Things you didn’t know about rum

While it is somewhat unknown when rum was invented, many scholars believe it stemmed from a drink called ‘brum’, a popular Malaysian drink originating thousands of years ago.

Jump to the 1620s when the first known rum distillation took place on a sugarcane plantation in the sunny Caribbean. It is thought that the slaves working on the plantation discovered that the refining sugar by-product (molasses) could ferment and process into a spirit. This led to the refinement and distillation of the spirit until the alcohol volume was high enough, becoming ‘rum’.

Rum was the first spirit in the world to be manufactured, distilled and sold under a brand.


  • Oral Carribean tradition has it that rum was first created in Barbados, although emerging evidence suggests Brazil and Sweden has their own versions of rum.
  • It is argued that the origin of the word ‘rum’ came from the last syllable of the Latin word for sugar, saccharum.
  • It is the ageing process that determines the colour of rum. Rums aged in oak casks boast a dark colour, while rums aged in stainless steel remain almost colourless.
  • In the 1800s rum was often used as shampoo, as most people believed that it would actually make their hair thicker.
  • Rum rations were provided to sailors in the Royal Navy with a splash of lime juice in order to fight off the scurvy. These sailors also often received rum as part of their benefits package.
  • Today, 80% of the world’s source of rum originates from Puerto Rico.
  • Rum manufacturers are super secretive about their unique recipe rum blend, with recipes passed down generations.


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