The roots of rum!

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Did you know the first distillation of rum took place in the 1620s in Brazil?

As our April Cocktail Club box features this famed spirit, we thought we’d delve into the history and origins behind rum.

Dating back 400 years, it is believed the first ever bottle of rum,  referred to as ‘rumbullion’, was discovered on board the Swedish warship Vasa which sank in 1628.

A document from Barbados stated “the chief fudding they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made from sugar canes distilled. A hot, hellish, and terrible liquor”.

© Vasa - Swedish Warship by jlascar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 From its ‘hellish’ and ‘terrible’ beginnings, rum became synonymous as seafaring swagger, as over time the drink was given to sailors as a cure for scurvy before becoming a sailor’s official rationed drink.

In 1687, rum became the official ration for the British Royal Navy and rum importation began to make its way to the UK, with brands including Lemon Hart and Lamb’s blending and ageing rum in the UK.

We may have a strong and long tradition of importing rum, but the UK does not have as rich a history in distilling rum.

Due to the climate being unconducive to producing sugar cane, many rum brands opt to import the spirit to blend with locally sourced spices to create distinctive taste profiles, like this month’s featured spirit, Cloven Hoof Rum.

Cloven Hoof, use imported rum from Guyana’s Diamond Distillery and a lighter rum from Trinidad Distillers Limited, blended with a mysterious concoction of natural spices, cloves, star anise and cassia bark to create a deep red spiced rum.

The rum captures the flavours of the Caribbean as featured in this month’s cocktails - the Long Island Spiced Ice Tea and Toffee Apple Daiquiri.

The only way to try these exclusive drinks is to join our Cocktail Club in April - what are you waiting for?

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