Sunday, 16 November 2008 | Tags: , ,

Enjoyed straight up or in mixed drinks, rum also makes a great addition to baked goods, dessert sauces, and marinades for meat. We learn more about this versatile drink in order to find the perfect ingredient for our favourite holiday beverage: hot-buttered rum.

The Basics

  • Rum is made from fermented sugar, molasses, or a blend of both.

  • The way you want to enjoy your rum dictates which you should buy:

    • White Rums are generally light-bodied and clear with a more subtle flavour. If aged in oak casks to create a smooth palate, they are filtered afterwards to remove any colour. Popular for mixing in fruity cocktails.

    • Golden Rum, also known as Amber Rum, is medium-bodied after spending several years aging in oak casks. Enjoy in simpler cocktails or on the rocks.

    • Dark Rum, aged in oak casks 18-21 years, is traditionally full bodied, rich, and dominated by caramel flavour. It’s best sipped straight up.

    • Flavoured Rums are becoming popular and trendy, and include coconut, pineapple, citrus, raspberry, vanilla, mango and banana.

  • Once you pour a well-aged rum into a glass, you should see an olive green ring on the surface, an indicator of quality.

  • The epicentre of rum production is the Caribbean region for its sugar cane, a key ingredient in the rum-making process. Each island has its own distinct style of rum-making, all of which are worth tasting.

Other Considerations

  • After a party, use up leftover rum in marinades, punch, and soup stock.

Rum Punch Tips

(From Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag cookbook review: Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen)

  • Mix all ingredients in the order given in the punch recipe, but if it sparkles, pour it in last. Champagne, sparkling wine, seltzer water, soda, or anything carbonated goes in after the other ingredients are mixed, and just before serving. Stir sparingly to preserve the sparkle and fizz.

  • Use ‘simple syrup’ instead of sugar. Granulated sugar, can be hard to dissolve in cold liquids.

  • Chill all ingredients before mixing. Don’t rely on ice to chill the punch after it is mixed. Chill the punch bowl too, either in the refrigerator or with crushed ice.

  • Don’t use your best liquor. When it comes to liquor in party punch recipes and most mixed drinks, go with the less expensive choice since the subtle nuances of good liquor can be overpowered and diluted by the other ingredients. (If you want to put on airs, use the finest fruit juice and club soda money can buy instead!)


We sampled four different types of dark rum straight-up:

  • Pyrat XO Reserve: $89.99
  • Pusser’s British Navy: $41.99
  • Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum: $26.95
  • Lamb’s Navy: $22.00

Taste Test

  • The Pyrat rum had the most complex and enjoyable flavour, with hints of orange and spices. It was also the most expensive.

  • Pusser’s British Navy didn’t wow us the way the Pyrat did, but for less than half the price, we thought it was great value.

  • Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum had a nice aroma, but the underlying rum flavour was just passable.

  • Lamb’s Navy, to some tasters, didn’t taste like a proper rum.


For a dark, sipping rum, we preferred the Pyrat, even though it was the most expensive. At a more reasonable price, the Pusser’s British Navy is also a good choice.


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