National Rum Month
Celebrate National Rum Month
August is National Rum Month, which means it’s time to conjure up dreams of swaying palm trees, warm ocean breezes and the lore of long-lost pirate ships. 
Made from a by-product of sugar cane, rum has 17th-century roots in the Caribbean islands as well as Southeast Asia. During the sugar-making process, “waste” molasses was produced, and when mixed with water and left in the sun, it fermented. This happy accident led to the development of a flavorful spirit surrounded by history and legend. Nowadays, countries all around the world, including the United States, have bragging rights to their own brands of rum. 
All rums are clear, colorless spirits when they come out of the still, and barrel aging or the addition of caramel determine their final color and flavor. There are three main classifications of rum: white, golden and dark. White rum, also called “light” or “silver,” is usually clear and has subtle flavors that blend well with fruit flavors. Classic drinks such as the Daiquiri, Piña Colada and Mojito are typically made with light rum. Golden rums are medium-bodied and have been aged six months to several years in oak casks, which give them a smooth, mellow flavor. Enjoy these on the rocks or in warm drinks. Dark rums are full-bodied, rich and have been aged in oak casks for two to four years or more. These can be savored on their own or used in Planter’s Punch.
Flavored rums come in a selection of fruit flavors such as coconut, pineapple, mango, banana, lime, raspberry, vanilla and more. These make delicious drinks served on the rocks, with tonic, mixed with fruit juices or, for a twist, used as part of your favorite cocktails. And spiced rums, which can be white, golden or dark, provide a flavorful spirit infused with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sip on This
Rum is good for your health. The British Navy thought so, anyway-they gave out rations of the Caribbean nectar (called “grog”) until the 1970s in order to fend of scurvy. But it turns out it may have been the addition of lime and all its Vitamin C properties that actually gave the needed immune boost.
Map of the Caribbean
Don’t Worry, The Rum’s Not Gone
The Caribbean
The crème de la crème of rum hails from the Caribbean, and each island boasts distinct nuances. Fruity varieties are characteristic of Guadeloupe and French Guyana; heavier, spiced flavors are a telltale sign of Jamaican rum; and light, buttery notes can be found on islands like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. However, countries all around the world produce top-notch rums, from New Zealand to Canada and plenty of places in between.
Jerk Chicken
Food Pairing Presented by MGM
Rum varieties run the gamut, which means ideal food pairings do as well. White rums, especially when mixed in cocktails such as the Mojito or Daiquiri, mirror the lightness of seafood dishes such as fresh tilapia, scallops or sea bass. When it comes to golden and dark rums, think Caribbean fare-jerk chicken or pork, blackened fish with mango salsa, and rice and beans. And don’t forget: the spicier the better. For dessert, pair an aged rum with a cheese plate and your meal is complete.
Dark and Stormy
Far North Spirits Dark & Stormy
2 ounces Ålander Rum
3 ounces ginger beer
½ ounce fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in tall glass with ice. Stir.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Far North Spirits
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