Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle o’ Rum!
Rum is usually made from sugarcane molasses and juice by fermentation and distillation, and then aged in wooden (usually oak) casks. Although rum is produced in many countries all over the world (in Australia, India, Reunion Islands and others), major part of it comes from the Caribbean Region and from area along the Demerara river in Latin America.
Various kinds of rum can be consumed in many different ways. For example, light rums are commonly used for mixed drinks, while golden and dark rums are more often used for cocktails and cooking. There are also premium rums that are made to be served neat or on the rocks.
Rum is probably the most famous strong alcoholic beverage in literature, movies and other kinds of popular culture due to its associations with piracy and the British Royal Navy. Rum was also widely used as an exchange currency that helped to promote slavery along with providing economic instigation for Australia's Rum Rebellion and the American Revolution.
It is unknown why the drink is called what it is. Some say that the name came from the name of a large drinking glass widely used by Dutch seamen known as a rummer, from the Dutch word "roemer" meaning a drinking glass. Another version states that the word is derived from "rumbullion" (a great tumult or uproar). Other versions claim that "rum" came from "saccharum" (Latin for "sugar") or "arome" (French for "aroma"). The name came into common use by May, 1657 with prohibition of the sale of strong alcoholic drink "knowne by the name of rumme" by the General Court of Massachusetts.
Rum was first distilled somewhere in the first half of the 17th century on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean. Some researchers believe that rum was first originated on the island of Barbados. However, regardless of where it was produced, early rum was of very low quality.
Rum quickly spread over the Colonial America. The first distillery was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1667. Distillation quickly became very popular and prosperous industry in the New World. The rum produced there was even considered the best in the world during much of the 18th century. But eventually, rum's popularity significantly decreased with the development of the whisky production in America.
Until the second half of the 19th there was no such thing like "light rum"; only heavy or dark rums were produced. They were of much less quality than the refined double-distilled spirits of Europe, but were considered appropriate for the working poor. In order to expand the market for rum, the Spanish Royal Development Board offered a prize to anyone who would improve the process of rum making in order to increase the quality of the drink. Many improvements were eventually made but the ones of the most importance were innovations offered by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso. He experimented with distillation techniques, charcoal filtering, cultivating of specialized yeast strains, and aging with American oak casks and eventually produced a smoother and mellower drink which is now called the light rum. In 1862 Don Facundo founded his famous "Bacardi y Compania" with his new light rum.