You enjoy relaxing with a glass of it and you might appreciate the distinctive taste it adds to your food, but how much do you know about rum, glorious rum? Here are a series of five statements about our favourite drink. Take your time, savour each one, just as you would a single sip. Then work out whether you think each one is true or false. Of course, we’ll also supply what answers we can at the end…
1. There are many nicknames for rum – included among them are Nelson’s Blood, Barbados Water and Jogger’s Pleasure.
2. Brum, as a nickname for the English city of Birmingham, reflected the early product distilled from the sugar cane fields in the Edgbaston district of the city.
3. Before sailors in the Royal Navy were given a daily tot of rum, they had been forced to put up with French brandy.
4. Rum produced in the Caribbean often reflects the history of the individual islands. English-speaking islands might prefer a darker, fuller-flavoured rum, whereas Spanish influences often delivers a smoother taste.
5. Around the world, among popular names for some rum-based drinks or cocktails are Painkiller, Jagertree and Zombie.
As promised, the answers…
For statement one, Jogger’s Pleasure was made up by us, but hey, if you want to call it that, feel free. The other two are reckoned to be genuine nicknames.
The second statement is a figment of our imagination, although Brum is a drink fermented from sugar cane by the Malay people and is believed to date back several thousands of years.
Thirdly, the Royal Navy did switch to rum in the mid-17th century, when they took over the island of Jamaica. To minimise its effect on the readiness of the sailors, it was watered down about a century later, this mixture becoming known as grog.
The fourth statement does reflect the different types of rum available around the Caribbean.
Finally, in the last statement, these are names given to rum-based drinks. The Zombie is from the US, and Painkiller from the British Virgin Islands. Jagertree is reported to be black tea laced with rum and other juices and spices, used to add warmth to cold nights in parts of Central Europe.
Incidentally, should anyone offer you a Joe Froggers when you visit the north-eastern US, this popular cookie might just have a trace of rum added to it!