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10 things you didn’t know about rum

News – 10 May 2021

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Want to know more about your favourite spirit? Maybe you’ve recently discovered how much you love rum and want to find out more about it. Either way, you’re in the right place!

We’re sharing 10 things that you (probably) didn’t know about rum. Let’s go…

1.    Is it ‘rum’, ‘ron’ or ‘rhum’?

Next time you’re drinking your favourite bottle of rum, have a nosy at the label and see what your rum is labelled as. It’ll be either rum, ron, or rhum depending on where it’s made. Rum is from either speaking countries, ron is from those that speak Spanish and rhum is from French!

2.    Dates back to 1654

The earlier known existence of rum in English dates back to 1654(!) – can you imagine what they used to drink in 1653? Thank goodness for the discovery!

3.    ‘Rumbullion’

Rum is likely to be a shortened version of ‘rumbullion’ which was a Devon slang word for uproar – it’s thought that this was used because of the effect it had on its drinkers. No comment…

4.    Caribbean-born

Currently more than 80% of the world’s rum comes from the Caribbean, specifically Puerto Rico. We’re proud that our Caribbean Spiced Rum brings together the best rums from Guyana and Trinidad.

5.    Originated in India or China

Despite it coming from the Caribbean now, it’s though that rum actually originated in ancient India or China as both of these countries were producing drinks made from fermented juice of sugar cane at the time.

6.    Rum for the sailors

Back in the 18th century, the Royal Navy supplied its sailor with half a pint a day. We hope they weren’t sick at sea!

7.    ‘Navy Rum’

This is a strong rum (57% ABV) which dates way back to when the Royal Navy crews were drinking rum but were super wary of spilling any of it in case it spoiled their gunpowder. That’s because 57% was the strength of alcohol where gunpowder would still ignite if it came into contact with alcohol so all alcohol had to be tested for strength. If a mix of rum and gunpowder successfully caught fire it was proof of sufficient alcohol.

8.    ‘Nelson’s Blood’

Rum used to be referred to as ‘Nelson’s Blood’ in the Navy too! This was all because they believed that Nelson’s body was brought back from the Battle of Trafalgar in a cask of rum.

9.    Everyone deserves to ‘splice the mainbrace’.

Another Royal Navy term was ‘Splice the Mainbrace’ which meant having an extra serving of rum. This all came about when the sailors were rewarded with an extra drink when they repaired the mainbrace. Kind of like us treating ourselves to a rum and coke after a busy day!

10. Have you ever tried a Rumtopf?

In Germany and Denmark, it’s a tradition to create a fruit flavoured rum known as ‘rumtopf’. To make it, soft fruit pickings get put into a pot with sugar throughout the year until a special occasion comes around, say Christmas, and then everyone gets a glass of this sweet, fruity rum. It’s sometimes a boozy dessert too!

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