Rum is a liquor produced by fermenting then refining sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is typically aged in oak barrels. Most rums are manufactured in the Caribbean and North and South American countries and in other sugar-producing countries, such as the Philippines, India, and Taiwan.
Rums are manufactured in various grades. Light rums are usually used in cocktails, whereas “golden” and “dark” rums were usually drunk straight or neat, iced (“on the rocks”), or used for cooking, but are now commonly drank with mixers. Premium rums are made to drink either straight or iced.
Rum plays a role in most islands of the West Indies and the Maritime provinces, and Newfoundland in Canada. The beverage has famous relationships with the Royal Navy (mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (it was consumed as bumbo). Rum has also served as a common medium of economic exchange to help fund businesses such as slavery, organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia’s Rum Rebellion).