Monday, July 21, 2014

Rum and Cachaça Basics

Bullet Points:
  • Rum is distilled from sugarcane and sugarcane by-products. A majority of rums are made from molasses. Rhum Agricole and Cachaça are made from pressing sugarcane and distilling the juice.
  • Styles of rum vary greatly between different countries. Jamaican rums are typically dark and pungent while Cuban and Puerto Rican rums tend to be softer and lighter. When trying rum, the country it was produced in can be a big clue as to what it will likely taste like. This isn't always the case 100% of the time, but it applies to a large percentage of rums.
  •  Cachaça is a clear spirit produced only in Brazil from sugarcane juice (Brazil is the World's largest sugarcane producer). It varies in ages and expressions but tends to be more floral and hotter than other clear rums.
  • The French Islands also use sugarcane juice. Historically, France was getting it's raw sugar from beets so molasses was not an available by-product on the French Islands. Sugarcane juice was distilled into Rhum Agricole or "Agricultural Rum", meaning rum distilled from juice instead of molasses which is known as "Industrial Rum".
Principle Cocktails:
  • Cuba Libre
  • Mai Tai
  • Piña Colada
  • Daiquiri
  • Mojito
  • Caipriniha
  • Dark 'N' Stormy
  • Mary Pickford
Popular Brands:
  • Bacardi: Largest, privately-held spirits company in the World. Founded 1862, it's portfolio has over 200 brands and distributes to more than 150 countries.
  • Captain Morgan: Founded in 1944 by the Seagram Company, Captain Morgan is the second largest spirit in the U.S. by volume. The Original Spiced Rum was introduced to the U.S. in 1984.
  • Cruzan: Produced in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands by Beam Suntory. Founded in 1760 and is part of the American Whiskey Trail along with Bacardi rum.
  • 10 Cane: Produced by Moet Hennessy in Trinidad and introduced in 2005. Made by distilling sugarcane juice and blending with molasses based rums.
  • Gosling's: Founded in 1806 in St. George's, Bermuda by James Gosling. Gosling's originally sealed their bottles with black wax, which people referred to as "The Black Seal Rum", hence their core line of rum. Gosling's also holds the trademark for the Dark 'N' Stormy cocktail and produces a ginger beer for pairing with their rum.
  • Mount Gay: The oldest surviving rum distillery in the world (the earliest deed is dated 1703). A brand that is closely associated with sailors due to the British tradition of rationing drams of rum to Naval personnel. The rum is produced out of Barbados, the Eastern most island of the West Indies.
  • Brugal: A popular rum from the Dominican Republic, founded in 1888. It has three distilleries on the island and is the third largest rum producer. They produce several expressions from mid-tier to ultra-premium.
  • Pyrat: Taking it's name from the English 'pirate', Pyrat rum produces ultra-premium rums from blending of several pot-distilled, barrel-aged, Caribbean rums and then further aging them. It's sister brands are Patron Tequila and Ultimat Vodka. The blending facility is based on the island of Anguilla.

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