What is Rum and What Exactly is it Made From?

We've been over what gin is made from, and the health benefits of other alcohol such as beer and vodka. But what is rum, exactly? How is rum made, and what types of rum are there available at a local liquor store or rum distillery?

What is Rum?

First of all, rum is a liquor made by fermenting and then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice, according to good old Wikipedia. The distillate is normally aged in oak barrels, and most are made in the Caribbean or American countries like the United States. The drink is usually sweet and has flavors of molasses, banana, and tropical fruit, the Craft Spirits Exchange reported.

Following the distillation process, most rum is bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume or ABV (80 proof), according to Spruce Eats. It has a higher alcohol content than some other liquors and overproof rum, specifically, is popular for setting drinks on fire, the outlet reported.

What Types of Rum Are There?

Some of the most popular kinds of rum are light rum — also known as white rum — gold rum, dark rum, aged rum, spiced rum, and flavored rums. There's also Cachaça, which is produced in Brazil and is used in the country's national cocktail, the Caipirinha. An unofficial type you may have heard of is blackstrap rum, which bartenders may claim is made from blackstrap molasses, according to Punch.

There are specific styles of rum depending on the region, the Craft Spirits Exchange noted. For instance, Cuba originated white rum, and some "Cuban-style" rums are made by distillers in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Brazil.

Elsewhere, Guyana produces rums with Demerara sugar, and Barbados makes them with a fruity flavoring. Meanwhile, Jamaica makes the liquor using a low-strength distillation, Craft Spirits reported.

What Drinks Can You Make With It?

You can make all sorts of alcoholic beverages from rum, including daiquiris, mojitos, a rum and coke, and mai tais. Most drinks a bartender would serve to you in a tiki glass probably have this kind of alcohol in them!

Popular rum brands and types include Kill-Devil, Bacardi, Rumbullion, and Captain Morgan. If you have a particular interest in any of them, they can be found at many liquor stores or distillery websites.

Watch: The 8 Health Benefits of Rum