Ever wanted to try your hand at making rum? This distinctive and richly flavoured spirit is easier to make than you might think!
Originating in the West Indies, rum has one of the oldest and richest histories amongst distilled spirits. It was first mentioned in records from Barbados in 1650 and by the 1700s, was being made throughout South America and the Caribbean. It comes in a variety of styles and flavours with light-bodied varieties mostly hailing from Cuba and Puerto Rico, and fuller flavoured varieties coming from Jamaica, although it is also made in other sugar producing countries.
As with other distilled spirits, the tell-tale characteristics of different rum varieties is dependent on many factors such as the yeast strain used, the method of distillation and the aging conditions. It is most commonly made from molasses, although some varieties include brown sugar or sugarcane juice. Today we're going to go over how to make a rum wash from blackstrap molasses.
Once distilled, you'll make a light colourless rum that can be made into dark rum or spiced rum if you wish. White rum does not undergo any aging process, however once distilled and diluted to 40% ABV (80 proof), it is best to leave it for a few days minimum so the flavours can stabilise.
Dark rum is aged in oak barrels or on oak chips to provide a richer flavour. The oak also contributes to the colour of the final spirit.