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A common question we get asked at 3rd Street Beverage is what are the differences in each type or rum and what are they best for? Traditionally produced in the Caribbean and Latin America, rum is distilled from sugarcane or molasses. Its origins trace back to major trading routes in the “golden triangle” of New England, the West Indies and the African Gold Coast. There are a variety of rum types available that fall into one of four categories, but sometimes it’s hard to know which is which and what they should be used for. Today, we’re going to answer those questions!

Light Rum – This is also commonly known as white or silver rum, has almost no color and a very light flavor. It’s been filtered significantly to remove impurities and has not been aged for very long. This type of rum is perfect in Mojitos, Piña Coladas, and Strawberry Daiquiris. 

Gold Rum –  This is also commonly known as amber rum and has been aged in wooden casks that provide both the color and sweeter, richer flavor profile. With notes of vanilla, citrus and almond, this rum is ideal in a Caribbean Rum Punch, Rum and Coke, and Rum Sidecars. 

Black Rum – This is also known as dark rum. Its color and flavor profile come from extensive aging in wooden casks, resulting in a smoky, sweet flavor and deep hue. Notes of chocolate, molasses and vanilla bring this dark liquor to life, making it the perfect match for Mai Tais, Hurricanes, and Hot Buttered Rum cocktails.

Spiced Rum – Spiced rum and dark rum are usually aged for the same amount of time, but this rum has additional spices added alongside caramel coloring. Vanilla, cinnamon and fruity notes blend to create a delicious cocktail addition. Ideal cocktails for spiced rum include Dark & Stormy’s, Rum Swizzles, and Painkillers. 

Other Types of Rum – There are a few other types of lesser-know (and lesser-used) rums available on the market, but you’ll typically stumble upon ones that fall into one of the above categories. When you look up rum cocktail recipes, you will almost always find that the rum required falls into one of these four varieties. 

Other Uses for Rum – There are many baking and cooking recipes that call for rum. They do not always specify a type of rum, so just look out for one that most closely matches the flavors of your dish. A light rum is perfect for many fish dishes, while spiced rum works well with a dessert containing cinnamon or nutmeg. 

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At 3rd Street Beverage in Bend, Oregon, we love answering any questions you have about all things alcohol-related. From cocktail recipes to ideal pairings, we’re here to guide you on any and everything having to do with alcohol. Our team of experts have the knowledge and skills to help you find the perfect liquor, beer, wine or mixer. Pay us a visit today!