There they will learn about the process of making rum which is usually made from molasses, but is also made directly from sugar cane in some places – such as the French influenced islands.
The cane juice or molasses, known as the “wash” is fermented using yeast over a period which can range from 24 hours to several weeks – the longer the ferment, the fuller the rum.
It is then distilled, with all rums emerging from this process as a clear spirit. Lighter rums are produced in column stills, purified and blended, before being charcoal filtered and sometimes casked for a few months. Heavier rums are made using pot stills then aged in oak casks for long periods. Then there are the medium-bodied amber rums and the spiced rums – basically, there is a rum for everyone.
Here are some fun facts about every pirate’s favourite tipple.
5. In the 1800s, people thought that rum was beneficial for cleaning hair and strengthening its roots.
7. It was believed at the time that Nelson’s body was brought back from the Battle of Trafalgar in a barrel of rum, although some now suggest that it was actually brandy. But the belief gave rise to the drink’s nickname of Nelson’s Blood.
9. Often paid in rum, eighteenth century sailors tested the spirit’s authenticity by mixing it with gunpowder — a mini-blast equated to a thumbs-up.
10. The first president of the United States, George Washington, was also fond of a tot of rum. The part-time mixologist used dark Jamaican rum in his popular eggnog recipe. When he ran for the Virginia State Legislature for the second time, he arranged for voters to be served 144 gallons of rum, punch, cider, wine and beer. He won by 68 votes.