Drinkers around the world have enjoyed rum for a long time. This distilled spirit actually has a lot of history. Today, it's still one of the most popular types of alcohol around. Did you know, even George Washington was a huge fan of the stuff?
Well, if you didn't know that, you might be surprised to learn some of these other fun facts.
The history of rum dates all the way back to the 1600s. The first recorded instance in the United States was in the 1660s. However, by that point, it had already been used in the Caribbean for a few decades. That makes it the oldest type of distilled spirit in the world. Other types of alcohol may have been around longer, but rum was the first distilled spirit on the market.
When it was first produced, rum took a whole lot of manpower to make. Plus, since it was made out of molasses, it had some important health benefits. Sailors and pirates drank it to get vital nutrients, making it important for long voyages. These benefits made rum super valuable. So valuable, in fact, that it was used as a type of currency back in the day. People would trade it just like they would money.
Rum wasn't just a drink back then, either. It was also sold as a health tonic. Even today, people claim that it has benefits for your hair. However, during the 1700s, people would use it as shampoo. They believed that it would actually make increase their hair's thickness.
Most of the time, you'll find rum that contains around 30% alcohol by volume. Compared to your typical beer, that's quite a lot more. Most beers contain around 2-6% alcohol by volume. Still, rum can get even more concentrated whenever it's made right. The strongest rums contain up to 65% alcohol by volume. That's as much as a stiff vodka!
Perhaps, the most exciting thing about rum is that it's a low-calorie beverage. Rum doesn't have any fat or protein, and a typical shot only has around 70 calories. Thus, making it the ideal choice for health-conscious drinkers. 3 shots of rum contain fewer calories than your average bottle of cola.
The 18th amendment prohibited the production and sale of alcohol in the US. Back then, a lot of people got around those laws by importing rum from overseas. Since so much rum was made in the Caribbean, it was one of the most popular imports. Entire towns popped up along the east coast to support this trade.
Today, rum can be made out of a lot of things. However, it was originally created using aged molasses. That's part of what gives this alcohol its distinctive taste. Also, aged molasses contributes to the drink's color as well.
Nowadays, you can see a whole range of colors at the liquor store. Rum can be found as a colorless beverage, or you can pick up some of it with a deep amber tone. What's responsible for this variation? Well, most of the difference is the result of the aging process. The longer you age rum, the darker it tends to be. So, darker rums have been kept in storage for longer.
Rum wasn't just an adult beverage in Colonial America. Estimates from the time suggest that every man, woman, and child consumed it. Reports suggest that everyone in the colonies drank around 3 imperial gallons a year. That's a whole lot of rum, regardless of age.
To this day, Caribbean food has a unique flavor. Most of that distinct taste comes from the use of rum. Sometimes, chefs like to use flavored rums to add even more flair to their meals. However, this practice dates back to the 1600s. Back then, most people would use rum almost like we use water today.
Rum isn't just a great drink to have at a party. It's a beverage with a history spanning hundreds of years. It's been used as a currency in the past, and it is still popular around the world. Hopefully, you've enjoyed learning about these fun facts as much as we did.