- September 20 is National Rum Punch Day.
Rum is an alcoholic beverage distilled from sugarcanes. Rum most likely originated from Barbados, though there are accounts of it being produced in Brazil beforehand. The word "rum" has many different and possible origins, ranging from being the suffix of the Latin word saccharum (sugar), the shortening of the word rumbullion, to its association to the word rummage, and even to the fact that Dutch seamen were named “rummers”.
Much of the rum’s history has to do with its ties to naval history. Ironically, sailors (who are constantly surrounded by water) had problems finding water to drink on long voyages. Much of the oceans’ waters are undrinkable, so fresh water had to be stored on ships and rationed. Unfortunately, even this water could not be stored for long, because of bacteria and algae formation. Beer was therefore used as a replacement, but beer can sour over time as well. It was then that rum was considered as a replacement for daily beer rations. Rum was even mixed with boiled water and citrus juices to prolong rations. This cocktail was called GROG.
Rum was often stored on ships in large oak barrels. People soon learned that rum aged well in these barrels. The clear liquid would take on a golden appearance (which gives us golden rum) and a mellow flavor from the wood. It is believed that the back and forth of the ship also helped the rum soak up more of the wood’s character.
So what do you plan on doing for Rum Punch Day? How about reading Elmore Leonard’s “Rum Punch”? You could maybe watch Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown
which is adapted from Mr. Leonard’s novel. Personally we would recommend Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary
or doing a Pirates of the Caribbean
marathon. And don’t forget to make a nice batch of your own rum punch to share.
For more discussions and recipes, check us out at +Foodies of G+
. Until next time, stay hungry for Foodie History