According to foodies and critics who should know – rum consumption is expected to spike in 2018. So, put aside outdated drinks and opt for a rum cocktail next time you’re thirsty. Rum is an easy-to-pair spirit with many different types of cocktails and mixers. It comes second in line for the title of world’s most popular spirit (after vodka). With the imminent trend approaching, it’s good to know exactly why this spirit ranks so high on the popularity list. Why is it such a crowd pleaser? Well, for a couple reasons:
A Rugged Past
Rum has a rich history. Or at least, the pirates of the past who drank it were often rich on stolen treasure. Captain Jack Sparrow’s character in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ wasn’t completely fictional when it came to his frequent consumption of the spirit. Back in the day, sailors and pirates relied on it for hydration. On long voyages, water on the ship didn’t last long before going bad. Rum however, could be stored in the ships for ages before going bad. It probably helped lift spirits towards the end of a long journey too.
Rum, Sweet Rum
There is a certain sweetness to rum that makes it a preferred choice. This characteristic comes from the raw material used to produce rum: sugar cane. This guilty pleasure ingredient is pressed and fermented, or boiled to make the rum. It then goes through an ageing process (which is usually quite a long period) then paired with your favourite ingredients for the ultimate rum cocktail.
Rum is best made in warmer climates. This is so that the reaction between the spirit and barrel, is faster and more effective. While that’s only a simplified explanation, the science behind the rum can get quite tricky. This is why many famous rum brands like Bacardi, keep the secrets of their trade in the hands of only the Maestros de Ron BACARDÍ. Many have developed their own special art of making the spirit. This is where the true craft in “craft rum” really comes in.
Rum Gets Crafty
You’ve heard of craft beer and craft gin which are advocates of this trend. Brace yourself for the newest revelation in refreshment creations – craft rum. Yes, the preference of the sweet tooth now comes in many unique forms. Some of the more famous craft rums to try include Copeland White Rum, Rhino Rum, and Durbanville Distillery Rum.
If you’re thinking of trying some of these creations, don’t look to the go-to usual mixer – Cola. You may just give the creators nightmares. To really appreciate the flavours of a good craft rum, you should be sipping it straight. However, like whiskey, not everyone can handle a straight shot of the spirit, most prefer a classic rum cocktail. Some interesting mixers include:
- Pineapple Juice
- Coconut Water
- Hot Chocolate
- Ginger Beer
- Even Ice Cream!
Pick and choose your perfect Rum-ery
Places are popping up everywhere in SA for good rum. You can taste rums from Jamaica to France and everything in between. There is even a whole festival dedicated to the cause in KZN, called the Litchi Orchard Rum Fest. On the other hand, you don’t have to go far to experience fine quality. Here are some places that may be nearby that you can check out:
- Brian Lara Rum Eatery (Linden, Johannesburg)
- Roxanne’s Rum Eatery (Fourways, Johannesburg)
- Banana Jam Cafe (Kenilworth, Cape Town)
- Sea Breeze Fish & Shell (Bree Street, Cape Town)
With the popularity of rum on the rise, you may see events focused around this spirit more often. If you are looking to host an event to set the trend, a company like Thirst could help you pull it off.
It’s sure to be an event all your friends will love. Maybe a little too much for the liking of your bar stock? In that case, follow the wise words of Captain Jack Sparrow and “hide the rum!”