Spiced rum and flavoured rum are rum variants with additional flavorings. In most cases, the two terms designate two different product categories. However, this is not always true.
"Flavored" can be translated as "flavored". In the English-speaking world, this term is generally used for rums to which one or more flavoring ingredients have been added, regardless of the type. For an alcoholic beverage to be allowed to call itself "rum" at all, it must meet the specifications of the German Spirits Ordinance. This also applies to the subcategory of spiced and flavoured rums.
The basic product used to produce spiced or flavoured rum must be made from sugar cane. In most cases, molasses is used, but there are also rums made from sugar cane juice or from syrup (Virgin Cane Honey). In any case, the minimum alcohol content in Europe is 37.5% by volume.
Spiced Rum and Flavoured Rum: What are the differences?
In a narrower sense, flavoured rum refers to a rum variant with additional fruit aroma. For flavoured rum, usually only one fruit is used. Varieties with a fruit mix are rather rare. Typical flavors for flavoured rum are coconut, pineapple, citrus fruit, mango, passion fruit, banana and various berry fruits.
Spiced rum or spiced rum is usually mixed with several flavoring ingredients. Spiced rums are therefore special varieties that are flavored in particular with "spices ". Typical "spices " for Spiced Rum are cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and of course vanilla. In practice, however, many of these products do not exclusively contain spices, but also fruit flavors. In particular, citrus fruits are often used. The reason for this is a balanced taste of the final product, because the fruit content rounds off the flavor profile. In addition to fruits, herbal flavors are also suitable for the production of spiced rum.
For the final rounding of the flavoured and spiced rums, for example, some of the following ingredients can also be used: Orange peel, lemon peel, cocoa, coffee and honey.
A look at the history of flavored rum
Sugar cane is a very old crop. There is evidence that it was used thousands of years ago in the Pacific region to extract sugar from the sap of the plant. With the seafarers of that time, sugar cane came to other parts of the world. Even Persians and Arabs used it early for culinary purposes.
In the Middle Ages, the plant reached the Mediterranean region. Christopher Columbus (and after him other seafarers) brought it to the West Indies (probably the island of Hispaniola) on his second sea voyage in 1493 and thus to what is now the Caribbean. Here there were ideal growing conditions for the heat-loving plant.
The production and trade of rum, which was also first produced in the late 17th and 18th centuries, soon developed into a lucrative business. Since that time, it has been an integral part of the market for alcoholic beverages.
Flavored drinks are as old as alcohol itself
Adding flavors to alcoholic beverages is not new. It can be assumed that already on the Caribbean sugar cane plantations the fermented sugar cane juice was occasionally mixed with fruits or herbs.
Also on the (British) ships, which brought the raw distillate to Europe, the daily rum ration of the sailors was already mixed with water and if available lemon and / or herbs and spices from the 18th century.
The current boom in flavored rums can be traced back to the 1980s, when flavored vodka first conquered the market.
Although there have always been flavoured and spiced rums on the market, Captain Morgan first established itself on the spiced rum market on a grand scale. The brand's various products still have a considerable share of the market today. Although in the case of Captain Morgan Spiced Gold, the brand's flagship, the alcohol content of 35% by volume is below the legal alcohol content of 37.5% by volume in Europe and this "Spiced Gold" must therefore be sold as a "spirit drink".
The production of flavoured rum
For the production of flavoured rum, light rums are preferred. However, this is not an obligation, but this type of rum usually fits better with the fruit flavors than a rum with a heavy, dark inherent flavor.
Popular is the Rhum Agricole from the French overseas territories, made from fresh sugar cane juice. On some islands, e.g. Guadeloupe, Rhum Agricole with pickled fruits are very popular and are considered a delicacy.
The fruit flavor can be produced by natural ingredients or, on a more industrial scale, by artificially produced flavors. Less expensive is the use of synthetically produced flavors. The indication "natural flavoring" in the list of ingredients does not always mean that it comes from the fruit that the rum tastes like. For example, coconut flavoring is also obtained from the bark of the massoia tree. A look at the list of ingredients is therefore always recommended.
Spiced rum production
In addition to white or only briefly matured rums, darker rums with a distinctive taste are particularly suitable for spiced rum. These rums should be strong enough to make the end product still taste of rum after flavoring.
As with flavoured rum, either natural raw materials and extracts or artificially produced flavors can be used in the production process. The art lies in matching the various flavors to one another in such a way that a balanced taste experience is created. As expected, the result is usually better when using multi-layered natural flavors than when using synthetic ones.
Flavoured Rum as well as Spiced Rum are an exciting addition to the rum category, appealing to the senses with a variety of aromas and flavors. From fruity and exotic flavors to spicy and sweet notes, Flavoured and Spiced Rums offer a wide range of options for rum lovers and mixologists.
With an ever-growing number of brands offering unique and appealing variations, both flavoured and spiced rums are opening up new horizons for enjoyment and creativity. The future of these segments promises exciting innovations, new taste experiences and increasing global distribution.
In this sense, cheers to diversity and enjoyment.