Traditionally made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses into a clear liquid, before being aged in oak barrels for it's famous golden colouration, this spirit of the West Indies has an important story to tell.
It's relevence extends far beyond the world of alcohol - influencing slavery, revolution, politics and piracy throughout the Caribbean and beyond.
Though it has been suggested that this style of drink can be traced as far back as the 7th century AD, it wasn't until the 17th century that plantation slaves in the Caribbean discovered molasses, a by-product of sugar refinement, could be fermented into alcohol. From here, rum became as much a form of currency as it was a drink, entirely replacing French brandy as the preferred exchange-alcohol by the end of the 17th century.
Rum has gone through much change in the last 500 years, it's taste and colour not only a result of the regions that produce it, but also the demographics of those who drink it.
Naval and maritime use have influenced the production of higher ABV rums; whilst traditionalism in other areas has helped to ensure that production stays within it's countries of origin, with various islands of the West Indies and South American nations being the main producers of the biggest brand names in rum.