Skip to main content

if you want to learn about bar related stuff- don't be inclusive...

 I have just watched "How to Drink" - the rum episode.

What though came to my mind is: we are learning and categorizing wrong. 

The problem is, that we are looking at the greatest common denominator. But this might confuse us or is even misleading us.

For example rum: yes - mostly it is taught, that rum is made of sugar cane or a sugar cane product. But really - most rums are made from molasses. The few exceptions are Rhum Agricole (which you could argue is a category itself and not passé a rum) and few brands which are made from sugar cane juice. Please note, that cachaça is not considered a rum! The "Brazilian rum" moniker doesn't come from the Brazilians (because there are real rums made in Brazil), but from the 20th century US bureaucracy, which needed to categorize cachaça and "didn't wanted" to give it its own category.

The rums (except of rhum agricole) are made from countries which are not typically producing rum and don't have specific rum-production legislation! For example (or lets say mainly): the United States!

And: not only is the source in traditionally rum producing countries predetermined, but also: aging in oak. 

What does it mean?

By finding the greatest common denominator (rum is a distillate made from sugar cane) we are settling on a half-truth because of small appellations in the Caribbean (Martinique with AOC status, Guadeloupe and Haiti without) and some producer in other countries, which don't even have a legislation nor a recent tradition of producing rum...

Being excluding those exceptions, will make it far easier to understand what rum is:
Rum is a distillate made from sugar cane molasses or sugar cane honey, aged in oak for some time). 

Obviously you cannot "fix" the aging period, as different countries, have different legislative - but yes - all classical rum producing countries are aging their rum as well.

Why do I think does it matter?
Because I have heard time and time again total nonsense, because people tend to be confused. 
A common misconception: white rum is unaged. But no. Let's for example look at the most consumed spirit brand of the world: Bacardi Carta Blanca. It is aged in oak for at least 6 month.

Even better: Bacardi is at this stage one of the most leading (and wealthiest privately owned) companies, because its founder Facundo Bacardi developed a) a strict regiment and standard for aging (not only the time, but also the treatment of the barrels etc.). b) he adapted charcoal filtering to the rum industry (and c) he introduced specific yeast culture to rum - which is however not related to the topic). 

But yes - 90% of all people still think, that Bacardi Carta Blanca is unaged. 

It is important to extrapolate the important information out of categories - even though there are then exceptions to the rule. Bartending / mixology is not based on natural laws. That means there can be exceptions and an exception doesn't disprove a rule. 


Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time. I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution!  But when Chris, over at A Bar Above  discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion". Here is the video: I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris. What is citric acid? Chemical Compound Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks. Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7 Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol Melting Point: 153C Density: 1.66 g/cm3 Boiling point: 175C Soluble in: Water Why is it controversial? In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [ preferably in powder form ] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most

Fentiman's - part deux

You might already know [otherwise just read my last post ], that Fentiman's Botanical Tonic Water taste great. And I mentioned, that I am not totally convinced of the other flavours... Let me now and here explain why. First to the great ones: Rose Lemonade is really nice... however I have to come across one rose drink, which doesn't taste really good. A couple of years I have reviewed [and tried] Sence - also a drink which is based on Bulgarian roses - and it was lovely. Fentiman's Rose Lemonade is not different - maybe slightly too acidic. Anyway - it is just great [however also very simple to replicate - citric acid, sugar syrup, carbonated water and rose water is all what you need...]. The Curiousity Cola is also nice - it is a bit more standalone and unique as other cola sodas- but hit the right spots. Only problem still is: the original just taste better and - well like the original. Cherrybark Cola - is another good soda. While I've expected it to taste

What is the best cranberry juice in the bar?

A good friend of me "whatsapp'ed" me today and asked for my expertise: "What is the best cranberry juice?" I would loved to just let him know the brand - however it is not that easy. What do we understand of cranberry juice? One of the biggest [maybe the  biggest producer] of cranberry products is Ocean Spray. And: it is well regarded. Problem is: it is not a juice! Wait - what? Ocean Spray doesn't produce a juice - they produce a juice cocktail - which translates into a lot of water, a lot of sugar, some taste-balancers as citric acid [nothing against this really] and a minuscule portion of juice - usually around 3%. Yes they have something which is called 100% juice. Which is on one hand true, on the other the biggest deception ever. Because you don't get 100% cranberry - you get a mixture of juices of concentrate - most of the time apple and white grape and a bit of cranberry. There are also some other brands around, which might feature a h