Thursday, 12 April 2007

Ode to Rum

Fifteen men on a dead men’s chest,
Yo, Ho, ho and a bottle of Rum

-Robert Lewis Stevenson

I love rum and for very long I have been considering writing a post about it. I was initially wondering what I should write exactly. Should I begin with the history of rum, how it is prepared and state other facts related to it or should I dwell on my personal experiences with rum..ahem. I finally decided to make it a combination of the two. After all a post like life should have many flavours.
Rum is made from sugarcane molasses and sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate is then aged in casks. So much from boring sugarcanes? It’s pretty interesting. As a kid I hated sugarcane as it always hurt my gums and even when I drank the extracted juice from the tacky roadside carts I hated the “iron-like” taste which I attributed to the cheap machines. Now if only I had tasted rum then I would have had a very different opinion about sugarcanes, but then again who knows I might have found the taste awful then. The largest production of rum happens in the Caribbean Islands and in South America. Rum is also produced in certain other countries however the Caribbean stands out as the finest producer. Rum has been over the ages associated with pirates, sailors soldiers and adventurers. Robert Louis Stevenson in his book “Treasure Island” immortalized the association between the pirates and rum in his famous pirate song. The verse was later completed by American writer Young Ewing Allison in his poem “Derelict”.
I first drank rum in a pub in Bangalore and fell in love with it instantly. Just a few pegs and the world already looked so much better. I was happier in seconds and could see the brighter side of all issues. Man can anything beat that. And yes it’s cheap too. Not like certain drinks which give me a pleasant high but when I lay my eyes on the cheque I get shock which is equivalent to a few buckets of cold water being poured on my head. I can very well do without those drinks. Rum rules!!!
Of late I have been trying to experiment with rum, blending different types of cocktails though not very successfully. And I just came up with the brilliant idea of mixing rum, Pepsi and vanilla ice cream, yes you heard it right vanilla ice-cream into a smoothie and having it as my desert. As of now the idea appears awesome and I am just waiting for a weekend when I will be able to implement my plan.
Just for the sake of facts I was looking into the origins of rum and realised that there are too many claims with respect to that. Even wikipedia says its origin could have been in various places as distant from each other as India, China, Malaysia, Iran and Barbados. All I can say is I am glad it had its origin somewhere and I am living in the era post its origin. Of course I just have to add that the first guy who picked sugarcane molasses and fermented the same deserves a pat on the back from my end. May his/her soul rest in peace for centuries.
As for me I will just wait for the opportunity to whip up my delectable ice-cream cocktail. Maybe this weekend…..maybe next…or maybe ….

1 comment:

Banhi said...

Not a rum-lover myself,can't help admire R.L.Stevenson's choice of subject and sense of rhyme -

"Drink and the devil had done for the rest--
...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"