Rum is a wonderful spirit, whether mixed in cocktails or slowly sipped. Unfortunately, many people are only familiar with it as a rum and coke, overly sweet girly cocktails or as the dangerous rum punches found at summer parties. In order to increase drinkers’ awareness of this delightful dram, The LGA presents a list of Eleven Great Things About Rum!
1. Rum, sodomy and the lash!
Serving in the Navy (USA and British Royal, Canadian and New Zealand to name a few) guaranteed a daily ration of rum until as recently as 1970! Once per day at sea, the crew (in shifts) would break and drink rum together. Sailors, merchants and soldiers all embraced the recuperative and sustaining power of a drink.
2. Rum Runners
Smugglers and bootleggers avoiding the law with super fast boats outfitted with hidden compartments. That checks several boxes on the Adventure Checklist. At one time, rum was the most consumed liquor in America.
3. Tiki Drinks
A Tiki Drink is like a vacation in a glass; exotic fruit juice and spices, mysterious syrups, secret recipes and fancy umbrellas. Do your self a favor and have your bartender make you a Zombie, or an original Mai Tai. If you ask nicely, I may even give you the recipe for the Flying Zombo.
4. Aged Rum
To the uninitiated, aged rums can be surprisingly enjoyable. From rich and mellow, to spicy and wild; aged rums come in as many variants as whiskeys, talk to your local barkeep about mixing them into your repertoire.
5. Rum pairs with tobacco.
I understand if you choose not smoke, as it is undeniably bad for you. But like many unhealthy vices, it can be quite enjoyable. If you savor a drink when smoking cigars, pipes, hookahs, heck, even high end cigarettes, you will find that aged rum compliments fine tobacco just as well as whiskey, brandy and port.
6. Exotic locations.
Rum is made in exotic lands strewn with beaches, jungles, and forests. Cuba, Haiti, Fiji, The Caribbean, Jamaica. The list goes on and every one is a hot bed of adventure and relaxation.
Rum has some of the most interesting corporate mascots. Pirates, Royal British Admirals, tattoo artists, bats, sea monsters and polar bears. While vodka and gin put forward posh and polish, rum likes to party and wants you to know it.
8. Tapping the Admiral
Speaking of admirals, after his death in the battle of Trafalgar, in stead of a burial at sea, British Royal Navy hero Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronte, was preserved in a cask of alcohol while being transported to England for burial. Upon delivery in England, the cask was opened and found nearly empty. The legend says the body was kept in the ships rum stores, preventing the sailors from getting their rum. The crew, refusing to forego their daily rum rations, bored a small hole in the cask, and using (depending on the version) a reed or piece of macaroni, slowly siphoned out the blood spiked rum. Giving birth to the phrase “Tapping the Admiral” for sneaking a drink, and adding “Nelsons Blood” as slang for rum.
9. It’s flammable.
Over proof rum (150 proof and above) will ignite and burn brightly. If it needs to be used for floats, flaming shots or fire breathing, rum is the go to booze.
10. The Price.
Cask aging in tropical climates occurs at an accelerated rate, and as rum does not have the name and brand recognition of scotches and whiskeys, it is possible to get rums that have a taste and flavor far greater than their price would indicate.
11. The Rum Diaries.
While not directly related to the spirit, The Rum Diaries is a collection of Gonzo Adventures by the master of weird, done Island Style! A worthwhile read.
Rum is delicious, versatile and inspiring. I encourage you to explore the vast and growing land of rum, adventurer awaits!