A Guide to the Different Types of Rum and How to Use Them

May 27, 2023
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A few hundred years ago rum was the drink of choice for the settlers in Colonial America.

There’s never been a better time to bring this wise tradition back! But with so many types of rum available, it’s often tough to figure out where to get started.

This guide will show you what the different types of rum are so you can decide what you want to try and serve your guests. This will inspire you to make your own rum recipes.

Bring your glass along and let’s learn together:

Gold Rum

Pirates would often drink rum as they sailed the seas on the lookout for gold and other buried treasures.

It’s no surprise then that it’s one of the most popular types of flavored rum in Gold Rum. This is a mixture of light and dark rum and is the perfect middle ground. It also has many flavors such as citrus, caramel, coconut, and even vanilla.

This type of rum can be drunk as is or can also be the base of many rum cocktails. In fact, one of the most popular rum recipes is the Ultimate Bay Breeze recipe which is made from Gold Rum.

White Rum

This is the lightest type of rum and is the most popular for rum cocktails. If you enjoy drinking Piña Coladas, for example, the base of this drink is white rum.

If you’ve had such a cocktail, you’ll know that the taste of rum isn’t so strong. It’s subtle and doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the coconut or other fruits.

If you’re just getting into drinking rum, then this is the ideal option. It’s not so strong and it also has a lower alcohol content. This is perfect for serving guests at a party.

Dark Rum

This type of rum is considered the fullest type of rum. You’ll get the full flavor of rum and you’ll get a strong taste.

Dark rum is best drunk on its own. While you can use it for rum cocktails, this might overwhelm the taste. One major difference between white rum vs. dark rum is that the latter is an acquired taste.

If you’re just getting into rum, you might not care for dark rum. However, don’t dismiss it if you don’t like it at first. Take your time to slowly sip it every now and then.

Like whiskey, you might end up loving dark rum. It’ll just take a bit longer to appreciate it.

Spiced Rum

Now we’re getting into hot territory. If your tastebuds have begun to fall in love with the taste of rum, then it’s time to experiment.

Spiced rum is, as the name suggests, one of the strongest flavors of rum. This type of rum has a variety of ingredients that give it a kick. These include cardamom, cinnamon, dried fruits, nutmeg, and sometimes, actual spices like Garam Masala!

This type of rum isn’t suitable for rum cocktails. You want to drink spiced rum as it is. Make sure you also drink it in small doses as it’s one of the most potent alcoholic drinks you’ll find.

Aged Rum

As you can expect, this isn’t a rum you can make at the last minute. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up, you might want to shell out a few hundred dollars for a bottle of aged rum.

These are made in a distillery and then kept in a cellar for several years. This gives them a stronger but refined taste. These aren’t really ideal for rum cocktails.

Rather, you want to enjoy one small glass of aged rum with a close friend. This is the perfect rum to sit back and relax with. It’s often the rum that’s more loved by an older crowd as they reflect upon their lives.

Flavored Rum

This is a popular type of rum that’s great if you don’t want to go through the hassle of preparing a cocktail.

Flavored rum is a white rum that’ll have added flavors. This can include mango juice, strawberry, coconut, lemonade, etc.

Malibu is one of the most popular flavored rum options. Bacardi is perhaps the brand most associated with making great flavored rum. This is the perfect rum for a fun summer party.

Flavored rum is also one of the most affordable options for buying rum. If you want to throw a huge party, you won’t struggle with buying several bottles.

English Rum

You’ll feel like Fletcher Christian celebrating after stifling a mutiny with this rum!

English rum comes from the Anglo-Caribbean islands including The Bahamas, Jamaica, and Barbados. This is a sweet rum that’s made with molasses as the base.

It’s great to enjoy on its own. But you can also enjoy English rum with a heavy barbecue meal. This isn’t advisable to use as part of a rum cocktail.

French Rum

Ah — the battle between England and France resumes! French rum also comes from the Caribbean. It’s brewed on islands such as St. Barts and Martinique.

This is a much sweeter rum and is often great for those who don’t enjoy alcoholic drinks. The sweetness is enough for you to enjoy without needing to add additional flavors.

French rum uses sugar cane juice as a base. It’s best to drink in smaller doses as it can give you a great sugar rush. This is great to cool down on a hot summer’s day.

French rum is also considered to be more pedestrian rather than elegant. This means that it’s one of the most affordable types of rum that you’ll find.

Try These Types of Rum

Now you know the different types of rum and can decide which ones are best for you.

White rum is great for making rum cocktails and it appeals to everyone. Black rum is much stronger and is an acquired taste.

If you want sweet rums try English, French, or Gold Rum. For stronger rums, you may want to try Spiced and Aged rums. Flavored rum is great for any occasion.

You can find more food and beverage content on our blog.

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