Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015

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Rum

Rum is such an evocative spirit. It transforms, transcends and instantly transports the drinker to the sun-washed shores of the West Indies; white sands, palm trees and blue seas. It always has a sense of joviality, in part thanks to its Caribbean origins, and also because of the unabashed decadence surrounding a libation made from sugar.

The kind of sugar used is one of the key differentiating factors in rum production. In the Spanish and British Antilles, for example, rum is traditionally distilled from molasses - a by-product of sugar production.

In the French Caribbean islands, however, sugarcane juice (sometimes called sugarcane honey) is used instead of molasses. Countries like Martinique and Guadeloupe are famed for producing spirit distilled from sugarcane juice, known as rhum agricole - French for 'agricultural rum'. The spirit is often made in a way that more closely resembles the distillation of some of the famous French brandies, such as Cognac or Armagnac, and results in a spirit typically around 40-50% ABV, or higher in the case of overproof rum. Younger varieties often exude a tangy, herbal flavour, whilst the aged varieties (often matured in Cognac casks) will offer up subtlety and complexity, just like any fine aged spirit.

The Caribbean has been cultivated for sugar for centuries, and the various occupiers, be they Spanish, French or English, have their own terms for the spirit; Ron, Rhum and, of course, Rum, respectively.

As far as British involvement with the spirit, there has always been a strong connection with the Royal Navy. Indeed, at one time the Navy afforded their sailors a half pint of rum as part of their daily ration. The rum was traded and export grew in large part because of the export possibilities that sea travel brought about.

Many competing arguments exist as to the origins of the term "rum”. The most convincing is that it is a shortened version of "rumbullion” – a word meaning great uproar and noise, and a good reminder of the often violent, dramatic history of rum. Other terms have existed, including "kill devil” which was used to describe spirit distilled from molasses.

Due to the huge geographical territory in which rum is produced, there are many variants in production, the type of still being one of the most obvious. Usually, pot stills are used to distil thick, rich, aged rums (El Dorado 15 and El Pusser’s are good examples). Continuous column stills, on the other hand, are used to produce white spirits best associated with cocktails.

Maturation is an interesting aspect too. White rums are either unaged or aged only very briefly. Classics such as Bacardi Superior are crisp and tangy and work brilliantly well in cocktails. Gold rums tend to be a mix of spirit old and new, and also work nicely in cocktails, with an increase in complexity and flavour. For the connoisseurs of sipping spirit, however, dark rums are the preference. These can be tremendously refined and delicious, thanks in no small part to the tropical nature of the climate. The hot weather allows Caribbean rums to mature particularly rapidly - at as much as thrice the rate of Scotch Whisky . In this respect a 15 year old rum is the equivalent of a 45 year old whisky!

Other geographical factors come into play too, and some of the top rum-producing countries have attained their own unique style.

Jamaica is perhaps one of the most prolific rum nations today, with its own unique style. Prior to distillation, the molasses are typically allowed to ferment for a great length of time. This is then followed by distillation in pot stills. The result is intensity and body, often with notes of tropical fruit and banana. Appleton Estate and Wray and Nephew are superlative examples.

Barbados is another prime rum territory. One of the original islands to begin rum distillation, Barbadian rums are often superbly balanced, with deliciously aromatic tendencies. There are three main distilleries on the island (West Indies Rum Distillery, Mount Gay and Foursquare), and each makes use of pot stills. These are easy-drinking rums, with some of the longer-aged variants (Doorly’s XO, for example) working brilliantly as sipping spirits.

Guyana is one of our favourite rum nations, thanks in no small part to the heavy, Demerara rums bottled in the El Dorado range. These are full-bodied spirits, traditionally the main constituent in British Navy rum. Made in a mix of pot stills and column stills, there is quite a variety of flavour to be found. Where once there were more than 200 distilleries, today there is only one. We suggest you seek out El Dorado 15 for an example of just how good Guyana rum can be!

Latin America is home to the lighter, fresher cocktail rums. The popularity of such spirit (with the advent of the recent cocktail revolution) has transformed the place into the most prolific region of all. It all started, however, with Bacardi, originally produced in Cuba before the country's factories were nationalised. Today, Bacardi is made in Puerto Rico, and the classic Carta Blanca remains a mainstay for many cocktails including the Daiquiri. Countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Venezuela and Trinidad play hosts to some of the world's top distilleries. Brands such as Ron Zacapa, Brugal and Pampero - among many others - are well worth a look.

Whilst not always thought of as a true rum, this introduction would not be complete without a mention of Cachaça. The famous spirit, made almost exclusively in Brazil, is traditionally enjoyed as part of a Caipirinha cocktail, and its production closely resembles Rhum Agricole. It is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice, and is bottled at between 38% and 54%ABV. One interesting aspect is the legally permissible addition of up to six grams of sugar per litre, giving the spirit additional sweetness. Varieties are sold both aged and unaged, with the former being a more premium style thanks to the extra complexity imbued by the use of wooden barrels. To sample some fine Cachaça, look for the superb distilleries Germana and Abelha. We recommend you enjoy the aged varieties neat, whilst the tangier white Cachaça is best drunk in the aforementioned Caipirinha - a cocktail made simply with two shots of Cachaça, half a lime and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Delicious!

Recently, rum has surged in popularity. Its regard as a fine cocktail mixer is good and widespread and a number of the world’s most popular drinks are rum-based - the Daiquiri and the Mojito being two prime examples. It is only recently, though, that our beloved rum has really been enjoyed en masse as a standalone beverage of true merit, and this new direction is excellent, for rum is as much a connoisseur’s libation as any other dark spirit. Like all dark spirits, a stemmed tulip glass is best for optimum palate entry and for focusing the aroma.

Rumbullion!

70cl, 42.6%
Ableforth's

A sure-fire hit from Ableforth's, Rumbullion! is a cockle-warming spiced concoction, based on the kind of rich, full-bodied rums the seafaring fraternity would have enjoyed centuries ago. At the core…  More info

Rumbullion!
64
$35.82
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Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

Pineapple and rum is a timeless combo, and the folks from Dead Man's Fingers have got just the thing to convince you of that - Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum! This terrific tropical treat boasts…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum
11
$23.57

Pusser's 'Gunpowder Proof' Black Label

70cl, 54.5%
Pusser's

Pusser's 'Gunpowder Proof' Black Label (previously known as Blue Label) is a higher proof traditional British Naval rum, produced using the blending recipe from the Admiralty. Well loved, it picked…  More info

Pusser's 'Gunpowder Proof' Black Label
39
$36.94

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Limited Edition - 2019 Release

70cl, 40%
Kraken

Another awesome limited release from Kraken! For the 2019 release, the spiced black rum is held in yet another unique ceramic bottle that looks rather like it was crafted by some tentacled sea beast.…  More info

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Limited Edition - 2019 Release
$37.93

Two Swallows Cherry & Salted Caramel Rum

50cl, 38%
Rock Star Spirits

Cherry, salted caramel, and rum. Yeah, this all sounds pretty good, doesn't it? The folks at Rockstar Spirits have created another delicious treat for its Two Swallows range featuring rum from…  More info

Two Swallows Cherry & Salted Caramel Rum
8
$27.67

Fallen Angel Spiced Rum

70cl, 41.3%
Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel has added another expression to its selection - this time is a lip-smacking spiced rum! Presented in a unique and somewhat startling black ceramic bottle, the rum is flavoured with a…  More info

Fallen Angel Spiced Rum
38
$47.69

Plantation Pineapple Stiggins' Fancy

70cl, 40%
Plantation

A fantastic treat from the Plantation range originally created by the company's cellar master Alexandre Gabriel and drinks historian David Wondrich for Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2015.…  More info

Plantation Pineapple Stiggins' Fancy
17
$37.73

Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary

70cl, 40%
Plantation

A superb-looking decanter bottle of XO rum from Barbados, aged in bourbon barrels before being shipped to France for a secondary maturation in Cognac casks from the Ferrand house. The result is a…  More info

Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary
50
$55.39

Dead Man's Fingers Cornish Spiced Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

A spiced rum created by the chaps behind The Rum & Crab Shack in St. Ives (which serves tasty seafood and top rum - sounds excellent to us). This is made using a blend of Caribbean rums alongside a…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Cornish Spiced Rum
34
$20.49

Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Banana

70cl, 40%
Bombo

This spiced rum produced as part of the Bombo 40 range has been flavoured with lip-smacking notes of caramel and banana. Suitable for sipping neat, with caramel and banana elements complementing the…  More info

Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Banana
13
$30.75

Pusser's Blue Label

70cl, 40%
Pusser's

The Pusser's Rum collection has had a bit of a revamp. While their Blue Label is still made with the exact same blend of rums - a recipe from the Admiralty - it is now bottled at 40% abv rather that…  More info

Pusser's Blue Label
7
$23.09
Special Offer

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

70cl, 40%
Diplomático

Father's Day shopping? If you can, please order early to help our team keep the drinks flowing for all, while sticking to our hygiene and distancing measures. Help us to help you get your dad their…  More info

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
61
$39.78
$34.65

Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
St. Lucia Distillers

Spiced rum from Saint Lucia. Impressively, it was the only spiced or flavoured rum to receive a Gold Medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2013.  More info

Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum
14
$24.38

Central Galactic Spiced Rum

70cl, 43.5%
Central Galactic

What if we told you that you could taste the centre of the galaxy? Don't believe us? Well, around a decade ago scientists (yes, actual scientists) peeked through a massive telescope at a vast dust…  More info

Central Galactic Spiced Rum
2
$35.89

Admiral Vernon's Old J Tiki Fire Spiced Rum

70cl, 75.5%
Old J

A high-strength edition of Admiral Vernon's Old J Spiced Rum, which features plenty of vanilla and a touch of lime peel flavours at its core. The Tiki Fire bottling is presented at an intense 75.5%…  More info

Admiral Vernon's Old J Tiki Fire Spiced Rum
24
$40.81

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
Kraken

An excellent spiced rum, with utterly brilliant packaging! This was launched in the UK in early 2010, and it has an extraordinarily rich, spicy flavour. Named for the legendary sea monster, Kraken is…  More info

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
86
$25.92

Bumbu Original

70cl, 35%
Bumbu

A spiced rum drink based on 16th and 17th century 'bumbo' recipes, Caribbean spices are added with no artificial flavourings or colours at all.  More info

Bumbu Original
12
$31.77
Special Offer

Havana Club Añejo 7 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Havana Club

BACK FOR THE WEEKEND! A final chance to grab this week's top Flash Sales! Feast your eyes upon Havana Club Añejo 7 Year Old, a wonderfully flavoursome Cuban rum that is no stranger to awards. Back…  More info

Havana Club Añejo 7 Year Old
35
$26.13
$20.99

Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Havana Club

This Havana Club has been aged for three years in bourbon casks and then filtered, hence its colour. A classic rum and a key component of good, refreshing Daiquiri (or just about any rum cocktail),…  More info

Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old
11
$19.97

The Duppy Share Spiced Rum

70cl, 37.5%
The Duppy Share

How exciting, it's a Spiced variant of The Duppy Share Caribbean Rum! The blend of Jamaica and Barbados rum has been treated to the addition of pineapple, kola nut and Caribbean spices. Plus, there's…  More info

The Duppy Share Spiced Rum
4
$24.59
Special Offer

Cut Overproof Rum

70cl, 75.5%
Cut Rum

An overproof edition of Cut Spiced Rum, sitting at an eye-watering 75.5% ABV. Be sure you dilute this stuff very well - ought to go handsomely with a number of classic mixers...  More info

Cut Overproof Rum
11
$40.38
$36.34

Dead Man's Fingers Coconut

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

A lip-smacking spiced rum from the South West, created by the folks from The Rum & Crab Shack. This particular variation is based around the tropical flavours of coconuts, and will work wonderfully…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Coconut
4
$21.51

Pull The Pin Passion Fruit & Pineapple Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Pull The Pin

A particularly fruit-forward silver rum from Pull The Pin, combining silver rum with the deliciousness of passion fruit and pineapple. This should pair rather well with fruit juices, and perhaps even…  More info

Pull The Pin Passion Fruit & Pineapple Rum
4
$35.89

Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Bacardi

A white rum which needs very little introduction, Bacardi's Carta Blanca is incredible popular indeed, seen on backbars around the world. The Bacardi brand originated in Cuba, and the first…  More info

Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum
2
$17.91

Gosling's Black Seal

70cl, 40%
Gosling's Rum

Gosling’s Black Seal combines rums from both pot and continuous column stills. The name comes from the black wax that was originally used to seal the bottles, but now there’s an actual black seal on…  More info

Gosling's Black Seal
18
$24.38

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