-forward notes of banana, papaya, and mango to create a soft, sweet, and wonderfully complex drink.
Here are our favourite French Caribbean rum cocktails:
- Ti' Punch (the national cocktail of Martinique and Guadeloupe)
- Agricole Rum Punch
- Creole Club Cocktail
- Level Headed Cocktail
5. Cahaça Rum
Made in Brazil, cachaça rum is made from sugar cane instead of molasses. Wonderfully sweet and smooth, it usually has an ABV below 54, making it one of the lighter rum options. Like French Caribbean rums, it offers herbaceous, grassy notes with hints of Christmas spices, dried fruits, and coffee.
These are our favourite ways to drink cachaça rum:
- Caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail)
- Coco Batida
- Brazilian Buck
- Bossa Manhattan
Now that you know about the different types of rum and how to drink them, you might find yourself with a thirst that only a delicious rum cocktail can quench.
Head to our online store for a wide selection of homegrown English rums to spark inspiration and add a tropical twist to your next dinner party or garden soiree!