Sugar cane distillate from the equatorial belt

For many centuries, cane sugar was a very rare product destined first for medicinal purposes, then for the tables of the rich. With the discovery of America in 1492, it spread to the western colonies in the Caribbean. Sugar cane is a herbaceous plant that has its natural habitat in subtropical countries, with temperate climatic conditions and no major temperature fluctuations. The mature plant is about 3 m high and weighs between 1 and 4 kg. Harvesting usually takes place in July, in the past by hand, nowadays by agricultural machinery that also removes the leaves and leaves only the stem, which is the most sugar-rich part (20 %).

Pressed and crushed, the barrels yield a first very dense sugary juice (vesou) that is filtered, decanted and fermented with often spontaneous yeasts (caipiria). Distillation takes place in discontinuous stills for agricultural rum, which represents only 10 % of the rums on the market.

Most rums are made from a by-product of cane sugar, molasses, which still contains residual sugars. Fermentation takes place by adding water and selected yeasts. Distillation takes place in continuous column apparatuses, from which industrial rum is obtained, which is particularly neutral and ductile towards ageing and blending.

Ageing is carried out in oak barrels from various parts of the world. The area most renowned for obtaining great rums is the Caribbean Sea area.


Types of Rum:

  1. Carta Blanca: unaged rums that after a short rest in non-wooden containers are reduced in degree, chilled to stabilise the colour and then bottled. They are used in the production of cocktails.
  2. Carta de Oro: rum with a short ageing in wood.
  3. Rum Anejo: aged rum, when the age is stated on the label, it always refers to the minimum period of rest in wooden barrels.

Many rums are flavoured with cactus juice, sultanas, caramel or orange peel to give colour and complexity.

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