Tropical cocktails
Rum: a synonym with paradise


Where Rum was first made

Even though Rum has always been closely connected to the "new world", sugarcane, the plant of which Rum is derived, did not even originate from that part of the world. Both China and India were growing sugarcane long before. However, it was not until the spanish colonization of Antillean islands in the Caribbean, that the sugarcane became booming.

It was not long before someone had the idea to keep the juice that is leftover after the sugar has been extracted and turn that into an alcoholic beverage, which was initially intended for the locals of the islands. The first written records of this distillation date back to the 17th century.

Rum, made of sugarcane, colorless or amber colored, industrial or right of the land: it's a good reason to visit Cuba, the antilles or Réunion.

These days there are two important production techniques in use. The distiller can treat the sweet sap, the sugar juice, immediately. After a natural fermentation and distillation the result is either a colorless liquid that can be sold without further processing or, after short or long ripening in casks, an amber colored substance. The 'farmer rums', which are must more aromatic en suitable for ripening, are a specialty that has been developed further on the french antilles and the island Réunion.

In second technique the distiller subtracts all of the sugars from the sugar can juice and then distills what is leftover: the molasses. The result, an industrial rum, is less aromatic than the farm rum and relatively low on alcohol content. Some of the rums are later colored and used in bakeries. Because of the french law, that protects the production on or from the french antilles, these light rums are hardly know in the country of France, while they can be found in just about every store in the America's. Cuba and other Caribbean islands have strong traditions in the field of rum based cocktails, dating all the way back to days of the USA prohibition, when fortunate americans would travel to the island to relax... and enjoy all the wonderful drinks that Havana has to offer. This influx of rich people was the motive to setup a real school for bartenders, which today, even under nearly 45 years of Fidel Castro's regime, still exists.

There are a few other countries that produce rum-like liquors, like in Brazil, where the call this sugarcane spirit cachaça, and in Guyana and Barbados.


An after dinner cocktail.

Put in a mixing glass with some ice:

4/10 White Rum
4/10 Benedictine
1/10 Grenadine Syrup
1/10 Cream

Shake long and serve in chilled cocktail glasses.

Piña Colada

Using cream de cacao gives this cocktail a different color.

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

3/10 White Rum
2/10 Coconut liqueur
5/10 Pineapple juice
1 splash of cream

Shake well and serve in large tumbler glass. Decorate with a slice of Pineapple.



This pleasantly soft short drink makes a very nice aperitif.

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

3/10 White Rum
3/10 Southern Comfort
3/10 Lemon Juice
1/10 Crème de banane

Shake and serve in cocktail glasses. Decorate with slices of banana.


Long drink: aperitif

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

6/10 White Rum
4/10 Kiwi Liqueur (Kibowi)

Shake well and serve in 'old fashioned' glasses. Decorate with a (or more) slice(s) of banana.


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