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Yo, ho, ho and the history of RUM on its national day

August 16, 2011 - Carla Tracy

National Rum Day is Aug. 16 and I’d like to share a few tidbits from various rum makers as well as an upcoming contest with $50,000 as the prize from Tommy Bahama. Please enjoy this blog responsibly!

First up, the people behind BACARDI have provided five fun Rum facts:

— Rum is considered to be the world’s oldest distilled spirit.

— The origin of the spirit’s name is believed to have come from a shortening of an old West Country English word ‘rumbullion’, an archaic term for big noise and/or uproar.

— Other inventive names include Grog, Pirate’s Drink and Kill-Devil – which is referenced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” in the tune, “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest / YO HO HO and a bottle of rum / Drink and the devil have done for the rest /YO HO HO and a bottle of rum.”

— The world’s biggest rum company was founded by Don Facundo Bacardi in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba and its Superior is the original, mixable light-bodied clear rum.

— More than 80 billion Cuba Libre cocktails have been served since 1900 and about 6,000,000 are enjoyed each day around the world. That is more than the population of Vermont, North Dakota and Alaska combined!

Flor de Cana, known as the “pride of Nicaragua,” also offers its own top things consumers don’t know about rum. They got their information from Ed Hamilton, the “Minister of Rum,” one of the world’s most well-known spirit authorities.

— Rum is the most diverse of all the distilled spirits, varying from a clear, light spirit to a heavy bodied spirit which can be as dark as night.

— Rum is made from sugar cane but the distilled spirit contains no sugar and has the same calories by volume as vodka or whisky.

— The Molasses Act of 1733, and addendums in 1764, were catalysts for the American Revolution and confirmed the French and Colonists as allies in the subsequent war. At the time of the American Revolution there were more than 150 rum distilleries in New England.

The people at Sailor Jerry Rum Co. would prefer if you just skipped the history and headed straight to the fun.

“Like any good booze-related holiday, National Rum Day’s history is soaked in speculation, which is only appropriate for liquor with a 350+ year history of scandal. Rather than dig up the past, enjoy the present, which should (of course) find you enjoying a variety of cocktails,” says their publicist Lizzie Werber, who recommends The Perfect Storm with two parts rum, 1 part ginger beer and two to three lime wedges as garnish.

We also hear the search continues for the Tommy Bahama Rumologist. Entrants must apply by Monday, Aug. 22 to apply for a chance to win $50,000. No purchase is necessary and there is no payment to win.

All you have to do is create a one minute-long video and fill out a simple application to prove that you are worthy of the title!

“This search is extremely exciting for all of us here at Tommy Bahama,” explains Rob Goldberg, senior vice president of Marketing and Restaurants.

“The applications we have received so far have proven that there is a real passion out there for rum, and we believe we have created an amazing career-building opportunity for one lucky person. Not only will they receive $50,000, but they will become the Tommy Bahama rum ambassador who will work with our culinary team to develop new menu items and cocktails, travel to some of our best locations and help us promote our distinctive rum programs. We can’t wait to begin the voting process and see what the public has to say about these hopeful Rumologists.”

To enter the search, Tommy Bahama is looking for anyone that believes they have what it takes to hold and honor the title. You can be an established bartender, mixologist or just a plain ol’ cocktail enthusiast.

A winner will be announced on/or around October 6, 2011. The search is currently taking place on the Tommy Bahama Facebook page: Tommy Bahama Facebook Page.


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