Rum, with its rich history and smooth, sweet flavour profile, is a unique and timeless drink. As such, we felt obligated to pay tribute to it, and what better way to do that than to delve into some lesser-known facts about this delicious alcoholic beverage.
So, without further ado, here are 5 things you never knew about rum:
Fact One: Rum is the first branded spirit to have ever been made, seeing as how it’s been around longer than most modern alcoholic beverages!
Fact Two: Rum has medicinal properties that were especially useful for armies at war until a few decades ago. The British Army in particular was known to give rations of rum to its sailors as a mixture of rum and wine kept the risk of scurvy (a major threat at the time) at bay. This ration was referred to as ‘tot o’ rum’ and what actually prevented the scurvy was the dash of lime added to the mixture.
Fact Three: In a spectacular display of a love for rum, the infamous Admiral Nelson who died in the Battle of Trafalgar, had his body preserved in a cask of rum before it was finally laid to rest. Accounts differ as to whether the cask was full or mostly empty at the time, but we do know for sure rum was referred to as ‘Nelson’s Blood’ for a period of time after the incident!
Fact Four: Rum has humble origins. Its precursors date back to ancient India and China and are thought to have spread from here. As far as distillation goes, it was sugar plantation slaves in the Caribbean who discovered that sugarcane molasses could be fermented and then distilled for a pleasant tasting drink!
Fact Five: Rum has had a long association with piracy. While it began due to English privateers trading it as a valuable commodity, many of these privateers became pirates whose fondness for the sweet drink never vanished. This association was only further strengthened by epic literary works such as Robert L. Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island.’