Seeing sugar cane fields in the flesh is a beautiful experience. The green lush stalks lazily wave in the wind creating a feeling of relaxation just by watching the green waves gently rolling. The fields of cane are green and crisp with a hint of sweetness in the air surrounding them. The required use of sugar cane as the fermentable source for the production of rum has made this crop flourish since its introduction to the West Indies in the late part of the 15th century. Although rum is made in many parts of the world, Barbados and the Caribbean are considered to be the cradle where rum has developed its rich history alongside the sugar industry.
The German rum market has been heavily influenced by its high ester rum tradition over hundreds of years. The city of Flensburg, in the northern coast of Germany, was a synonym for the so called "Rum-Verschnitt", the blend of heavy rums high in esters and neutral alcohol of different origins (wheat, sugar beets, potatoes).
Over a year ago, I gave a bit of input on how rum is made in St. Lucia, and some of my peers did the same about other Caribbean rums. Fortunately, life has been good to me and let me stay in the Caribbean, where, of course, I've visited a couple more rum producers. This time I went to the Dominican Republic.
This post is inspired by a question I received while working behind the bar at Tales & Spirits in Amsterdam a few nights ago. A guest said she was a big fan of the Daiquiri but wanted something with more of a spicy note and based on a dark rum instead of a white rum.
From heavy-bodied to light and dry to spiced and sweet. The change in taste of German rum consumers.
The German rum flavour was developed hundreds of years ago with the rise of Rum-Verschnitt, a mixture of high-ester rums from Jamaica and bland neutral spirit that quickly became immensely popular.
Nowadays this style of rum can still be found, but it is the drink of the elderly, certainly not the drink of the young anymore. This style of rum, though, was what you used to get when you ordered rum in Germany.