Welcome

Mixed Drinks with Rum: Captivating History & How to Make Classic Recipes

a photo displaying different types of rum
All photos on this page are compliments of Ray Letoa’s rum class

Several years ago my husband and I visited a rum distillery during our road trip to New Orleans so we thought it would be fun to take this virtual class to learn more. It was 10am in Wellington, New Zealand when we met up with Ray for our virtual Rum class. We learned about the history of rum, and Ray taught us how to make classic mixed drinks with rum. Of course here it was dinner time so we set up some cheese and crackers to go along with our drinks. Ray works for Agostura, a brand of Rum and bitters. He also owns a bar/restaurant in Wellington called Roxy, which is where the class took place. To join the class for yourself click here. We highly recommend it.

History of Rum

During the 16th and 17th centuries inhabitants grew sugarcane in the Carribean. European settlers colonized these islands mainly for the sugar cane. Prior to this they had to get sugar from spice traders from Asia which made sugar expensive. This sugar cane was considered liquid gold which is why pirates came to the area to follow the wealth the sugarcane created.

The sugarcane, a relative of bamboo, takes 3 months to grow from seed to maturity. Workers harvest it by hand. After the sugar is processed molasses is left over as a waste product. The natives would ferment the molasses to make rum. The name rum comes from the Latin work sacrum meaning sweet. They would then reintroduce the waste products from the distilling process back into the soil as fertilizer.

Distillation Process of Rum

There are two main types of distilleries, the pot still and the column still. Each has its pros and cons. I am giving you a brief summary, but Ray goes into a lot more detail. I advise you to take his class if you want to learn more. He is very entertaining and personable. The experience was like hanging out with an old friend. I guarantee you will have fun.

Pot Still

Pot still distillation makes smaller batches of rum. After each batch you need to add new ingredients to start the process again. If you are a distiller that likes to test out new recipes therefore changing the flavors, this is for you. However, because the pot still makes smaller batches, it is hard to maintain consistency and have stable results.

Column Still

On the other hand, the column still is preferable for large production. Batches are made continuously, therefore providing consistent results. However, if you want to change the recipe it takes approximately three months to stop the process and restart again so you are losing a lot of production time. Ray says that this type of distillery looks like an oil refinery.

History of Rum Aging

The age of the rum gives it very distinct flavors. Between 0-3 years you will get a light, sweet and smooth taste. Distillers filter the liquor through charcoal to make it clear. This is the aging process used for flavored rums as well. Between 4-5 years the rum takes on more of a brown sugar, caramel flavor. Then between 7-8 years it becomes more smoky. Ray likened it to good cigars. After 8 years the rum becomes much more concentrated giving more of a rich fig or prune taste.

You can play around with infusing flavors into your own rum at home. My husband and I like mojitos. Ray suggested we infuse some light rum with mint leaves to enhance the flavor. We are looking forward to trying this once our mint plant grows some more.

Blended rums are a mixture of several different ages of rum. The distillers mix the different ages to get a unique combination of flavors. The distillers then age the rum an additional 6 months to blend the flavors.

I recommend checking out these sponsored links to get all you need to make mixed drinks with rum:

Mixed Drinks with Rum: the Recipes

We made these mixed drinks with rum during Ray’s class.

photo showing recipe for Dark n' Stormy a classic mixed drink with rum
Dark rum Drinks

Mixed Drink with Rum: Dark N’ Stormy

We actually used light rum in this drink. If you don’t have ginger beer you can substitute ginger ale, sprite, or coke. Each will give a unique flavor. When possible, always squeeze fresh lime juice rather than using juice from a bottle.

shows a picture and recipe for a classic daquiri, a mixed drink with rum and aromatic bitters

Mixed Drink with Rum: Classic Daiquiri

To make simple syrup first boil one cup of water. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of sugar until dissolved. You can store simple sugar syrup indefinitely in a glass jar in your refrigerator. Depending on what you like to drink you can add ingredients when boiling the water such as mint, ginger, etc. Just make sure you strain the liquid before using.

Tip: If you are serving fruity drinks made with rum, try freezing some cubed fruit ahead of time to use in place of ice cubes. They will keep the drink cold without watering it down. Frozen grapes work well too and make a nice snack once the drink is empty!

For a summer variation you can freeze some fruit and blend it with the ingredients in the blender. Make sure to use light or flavored rum and leave out the bitters.

shows a picture of a Queens Park Swizzle with recipe for this mixed drink with rum

Mixed Drink with Rum: Queens Park Swizzle

What are bitters anyway? Bitters are alcohol that is infused with extra herbs. The flavor is very concentrated so a little goes a long way. One uses bitters to give an additional flavor to drinks.

Ray gave us an additional piece of advice when buying rum. Check the label for the history of the rum. If the rum is made some place other than the Caribbean, you will likely pay a higher price since the original ingredients had to be transported from the Caribbean. He advised that lesser known brands are often cheaper and just as good if they are coming directly from the original source.

Here are some sponsored links for some glassware to use for drinks made with rum:


Warning: Use of undefined constant php – assumed ‘php’ (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/exploretheroadwithdonnamarie.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/magical-posts-display/includes/blocks/posts-tab.php on line 421
Red White and Blue Drinks: How to Make These Patriotic Drinks
June 24, 2021

I wanted to create some red white and blue drinks in time for the 4th of July holiday. That is to say, after much research…

Read More
Easy Christmas Cocktails: Learn how to make festive drinks
December 3, 2020

original liquors used in the drink Here are a few easy Christmas cocktails we have come up with after much trial and error so you…

Read More
Lemonade with Vodka: How to Make Tropical Drinks at Home
August 5, 2021

Tropical drinks traditionally conjure images of islands, beaches, tiki bars, and endless hours in the sun. But when you are stuck at home you can…

Read More
Mojito Making & How to Infuse Liquor with Incredible Flavors
June 3, 2021

While at our virtual rum class with Ray, we mentioned how we had infused alcohol with different flavors. He then recommended infusing white rum with…

Read More
shows autumn apple pie cocktails
Autumn Cocktails: How to Amaze Your Friends
November 5, 2020

We came up with these Autumn cocktails for you to make at holiday gatherings. Although we can’t always be with the ones we love during…

Read More
2 mojitos on a table at the beach
Pubs and Bars Around the World: Top Favorites
June 17, 2021

I started this post about pubs and bars around the world because I thought it would be fun to hear about interesting places. My favorite…

Read More
Food in Greek: Learn Greek Names and How to Make
July 8, 2021

I love trying recipes from different cultures. I have picked up a lot of cook books over the years from the bargain shelves at Barnes…

Read More
New Year’s Cocktails, Ring in the Year Right
December 17, 2020

We did the work of creating these fancy New Year’s cocktails so you wouldn’t have to. As a result, all you have to do is…

Read More
shows coconut fish nuggets with spicy sauce and salad
Florida Cuisine: How to Make Coconut Fish Nuggets
September 16, 2021

Initially, I posted a picture of these fish nuggets on my personal Facebook page and got a huge response. I wasn’t going to post the…

Read More
Ecotourism: Soar like a Dragon and Discover Nature’s Hidden Secrets
December 7, 2020

We joined our friend, Lee again for another virtual visit to Japan. Lee works for a documentary company and has studied political science. During our…

Read More
map of medieval Dubrovnik
Medieval Dubrovnik : Explore tales of violence and forbidden romance
October 19, 2020

http://By Edwardwexler at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41618376 Subscribe to my free newsletter We join Marija on a virtual tour of the dark tales…

Read More
Maasai tribe
Visit Kenya Virtually, Fall in Love with the Resilience
November 23, 2020

By D. Gordon E. Robertson – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cover photo credit Presently, Covid-19 makes international travel difficult. However, my husband and I…

Read More
No post found!
No post found!

10 thoughts on “Mixed Drinks with Rum: Captivating History & How to Make Classic Recipes

  1. Enjoyed the history of rum. It’s amazing, how I just took it for granted, not knowing what the process was from plant to bottle, and then into my mouth!

  2. Excellent blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew
    of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feedback
    from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

    Here is my web site; 918kiss plus company

  3. Superb blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d
    really like to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other experienced
    individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions,
    please let me know. Thanks!

  4. Having read this I thought it was very informative.

    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative article together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments.

    But so what, it was still worth it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *