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August 11, 2021 3 min read

A Beginners Guide to Spiced Rum

It is Rum Day on the 16th August and that is a worthy celebration here at SplitsDrinks! We shall be enjoying a tot of rum donning our best pirate outfit and finding a parrot to sit on our shoulder... maybe we should just stick to the rum! Here to help you learn more, this week’s blog explores this delightful tipple.

Over the past few years rum has undergone a sort of renaissance with the development of quality, independently produced spiced rum leading the way. The Spirit Business states “Flavoured and spiced rum is now the largest category of rum in the UK, surpassing white rum, with 9% growth by volume in 2019, according to the 2020 Market Report by trade group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.” 

But what is spiced rum and how do you make it? I shall first say that rum production is slightly tricky to understand as there aren't many rules and regulations. Firstly, for the major part, rum is made from molasses, a by-product of the sugar cane industry. On French islands, like Martinique, rum is made from sugarcane juice and is often called agricole rum. 

You may know of white, golden and dark rum and may think that white rum is unaged, with golden and dark rum spending more time in oak barrels imparting flavour and colour. For the most part you are right; but white rum can be aged and charcoal filtered to remove colour and dark rum can be unaged white rum with colouring added to it! 

Alas I have digressed and have led you down a rabbit hole filled with delicious rum! Back on topic, we find ourselves pondering spiced rum. Spiced rum can be made with either white, golden or dark rum and is flavoured with a range of spices such as cinnamon, vanilla cardamom and cloves. 

An interesting example, and a distillery we talked about in the blog last year, is Solihull based Burning Barn Rum. The rum they create is inspired by the fire that devastated the family business. They use a blend of rum made in Guyana and then infuse a range of spices. For example, the spiced rum has a nice level of heat from the addition of chilli and ginger that replicate the flames of the fire.

If you like your rum packed with spice then British Polo Rum is the one to go for! They use a pioneering double spicing method where they take 100% organic fairtrade white rum and distil it with orange, cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. Fresh fruit and spices are then macerated and infused into the distillate creating a rich full flavoured rum.

Although a lot of spiced rums are great to drink neat or over ice, a lot are designed to be blended with a mixer. This was at the forefront of the design and development of Rockstar Rum, with aim being the perfect spirit to mix with cola. Coca‐Cola even selected the Two Swallows range, Citrus and Salted Caramel Spiced Rum, to blend with their smokey cola. 

For those wanting to experiment and experience new drinks, spiced rum is a great gateway into the world of rum. Like we discussed, it is a growing market with some excellent local British craft producers. We have a great selection in store or online. If you would like some more information pop into one of the shops and we can help you make your selection.

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