The Origin And History Of Rum

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For all those that have their most favored rum recipe and love to sip silently on a rum cocktail, you might not frequently sit and ponder the story of this wonderfully versatile spirit. Today there are thousands of rum recipe for cocktails, punches, and shooters of all varieties. Rum is among the first alcoholic drinks, believed to have been around since ancient times. Though it wasn’t first distilled in plantations till the seventeenth century, rum is believed to have been the drink of choice of the Malay people 1000’s of years before that. Historians believe that they knew the glass as brum.


At the fourteenth century, Marco Polo recorded in his magazines’ stories of wine made with extracts from sugar, thus lending credibility to the belief that rum is around before the 1600 s. The earliest recorded distillation of rum occurred in the Caribbean when slaves working on plantations worked out that a by-product of sugar, known as molasses, might be made into a form of alcohol. The early history of rum wasn’t a thrilling success story, and the spirit was thought at first to be an entirely vile tasting liquor. Production of rum rapidly spread to the new American colonies.


In 1664, the first distillery was established in what’s now known as Staten Island and others soon followed. New Englander’s had a passion for the production of rum. The rum industry was by far the largest industry in the area, and the final product was widely regarded as the best in the land, better even than that imported from the Caribbean. Rum was a spirit destined to have a prominent place in history – even the dark portions of history. Rum was central to the evolution of the slave trade in the new colony as slaves, molasses and rum is part of what was known as a triangle of business.


Production of rum carried on in massive quantities till the passing the Law of the Sugar Act in 1764. Such is the place of rum in American history that some believe it to be a fundamental part in the American Revolution. More than every other alcoholic drink rum was romantically associated with pirates on the high seas. This initially started when English privateers began trading it. Numerous ships became pirates and rum was their drink of choice. Works of literature that coupled rum and piracy perpetuated this belief that rum was the drink of choice for pirates.

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Chad Barney
My name is Chad Barney, people call me Chad. I have been cooking in family-owned and operated restaurants since I was 8 years old. I grew up in California, Los Angeles, and have lived in New York City since 2009. I learned original Thai recipes from my mother, aunts and other relative working in our family kitchens. As a personal chef I focus on healthy cooking less oil, less sugar or no sugar at all but use the sweetness for vegetables and natural sweetener such as palm sugar.

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