The connection between Puerto Rico and rum goes back to the days of Christopher Columbus who brought sugarcane to the island in 1493. Puerto Rico refers to themselves now as the Rum Capital of the World.
Because Rum is a byproduct of sugarcane, Puerto Rico is ideal for production, as sugar cane is a key economic source. “Guarapo,” or sugar cane juices are boiled creating both crystallized sugar and molasses. Diluting the molasses syrup and fermenting it, is what creates rum. Rum is now the second largest spirit sold worldwide.
In early American history, grain spirits, or whiskey, became popular, but the Rum culture stayed alive in the islands. In 1942, the production of whiskey was ordered to be stopped as part of the World War II rations. This boosted the sale of Rum, which caused it to be produced more commercially and leave some of its flavor behind. Squeal Rum stays true to the taste and culture of Rum.
Types of Puerto Rico Rum
Rums can come in a variety of colors, namely: white/silver/clear, golden, dark/black and spiced. And these colors are related to how they are made and processed, and each has its own taste. The main steps stay the same: fermenting, distilling, aging, blending.
Spiced Rum, like Squeal Rum, is a rum that has spices that can include vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, clove, fruits and more. The flavors are usually added to a clear rum. Clear Rum is aged the shortest amount of time, usually only a year or two, if at all. It is then filtered and bottled. It is most common in mojitos and pairs well with fruits.
Golden rum is usually barrel aged and picks up flavors from the barrel after several years of aging. These rums can be mixed or sipped straight and have more complex flavors. Dark or Black rums are usually aged for more than 3 years in charred barrels and will have more flavors and a more intense finish than other rums. Both golden and black rums are used in cooking applications because of the variety of flavors.
Aged rums are considered the most flavorful, distinctive rums and are smooth in flavor. Rum enthusiasts still continue to drink the rum straight & at room temperature to experience all the flavors. Bartenders in Puerto Rico take pride in the way traditional rum has always been enjoyed best with fresh juices and simple flavors, including a traditional rum & wine sangria. Many islanders still use rum in their bloody marys.