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Rum is the world's most common liquor and is made from sugarcane juice. Rum originated in the Caribbean, where sugar production in the 1500s was an important industry.
It was discovered fairly quickly that the by-product from the sugar production, molasses, mixed with water started to ferment. Gradually people began to distill the fermented liquid and the rum was born. There are different theories about why the drink is called Rum, but one is that it would be a shorter word for rumbullion or Kill Devil as the English called it.
Just as vodka was used as a universal medicine in Sweden, rum was used in the same way in the Caribbean.
Pirates were a major problem in the Caribbean at this time. They looted and sank merchant ships and spread terror in the ports. An important use was to sell rum cheap to the warships that was around, thus encouraging them to stay close and protect against pirates.
The rum were distributed in both North America and Europe via merchant ships from the Caribbean and in the UK the Gin was replaced as the most popular spirits.
Some countries began importing caribbean sugar to produce its own rum. But when knowledge of extracting sugar from the sugar beet was discovered, the imports of Caribbean sugar decreased, and the rum production slowed down.
The rum stopped being produced outside the sugarcane countries and as fast as the popularity grew, it went down.
The rum were virtually forgotten until the liquor ban in the United States gave a boost to tourism in the Caribbean. Spirits received a second boost when holidaymakers rediscovered rum. Today, there are few holiday drinks that doesn’t contain rum, some examples are the Piña Colada, Daiquiri and Mojito.