National Rum Day

August 16th is National Rum Day, a holiday that celebrates and commemorates the distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products. It’s a spirit steeped in romanticism, thanks to its association with pirates in the Caribbean.

While it is considered the third most popular alcoholic beverage, after whiskey and vodka, on this day, it is number one. So if you’re of legal drinking 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 it was likely 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 to discover that the byproduct of the sugar refining process could be fermented and turned into a spirit. Over time, these spirits were distilled and refined until the alcohol content was raised to a sufficient level to become rum.

According to many 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

Fun Rum Facts

  • Rum with lime was given to Royal Navy sailors
  • 12 million gallons of rum were consumed annually 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 is 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.

When is it?
This year (2024)
August 16 Friday
Next year (2025)
August 16 Saturday
Last year (2023)
August 16 Wednesday
Food & Drinks