Rum is also known in the French colonies as Rhum, in Spanish speaking regions as Ron.
An early alcoholic drink, rum has been around since ancient times. Though it wasn’t first distilled in plantations until the 17th century, rum is believed to have existed thousands of years prior in the form of ‘brum’ – a drink made by the Malay people.
In the 14th century, Marco Polo wrote about a wine made of sugar supporting the train of thought that rum was around before 1600’s.
When the first distillation of rum began, it begun in the Caribbean when plantation slaves realized that molasses left over from sugar refinement could be turned into alcohol. Because it was a discovery made by ‘slaves’ it was instantly rejected as being a terrible tasting liquor.
This delayed the progress in the development and discovery of rums.
Once the Caribbean set the production of rum in motion, it quickly spread to the American colonies. In 1664 the first distillery for rum was set up in Staten Island, a distillery in Boston followed soon after.
New Englanders had a special penchant for making rum – not only was the rum industry their most profitable industry but the rum they produced was considered to be of higher quality than all others.
The refinement of rum began in the place it all started – The Caribbean.
Prior to the late 1800’s rums were dark and heavy. The Spanish Development Board set out to make rum more appealing to the general public and offered a reward for anyone who could improve its quality. Don Facundo Bacardi Masso won the accolade. After moving from Cuba to Spain in 1843, Masso began to refine his rum making techniques. He improved distillation, filtering and began ageing in casks made of American Oak. This all worked to produce a rum that was light and smooth and used today in its present form. CLOSE X