Rum is traditionally seen as a winter spirit due to the belief that it can help warm you up. This is particularly true of dark rum, but have you ever wondered how this spirit is made?
We all know that it has strong ties with the Caribbean, and the reason for this collection of islands being the hub of global rum production is the fact that rum is made from sugarcane.
The first thing to understand is that there are five main processes to rum production – harvesting, sugar extraction, fermentation, distillation and ageing. The harvesting refers to the sugarcane crop and this process on its own can take around one year.
Extracting the sugar from the cane creates molasses as a byproduct, and it’s this that’s used to produce most rums, although cane juice and cane syrup can also be used as a base for rums.
Whichever base is being used, this is then fermented with water. What you’re left with after it’s been cultured is a beer-like texture, or wash. It’s this that can be distilled to produce rum. All rum is clear when it’s first distilled. What gives it its golden or darker colour is the ageing process, which is typically done in oak caskets.
So, there you have it, a whistle-stop tour of how rum is made. There are, of course, many subtleties to the process, with different distillation and ageing techniques in particular affecting the final product.
If you want an introduction to the wonderful world of rum, consider buying tickets for Manchester’s Rum Festival, which will take place at the beginning of June next year. Over 75 brands will appear at the event and there’s plenty of opportunities to taste their produce, the Manchester Evening News revealed.