National Rum Day
August 16th is National Rum Day. A holiday that celebrates and commemorates the distilled alcoholic beverage that is made from sugarcane by-products. It’s a spirit that steeped in romanticism, thanks to its association with pirates in the Caribbean. While it is considered to be the third most popular alcoholic beverage, after whiskey and vodka, on this day it is number one. So if you’re of legal age, and can enjoy this beverage responsibly, then be sure to try out one of the many drinks that can be made with rum.
The History of Rum
No one is currently sure when rum was invented. In fact, it probably dates back before recorded history. Scholars do believe however, that is was probably developed from an early drink known as brum that was made by the Malay people thousands of years ago. When Marco Polo was in Iran, he noted that he was given a tasty wine of sugar that may have been an ancestor of what is now known as rum.
The first known distillation of rum took place during the 17th century on various sugarcane plantations located in the Caribbean. It is believed that the slaves on the plantations were the first ones to discover that the byproduct of the sugar refining process could be fermented and processed in a spirit. Over time, these spirits were distilled and refined until the alcohol was raised to a sufficient level to become rum. According to many of the oral traditions of the Caribbean, it is stated that the first rums were created in Barbados. However, new evidence is beginning to emerge that suggests that Brazil and Sweden each had their own versions of rum.
Popular Rum Drinks
- Cuba Libre
- Pina Colada
Fun Rum Facts
- Rum with lime was given to Royal Navy sailors
- 12 million gallons of rum were consumed annual by colonists in the Caribbean
- A popular name for rum was Grog
- Other names for rum include Navy neaters, Kill Devil and Nelson’s blood
Celebrating National Rum Day
Probably the best way to celebrate National Rum Day is to make yourself one of the many rum mixed drinks. There are a variety of them available, from rum punch to rum daiquiris and spiced rum drinks. Just be sure to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.