Is Rum the New Gin?

Many years ago Gin was looked upon in the same regard as Brandy, a drink for the old, they called it Mother’s ruin after all.  After a magnificent renaissance. Gin is probably the most consumed spirit in Britain, if not Worldwide. But is Rum the new Gin?

Rum the new gin

Let’s talk Rum

But we should be talking about Rum, not Gin. It is necessary to understand where Rum finds itself at the moment. It is on a great revival, one that should bring it more success than it has ever had before and should be sustained for many years to come. Rum is no longer the drink of sailors, nor is it limited to Bacardi, Malibu, and Navy strength dark rum. That’s not saying you can’t get them anymore far from it, and I am continually surprised how many people drink Malibu.

So, where do we start? Rum now comes in 3 primary forms: the old white and dark and the new spiced. There are still the leading much-loved brands such as Captain Morgan, Lambs, and Bacardi, however now the market has jumped on the Gin bandwagon, and we have a plethora of small-batch-made rums of varying strength, colour, and in terms of spiced Rums flavour.

So much choice..

The range of dark rums is quite simply staggering ranging from your normal £20 bottles to some that are well over £100. Masters of Malt have a bottle of The Last Drop 1976 for just over £3000; however, most decent dark rums are in the £25 to £40 bracket, which is much more affordable. Thameside Rum Signature blend, (£38.50), for example, is an excellent Rum. Although it lends itself to many Rum-based cocktails, is also a fantastic rum to drink straight with a couple of cubes of ice.

Spiced Rums have taken off in leaps and bounds over the last five years. Again many of the big brands have their own spiced varieties. Captain Morgan is one of the more popular ones. Many smaller brands have taken over the Spiced Rum baton. Mainstream ones such as Kraken, Dead Man’s Fingers, Sailor Jerry, and Red Leg, and even smaller, more exclusive ones such as Cut, Hawksbill, and Barti Rum. Many target their Rums as being environmentally sourced and flavoured with natural ingredients. Barti’s Spiced Rum, for example, is flavoured with Pembrokeshire Seaweed.

Rum the new gin

White Rum surprisingly is almost the latecomer to the party. For years (and years and years), there has only ever been one white Rum stocked by bars and pubs, you know the one, Bacardi. Backed up by a massive advertising campaign Bacardi has been the mainstay of white Rum for probably the last 50 years, if not longer. However, it finally has some competition. One of note is the Juggling King White Rum distilled on Guernsey. It is a fine white rum ideal for drinking with the usual mixers, i.e., cola, tonic, or ginger beer, but is also great for drinking neat.

Rum – the versatile spirit

Rum is much more than just a rum and coke. It lends itself to some of the most established and popular cocktails of all time, and new versions of these and other cocktails are being invented all of the time. Some of note are, of course the Mojito, Daiquiri, Pina Colada and the Mai Tai.
New Rum cocktails include the Wondering Rascal, a blend of Rum, Cider and lemon juice. Or maybe in keeping with the traditions of Rum you would like to try a Jolly Rodger; a heady mix of dark Rum, Tequila, sweet vermouth, and Champagne (not for the faint-hearted I would think).

Rum the new gin

In conclusion, in all of its forms, Rum is in a period of discovery and invention and will be for many more years to come and can look forward to a future of epic proportions.

See you at the Bar.

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