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.

Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum (50ml)

5cl, 37.5%
Bacardi

This is a 50ml bottling of Bacardi Carta Blanca, a well-loved Puerto Rican rum that is known the world over. If you're looking for a tasty little gift for someone who loves fab spirits, this ought to…  More info

Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum (50ml)
$4.08

Ron Calados Dark Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Ron Calados

Made from Caribbean rum, Ron Calados dark rum is a value for money mixing product.  More info

Ron Calados Dark Rum
1
$17

Glen's Dark Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Glen Catrine Distillers

Glen's Dark Rum. Yep. All the way from the West Indies.  More info

Glen's Dark Rum
$19.29

SangSom

70cl, 40%
SangSom

SangSom is a Thai rum that gained great popularity in the 1980s, thankfully it is once again beginning to get a lot more attention internationally. SangSom is made from sugar cane molasses and is…  More info

SangSom
8
$19.49

Merchant's Choice White Rum

70cl, 40%
Merchant's Choice

This unaged Guyanese rum from Merchant's Choice is the perfect partner for any cocktails that call for white rum! If you were looking for a spirit to experiment with, look no further. Ice and shaker…  More info

Merchant's Choice White Rum
$19.72
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Master of Malt Rum

70cl, 42%
Master of Malt

Behold, Master of Malt Rum! We've gone and sourced some superb spirits for our very own range of delicious drinks, and our rum is particularly tasty indeed. It's made using a custom-developed blend…  More info

Master of Malt Rum
$29.02
$19.78

Watson's Trawler Rum

70cl, 40%
Watson's

In case you couldn’t tell from the name or rather nautical packaging, Watson’s Trawler Rum is a Navy style dark rum, marrying spirits from Barbados and Guyana. The rums have been aged in their…  More info

Watson's Trawler Rum
7
$19.78

Cockspur Fine

70cl, 37.5%
Cockspur

A Bajan rum aged in American white oak barrels before blending. Cockspur is buttery and spicy.  More info

Cockspur Fine
5
$20

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
$20.30

Lamb's Navy Rum

70cl, 40%
Lamb's

Lamb's rum is a very good value for money Navy rum made with rums from Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.  More info

Lamb's Navy Rum
12
$20.30

Appleton Estate Classic White 40%

70cl, 40%
Appleton Estate

Made in Kingston, Jamaica, Appleton Estate Classic White rum is exactly that; a classic white rum. Perfect for mixing, it wouldn't go amiss in a Yellow Submarine or a traditional mojito.  More info

Appleton Estate Classic White 40%
$20.74

Cockspur Platinum White Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Cockspur

Cockspur Rum comes to us all the way from Barbados, matured briefly in oak before being filtered to remove its colour. This means that it'll add some aged rum richness to your cocktail, while not…  More info

Cockspur Platinum White Rum
$20.88

Watson's Demerara Rum

70cl, 40%
Watson's

A blend of Demerara rums from Guyana. The rums are matured in Guyana before blending.  More info

Watson's Demerara Rum
9
$20.94

Captain Morgan Original Rum

70cl, 40%
Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan is a dark rum seen on back-bars around the world. This is made using a blend of Jamaican, Guyanese and Bajan rums. Great in loads of cocktails and mixed drinks - Captain & Cola is a…  More info

Captain Morgan Original Rum
10
$21.09

Dead Man's Fingers Raspberry Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

This right here is what you get when you combine Dead Man's Fingers original Spiced Rum with raspberries! There's a touch of citrus in there too to balance out the sweetness fruitiness, and we're…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Raspberry Rum
1
$21.45

Brugal Añejo

70cl, 38%
Brugal

Brugal Anejo is a 5 year old Dominican rum. The company was founded by Andrés Brugal Montaner. The majority of the board members are actually descendants of Montaner.  More info

Brugal Añejo
15
$21.47
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Rumshak Spiced

70cl, 35%
Rumshak

This is a blend of a variety of Caribbean rums flavoured with mulling spices. While it's not technically a rum, as it is under 37.5% abv, it's still technically delicious.  More info

Rumshak Spiced
1
$21.65

Rebellion Ron Blanco Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Rebellion

Rebellion Blanco is a superb white rum from Trinidad rum with a wonderfully crisp, fruity palate.  More info

Rebellion Ron Blanco Rum
$21.68

Rum Sixty Six English White Rum

70cl, 38%
Rum Sixty Six

An intriguing one here from Rum Sixty Six. While many of the expressions from Rum Sixty Six come from the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, this one is an English white rum! It was originally…  More info

Rum Sixty Six English White Rum
$21.75

Captain Morgan White

70cl, 37.5%
Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan White is a classic Caribbean rum that works splendidly in cocktails and mixed drinks. Captain-and-Coke is a tasty combination enjoyed in bars and pubs the world over.  More info

Captain Morgan White
4
$21.90

Dead Man's Fingers Passion Fruit Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

The Dead Man's Fingers rum range grows once again with the introduction of its Passion Fruit variation! The talented team down in Cornwall has brought together the tangy brilliance of passion fruit…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Passion Fruit Rum
2
$21.99

Brugal Ron Blanco Especial Extra Dry Rum

70cl, 40%
Brugal

Classic white rum from Dominican producers, Brugal, which is aged for at least one year to mellow out some of the overly intense qualities of rum straight from the still. This tasty rum is no…  More info

Brugal Ron Blanco Especial Extra Dry Rum
1
$21.99
Try a sample

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
8
$22.04

Havana Club Añejo Especial

70cl, 40%
Havana Club

Havana Club Añejo Especial is a blended Cuban rum which has been aged in white oak barrels, imparting both colour and flavour. Cuban rums are generally lighter in style, and this particular spirit…  More info

Havana Club Añejo Especial
15
$22.04

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
17
$22.04

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