Rum facts, health benefits and risks

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Rum facts and health benefits

Rum Quick Facts
Name: Rum
Colors Changes with age. Generally gain golden and amber hues as they mature.
Calories 97 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Copper (2.33%)
Iron (0.63%)
Manganese (0.35%)
Phosphorus (0.29%)
Zinc (0.27%)
Health benefits Healthy heart, Common cold, Diabetes, Sore muscles, Keep scurvy away, Effective Antiseptic, Decreases Your Risk of Mental Disease, Can improve your Libido, Offers Longevity and Nutritional Benefits, Cancer Prevention, Reduces the risk of Gallstones, Rum for De-stressing, Rum for Immunity,
More facts about Rum
Rum is actually a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane juice or sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. It has been a part of the traditional and cultural drink in the Caribbean. But now it is extensively produced and consumed throughout the world.  The majority of the world’s rum production takes place in the Caribbean and Latin America. Rum is also made in Scotland, Austria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Philippines, India, Reunion Island, Mauritius, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, the United States, and Canada.

Numerous varieties of rum are manufactured throughout the world and color of rum normally indicates the age of it. The majority of the world’s rum production occurs in the Caribbean and Latin America. Rum is also produced in Scotland, Austria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Philippines, India, Reunion Island, Mauritius, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, the United States, and Canada. Rums are produced in many grades. Light rums are commonly used in cocktails, while “golden” and “dark” rums were normally consumed straight or neat, on the rocks, or used for cooking, but are now commonly consumed with mixers. Premium rums are also available, made to be consumed either straight or iced.

Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in The Maritimes and Newfoundland. This beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo). Rum has also served as a popular medium of economic exchange, used to help fund enterprises such as slavery (see Triangular trade), organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia’s Rum Rebellion). Rum is used in various cocktails like rum punch. Desserts, ice-creams, cakes and tea use rum to attain its taste and flavor. Rum is one of the most popular liquors and it is used in some of our favorite cocktails, including the Daiquiri and Mojito.


The origin of the word rum is unclear. A common claim is that the name was derived from the word rumbullion, meaning, “a great tumult or uproar.” Another claim is that the name comes from the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as rummers, from the Dutch word roemer, a drinking glass. Other theories recommend that it is a contraction of the words saccharum (Latin for sugar) or arôme (French for aroma).

Regardless of the original source, the name had come into common use by May 1657 when the General Court of Massachusetts made illegal the sale of strong liquor, “whether known by the name of rumme, strong water, wine, brandy, etc., etc.”

The history of rum dates back to the 14th century, with varieties of it popping up throughout Asia and India. However, its distillation didn’t begin until the 1600s, when Caribbean plantation slaves realized that the molasses left over from the refinement of sugarcane could be turned into alcohol.

Rum has a long, rich association with mariners of all types. When English privateers, who used it in trade, became pirates, they brought with them their affinity for the spirit. And when the British Royal Navy captured Jamaica in 1655 they found rum to be so plentiful that they began drinking it instead of their beloved brandy.

In the mid-1800s, Caribbean rum distillers dramatically improved their distillation, filtering and aging techniques, and the result was much closer to the crisp, smooth rum spirit that we know today.

Nutritional Value

Apart from their wonderful taste, rum is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 42 gram of rum offers 0.021 mg of Copper, 0.05 mg of Iron,0.008 mg of Manganese,2 mg of Phosphorus,0.03 mg of Zinc,0.003 mg of Vitamin B1 and 1 mg of Potassium.

Types of Rum

Rum is manufactured in more than 80 countries, using several divergent methods, with numerous variations of fermentation, different types of distillation, many blending styles and a plethora of aging techniques. Most rum can be classified in one or more of a few distinct categories. Let’s learn more about the most popular types of rum.

1. White or Clear Rum

White or Clear RumWhite rum is clear, commonly has milder flavor and lighter body than gold or dark rums. These light types of rum are most often used to create cocktails that do not have a need for bold rum flavor.

2. Gold Or Pale Rum

Gold Or Pale RumAs rum mellows in barrels over time, it takes on amber or golden hues. These golden types of rum usually present a more flavorful profile than the white or clear rums. Gold rums are used to make cocktails in which a stronger flavor is preferred.

3. Dark Rum

Dark RumThe term Dark Rum is basically meaningless. Many aged rums are referred to as dark, only to distinguish them from light. The label of dark rum is often assigned to a range of rums that are not clear, from light golden amber to black, as well as rums that are well aged. Dark types of rum are often aged in oak barrels for lengthy periods.

4. Black Rum

Black RumThe darkest, richest, heavy bodied rums are often referred to as black rums, offering bold tropical essence to libation and recipes. Black types of rum are popular ingredients used to balance the flavors of drinks against gold, white and spiced rums.

5. Navy Rum

Navy RumNavy rum refers to the traditional dark, full-bodied rums related with the British Royal Navy. The Royal Navy was famed for its custom of providing a daily ration of rum to sailors, as far back as 1655 when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. Rum traveled aboard ships far better that French brandy. As a matter of fact, where grape-based spirits of wine and brandy ultimately went bad in the heat of the tropics, rum appeared to improve as it aged in the barrels aboard ship.

6. Premium Aged Rum

Premium Aged RumMany fine types of rum are aged in oak barrels for years to achieve a superior flavor profile. The interaction of spirit and wood has a positive effect on the smoothness, the richness and the subtle flavors of the rum.

Aged rums often signify the finest examples of mature rums from a distillery, often combined to achieve complexity and distinctive flavor profiles. The cost of storage and the loss of some rum from the barrels through evaporation add to the cost of producing aged rums.

7. Vintage Rum

Vintage RumWhile most rum sold in the U.S. is blended from multiple sources before bottling, some unique rum is bottled from specific vintage years of production.

Vintage rums are most often seen from the French islands, where the growing and processing season is short. In some cases, private label rum brands purchase a large bulk of rum from a single production year, age the product and bottle it when maturity is peaking.

8. Over proof Rum

Over proof RumMost rum available for sale in the U.S. is 80 to 100 proofs (40% to 50% alcohol by volume). Types of rum which contain higher concentrations of alcohol are often branded as over proof.

Rums produced for popular consumption are distilled to remove non-alcohol components. The modern distillation process produces a spirit that is usually 160 to 190 proof alcohols. After aging and blending, most rum is diluted with water to reach the 80 proof standards.

9. Rhum Agricole

Rhum AgricoleRhum Agricole is a specific category of rhum made mostly in the French territories of the Caribbean, especially Martinique, but similar styles are also produced in Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante and St. Barths. Reunion Island and its neighboring Island Nation of Maritius in the southwest Indian Ocean also produce Agricole style rums. Rhums made in Haiti from cane juice may also be considered agricole by some rum experts.

10. Cachaça

CachaçaThe Brazilian sugar cane spirit known as cachaça (kah-SHA-sah) is one of the most popular categories of cane spirit in the world. Made from fresh sugar cane juice, cachaça is often bottled with little or no aging in barrels, presenting a full-flavored profile spirit most commonly enjoyed in cocktails, such as the caipirinha (kai-pee-REEN-yah), the national drink of Brazil.

11. Aguardiente

AguardienteAquardiente is a spirit fermented and distilled from fruit, most often sugar cane. The name can be translated to “burning water” or “fire water.” Aquardiente spirits are not aged. Their simple distillation process retains robust flavors of the vegetal matter used.

In Columbia, aguardiente is commonly flavored with anise. Each region of the country produces their own spirit which cannot be exported to other regions. In the Andean region, the spirit is often enjoyed straight. In the Caribbean regions, where rum is more popular than aguardiente, the local spirit is more likely to be mixed in cocktails.

12. Flavored and Spiced Rum

Flavored and Spiced RumThe myriad types of flavors and spices infused into rums offer a wide range of interesting and multifarious variations of spirits, both full proof and limited potency liqueurs and creams. Spiced and flavored types of rum offer distinctive flavors to cocktails, rum cakes, holiday libations and many other uses, bringing definitely tropical flavors to the palate.

Preferred brands in India

1. Old Monk

Old MonkUndoubtedly, the most celebrated rum, if not drink, in India, Old Monk is manufactured by Mohan Meakin Ltd. Dark brown in color with a slight vanilla flavor, the brand that comes encased in an arty square latticed bottle has triumphed with zero advertising. It contains 40% ABV and has a significant price point advantage for its quality. Old Monk has 7 years aged and a 12 years aged varieties available in the market.

2. Bacardi

BacardiAlthough it enjoys only a niche market in the country, Bacardi rums are one of the preferred brands in the urban centers. Bacardi rum had three main flavors based on hue and grade: Bacardi Select which is dark, Bacardi Gold which is amber, and Bacardi Superior which is White Rum. Bacardi rum also comes in interesting flavors such as Lemon, Orange, Raspberry, Apple and Dragon Berry based on white rum. With an alcohol content of 42.8% ABV Bacardi is placed as a premium product that is seen as upscale and elite.

3. Captain Morgan

Captain MorganMarketed in India by Diageo, Captain Morgan is popular spiced rum, known world over for its unique flavors. However Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and Captain Morgan Black Jamaica Rum are the only variants available in India. It falls in the mid-range category.

4. McDowell’s No. 1

McDowell's No. 1McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum is considered as the best rum brand in India since 2008 having won various national and international awards. Produced by the UB Group, this is a popular dark rum with a characteristic caramel and vanilla flavor. It is placed as an inexpensive brand for the ecclesiastical taste.

5. Contessa

ContessaContessa, produced by the house of Radico Khaitan, is the only rum in India that produced from cane juice spirit. It has a good following in the northern Indian states and has a large market share in the defense segment. With a slight raisin tone, the spirit has been awarded the silver medal at Monde Selection 2008 for its taste. It is an inexpensive and tasty drink that has somehow not caught the attention of Indian drinkers as much as it should have.

Health benefits of Rum

Rum, like most alcoholic drinks, is a misunderstood and unsung hero. Sure, alcoholism is a rising problem and it had led to many deaths, broken families and illnesses. But anything is excess is bad. Taken in moderation, alcohol can be helpful and rum is its very tasty kind. Rum is made from sugar cane juice or its by-product called molasses. When taken in moderation, you not only experience the beverage in a much better fashion than when taken in excess, but you also benefit from some health benefits. Below are few of the health benefits

1. Healthy heart

Rum is beneficial for your heart, and drinking it frequently in moderation can give you a healthy and strong heart. Rum has shown to be a great cure for peripheral heart disease and avoids formation of artery blockage in the body. According to several studies and researches, it has been proved that consumption of alcohol also helps to decrease the level of cholesterol in the body.

2. Common cold

There is nothing seasonal about common cold; it can quite happen in any weather. While most of us are struggling with common cold as flu, having a small portion of rum can give relief to your throat. You need to drink one or two spoon of rum every day and this will help to treat common cold. Due to anti-bacterial property, rum helps to heal cold quickly.

3. Diabetes

It is often said that drinking rum helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the body and keeps diabetes at bay. If a person suffering from diabetes drinks one or two spoon of Old Monk every day, it is said that he would be benefited with decreased level of sugar in the body. Rum comprises medical property and proves beneficial in lowering the risk of diabetes.

4. Sore muscles

People who are continually dealing with muscle pain should certainly depend on rum to treat their muscle pain completely. A periodic consumption of Old Monk help to increase the bone mineral in the body which further helps in giving you relief from muscle pain easily.

5. Keep scurvy away

Rum is the only drink that helps to keep scurvy at home as compared to some more alcoholic beverage. Due to its medicinal properties, Old Monk was served to British soldiers so that they are protected against scurvy. Other than British soldiers, those with low immunity are also suggested they take a peg or two of the drink.

6. Effective Antiseptic

In a survival situation, rum can be used as an antiseptic. You can use it to clean wounds and help prevent bacteria from growing. It can also help reduce feelings of pain when applied topically (as well as ingested).

7. Decreases Your Risk of Mental Disease

Rum can lower the risk of getting Alzheimer’s and dementia! Observably, drinking too much alcohol can cause damage to your health including to your brain, but in moderation (up to one and half ounces per day), it decreases your risks.

8. Can improve your Libido

Moderate drinking of rum, has been confirmed to protect against erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is reduced by 25-30 % to those taking rum, but in a moderate manner. However one is not recommended to start drinking as the research is still ongoing.

9. Offers Longevity and Nutritional Benefits

In every 100 grams of rum consumed, you get 230 calories. This proves that it comprises no carbohydrates or fats. Moderated consumption of rum is proven to increase a person’s average life span by 3-5 years. This is achievable as rum consumption leads to reduction of anxiety and decreases the risks of one getting Dementia or Alzheimer, hence leading to an increment in the average life span of a person.

10. Cancer Prevention

Rum should be taken in moderation so that you can enjoy the experience and also enjoy the full depth of extending health benefits related with it. Studies have been carried out which show after a long period of time tracking participants. The study showed those who drink moderately, had a 38% lower risk of contracting kidney cancer than the people who did not drink rum. The research also showed health benefits in preventing thyroid cancer and lymphoma.

11. Reduces the risk of Gallstones

Drinking two units of rum will efficiently decrease the risk of gallstones by a third. The study proved that those who consumed rum with a lot of moderation were certain to enjoy healthier than those who drank it with no moderation.

12. Rum for De-stressing

Knocking back a cocktail is one of the most time-honored ways to chill after a stressful day of work. Alcohol, including rum, acts as a depressant that reduces the central nervous system. In other words, it’s a sedative.

13. Rum for Immunity

In addition to its warming, calming qualities, rum is rich in antimicrobial properties that can help knock out the common cold. The British Army was actually known to give its sailors rum for preventing scurvy (a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency); it was the lime in the rum that did the trick, but we still say bottoms up to a rum toddy for a nightcap.

Raw Materials Used For Making Rum

Sugar Cane spirits vary significantly in the manner in which they are created and by the products from which they are fermented.

Fresh Cane Juice

Some rum is made directly from cane juice, which is fermented instantly after being crushed. This raw sugar cane liquid normally comprises 18 to 24 percent sugar in solution. Rums made from fresh sugar cane juice include the cachaças from Brazil and the Rhums Agricole from Martinique. Raw cane juice is not able to be stored for extended periods and must be fermented soon after being crushed.


Most of the rum distilled in the world today is made from molasses, a by-product of the crystalline sugar making process. After all of the crystalline sugar has been removed from the sugar cane juice, the left-over molasses still comprises fermentable sugars and can be stored for prolonged periods of time. Often, the term “Black Strap” is used to refer to a low grade of molasses that has the least amount of sugar remaining in the liquid.

Cane Syrup

A third type of rum stock is concentrated sugar cane syrup, occasionally referred to Sugar Cane Honey or Sweet Table-Grade Molasses, which still contains all the sugars present in cane juice, with most of the water removed. This concentrated cane syrup may contain more than 90 percent sugar and is able to be stored to be fermented and distilled at a later date.

Manufacturing of Rum

Unlike some other spirits, rum does not have a defined universal method of manufacturing. Instead, production of rum is decided traditionally from region to region. Mostly, the steps in manufacturing may be detailed as follows.

Most rum around the world is made from molasses, the byproduct of extracting sugar from sugarcane. In some regions, sugarcane juice itself is used as the base ingredient, particularly the French speaking islands of the Caribbean. The base ingredient is fermented with yeast and water. Specific strains of yeast are used to add specific flavors to the end product. Apart from the overbearing taste of the base ingredient, the most influential taste altering ingredient in the mix is the yeast. Like most aspects of rum production, there is no standard method of distillation. However, usually rum is distilled in pot stills or column stills. Pot stills are known to produces fuller tasting rums. Aging and blending is the final process of manufacturing. The aging is commonly done in bourbon casks, however may also be performed in wooden casks or stainless steel tanks in scaled up manufacturing. When aged in oak casks, the rum gets a dark color, whereas, rum aged in stainless steel tanks are virtually colorless. The aging of rum is usually much quicker than scotches or whiskey owing mainly to the tropical climates it’s largely produced in.

Factors Affecting Rum Quality

Important factors that affect the taste, quality, color and viscosity of rum include:

  • the raw fermenting materials
  • the method of fermentation
  • the types of yeast used to convert sugars to alcohols
  • the method(s) of distillation
  • the process of maturing the spirits over time
  • the blending of various barrels of rum
  • the quality of water used to dilute the final product

How to Consume

  • Rum is used in a number of cooked dishes as a flavoring agent in items such as rum balls or rum cakes.
  • It is normally used to macerate fruit used in fruitcakes and is also used in marinades for some Caribbean dishes.
  • Rum is also used in the preparation of rumtopf, bananas Foster and some hard sauces.
  • Rum is occasionally mixed into ice cream, often with raisins, and in baking it is occasionally used in Joe Froggers, a type of cookie from New England.

Traditional uses and benefits of Rum

  • A single 1.5 oz serving can reduce anxiety and contribute to a solid night’s sleep.
  • Antimicrobial properties of rum can help prevent a common cold.
  • By increasing the mineral density of bones, rum helps prevent osteoporosis and assist in alleviating arthritis.
  • It helps fight and prevent muscle pain.
  • Rum can combat peripheral artery diseases and can also act as a blood thinner – even heart attacks can be reduced though its consumption.
  • It can be great for preventing Alzheimer’s disease, reducing the risk of getting dementia, and can even help to prevent Cancer.
  • Drinking it in moderation can potentially prolong your lifespan by two to five years!

Other Facts

  • More than 80 percent of the world’s rum comes from the Caribbean, mostly Puerto Rico…
  • Though the drink possibly originated in ancient India or China, both of which produced drinks made from fermented juice of sugar cane.
  • In the 18th century, the Royal Navy supplied its sailors with half a pint of rum a day.
  • India is the world’s largest market for rum.
  • “Rum, n. Generically fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers,”
  • The drink called rum was first seen in English in 1654. The Jamaicans also called it “kill devil”.

Disadvantages of Rum

  • It has high alcoholic concentration than other related drinks and this makes it detrimental for your cells and tissues.
  • Alcohol is naturally known to permeate the cell membrane and diffuse through the blood streams into other tissues and cells. This makes it prevalent in many part of your body.
  • Rum has serious consequences on liver causing liver cancer.
  • It causes diarrhea and vomiting in mild cases.
  • Indigestion and heart burn are other commonly observed complications associated with rum intake.






Comments are closed.


The information on this website is only for learning and informational purposes. It is not meant to be used as a medical guide. Before starting or stopping any prescription drugs or trying any kind of self-treatment, we strongly urge all readers to talk to a doctor. The information here is meant to help you make better decisions about your health, but it's not a replacement for any treatment your doctor gives you. If you are being treated for a health problem, you should talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies or taking any herbs, minerals, vitamins, or supplements. If you think you might have a medical problem, you should see a doctor who knows what to do. The people who write for, publish, and work for Health Benefits Times are not responsible for any bad things that happen directly or indirectly because of the articles and other materials on this website