Rum is a drink that has seen many variations get teased over recent years, especially. With a number of mixers that work so well with rum, from tonic water to cranberry juice, it is one of the best flavourful drinks on the market.
However, slowly but surely, a new variation of rum has found its way onto the scene, and we are completely here for it.
High-quality flavoured rum has gained significant popularity as a tasteful and classy sipping drink, standing on its own as a strong and smooth drink amongst the other fan favourites like gin, whiskey and other top-table spirits.
So, let’s look at how this change came about and why bartenders and consumers opt for a smooth rum over a flavoured cocktail.
A More Distinctive Flavour
So one primary reason we mix rum into a cocktail or with a mixer was to add flavour. Rum used to be fairly one dimensional when it came to flavour, not offering much for your palette aside from the characteristic taste of white rum or the more solid flavour of darker rum.
However, those days are long gone. Rum distilleries have seen a sharp rise in numbers over the past few years and are on track to become just as popular as gin.
With growing competition comes the inevitable variations and distinguishing individuality of each rum to find their place in the market. We are sure this is a sacrifice we can all take in our strides as we sift (and sip) through the numerous rums coming into the market to find our new favourite flavour.
Flavoured rum is no longer a cheaper option for those that wanted something easy to drink with mixers. Nor is it just a more ‘palatable’ option for those that don’t like the taste of dark rum.
Bitter Taste vs Smooth Feel
Speaking of taste, people are leaning more towards sipping on a delicious rum because of how smooth, how hiqh-quality it can be now.
For years, darker rums had a bitter taste, which was acceptable and even enjoyable for many of us; numerous spirits leave a bitter taste. That is why they are blended with mixers for the perfect blend of sweet and bitter in one drink.
However, recently many of us have started thinking, why does it need to be bitter? And so some flavourful rum drinks have become swiftly adapted, offering a more smooth and sweet taste to them as we enjoy them.
Simply, mixers and cocktails were introduced to create balance and to provide a flavourful experience. And while we’re not suggesting that cocktails are out and straight flavoured rum is in, we are suggesting that there is less need for cocktails to make the drinking of straight liquor enjoyable for those of us who prefer a smoother, less abrasive taste to our drinks.
Better Distilling Processes
As a result of rum adapting and their flavours changing over the recent decade, and with people seemingly enjoying it, the best practices within rum creation are rapidly evolving.
Rum is now being purposefully made to be sipped, so why ruin that process by adding unnecessary flavours into it?
We are seeing this shift and consumers and bartenders leaning towards a smooth sip of rum over a bursting cocktail because the distilleries are making it so that we no longer need to add other flavours to our rums.
Distilling processes now emphasise a more handcrafted, bespoke approach – much like the fine whiskies on the market today – with more labour and craft going into each stage, packing as much characteristic flavour into the end product by taking time and care during the distilling. This is now the case with many independent rum brands, offering a more ‘elevated’ product that can sit proudly alongside those expensive bottles of whiskey and scotch.
We can simply enjoy it for what it is, embrace the flavour the rum itself has to offer with nothing else ruining that or watering it down.
However, regardless of how the rum is made, the most important thing is you enjoy it however you want! Blend it with a cocktail for a more fruitful flavour, or add a mixer so that you can balance out the taste. This new ‘sipping’ rum is yours to do what you want with it, so make sure you make the drink your own for an overall better experience.