The spirit of choice for buccaneers and the building block of many famous and well-liked tropical cocktails, rum is one of the world’s niftiest spirits.
Once fermented, the by-products of sugar manufacture – thick and syrupy molasses, sugar-cane juice and sugar-cane honey – can be distilled into rum. These raw materials produce very distinctive spirits, but the devil is in the detail. Everything from the yeast strain, fermentation period, the kind of still and the type of cask, if any, will have an impact on the character of the spirit, mateys!
1) Root for a steal of a fun spiced rum
Cassario Spiced Rum (£14.99, Aldi)
Aldi is serving up some fantastic tipples fit for shipmates ahead of World Rum Day this Saturday. With 2021 being unofficially dubbed the ‘Year of the Sea Shanty,’ the UK has been embracing its swashbuckling side with MASSIVE rum sales. The WSTA (Wine and Spirit Trade Association) recently crowned rum the ‘drink of lockdown,’ as their recent figures show that rum had the greatest growth across all spirits during the lockdown. In the three months from April to June 2020, 38% more rum was sold than in the same period in 2019, equating to an extra 1.3 million bottles sold.
Aldi serves up a pretty RUM-arkable prize-winning spirits range these days. An award-winning first-class black spiced rum, this snifter is ideal for those on a budget seeking a classic spiced rum and mixer cocktail. Lovely solo too with an ice cube or two. Expect warming spices, some citrus, lime and many creamy vanilla notes. You can have some fun with this. Bargain
2) Cocktails anyone? Jamaican offer from Tesco
Appleton Estate Signature Rum, Jamaica (£19.99, Tesco with a Clubcard)
Incontrovertibly, Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, Joy Spence, is a living legend. Her name is fixed in history as the first lady to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry. This fruit-forward Jamaican classic is a perfect stone fruit, pineapple, toffee apple, gingery and molasses-tastic offering for mixing cocktails. Simply shake it up with lime juice, sugar syrup, and ice, then strain and serve. Top kit for cocktails. One for a Daiquiri, Jamaican Stormy, Jamaican Breeze, or Cuba Libre. The date stamped on the neck of its squat, curvy bottle is 1749, which is when the first rum production was documented on the estate. Superb price with your Tesco Clubcard.
3) For connoisseurs, a splendid & classic silky Venezuelan rum to sip like a cognac or single malt
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Dark Rum, Venezuela (£36.95-£42.50, Master of Malt/WhiskyExchange/Waitrose)
This is a multi-award-winning Venezuelan rum, for the most part distilled slowly in old copper pot stills and aged in cask for up to 12 years before release. It is one of the best premium rum sippers around, people. Truly rich, silky and luscious with notes of dark chocolate, fruitcake, orange peel, toffee, liquorice, brown sugar, maple syrup, cocoa and fudge and a long, rounded and winning finish. A classy dark golden rum for meditative sipping on the rocks, perhaps with a chunk of chocolate or Jamaican ginger cake?