Cuban rum is one of the main reasons why the country is known worldwide. It has a very good reputation internationally as one of the best rums in the world.
Some suppose that the reason for it is that the Cuban soil is perfect for growing sugar cane from which rum is made. Others say that after centuries of elaborating the beverage Cuban people have found the secrets to creating the best rum, which they pass onto next generations as a part of the rum-making tradition.
Anyway, one thing is certain: if you are an drinks connoisseur, you cannot let your trip to Cuba pass without tasting the best examples of Cuban rum.
The history of Cuban rum is almost as old as the country’s history. African slaves brought to Cuba by Spanish conquerors made it from the byproducts of the cane they worked with and used it as a part of their religious rituals. Thus, the tradition of drinking rum spread all across the country and went on for centuries, while the technique of making rum became finer. In the XVIII century Cuba was already supplying several foreign countries with authentic Cuban rum.
Nowadays Cuban rum is made from molasses, which is a byproduct of sugar refining. Afterwards there comes the process of distillation and a liquid with 75% of alcohol called aguardiente is made. Then, the well-known 38° rum is elaborated. For those who are interested in witnessing the process, it may be seen at the Rum Museum in Havana.
In Cuba, there are plenty of different rum brands: Cubay, Mulata, Siboney, Legendario, Santero; but there are two that are best known both in Cuba and abroad, and those are Havana Club and Santiago de Cuba. Havana Club states to export more than 30 million liters a year to about 120 countries, and is considered one of the best brands of rum both for sipping and for making cocktails, such as the famous daiquiri, mojito, and Cuba Libre. There are different types of Havana Club rum, their price increasing along with the aging.
- 1 year: Añejo Blanco. White rum ideal for cocktails
- 3 years: Carta Blanca
- 5 years: Carta Oro
- 7 years: Añejo 7 años (dark rum)
- 15 years: Gran Reserva. Limited release rum that has won International Spirits Challenge awards
- Selección de Maestros: (“Selections of masters”) Also a special limited edition and award-winning rum
Even though Havana Club is the globally renowned brand, some connoisseurs have another opinion. There are people who prefer the Santiago de Cuba rum for sipping. This one also has a variety of grades of both white and dark rum and extra editions of rum aged for 25 years. It is less widely spread outside the island, so your trip to Cuba might be a chance to try different drinks and decide which Cuban rum is the best in your opinion.