Derek Ramsay’s Beginner’s Guide to Rum

The best way to learn more about rum is to drink it. However, it wouldn’t hurt to know about their different varieties and flavors before you have one.

Actor and Tanduay Rum’s long-time endorser Derek Ramsay can give you a tip or two to learn more about one of the biggest-selling spirits in the world.

  • Rum can be mixed as a cocktail, enjoyed neat, with a splash of water, or on the rocks. White rums are usually used for cocktails, while dark and golden rums are enjoyed neat or with ice. “I like my rum on the rocks! I usually enjoy a drink before I call it a day,” said Ramsay.
  • How they’re made determines their taste. There are different kinds of rum in the world, and the ingredients, distillation, and aging process play a huge role in how they taste. In other countries, they are made from raw sugarcane or distilled in wood-fueled fire. For its Philippine-made rums, Tanduay uses first-syrup molasses that are extracted from the initial boil of quality sugarcane. They are then fermented for 24 to 32 hours prior to distillation after which they are stored in Kentucky bourbon barrels. A master blender, who serves as the guardian of the company’s rum formulas, along with rum specialists will then check the rums for consistency before approving them for bottling and packaging.

Where it came from, who are its makers. Knowing these will assure you of the quality of the rum. Personally, I’d like to get to know my drink of choice,” he explained. 

  • Dark rum is aged five years or longer, while gold rum is aged at least three years. The former has a heavier body with hints of caramel and tropical fruits, while the latter has a rich taste with hints of vanilla spice.

“I prefer the bold flavors and woody notes of dark rum when I find myself in a more pensive mood. When I feel like celebrating with my best buddies, I bring out the gold rum,” he revealed.

  • White rum is light-bodied with a sweet and spicy taste.  This makes it perfect for cocktails such as mojitos and daiquiris.

“When I feel like spending a cozy afternoon with friends or when hanging out with them in clubs, you can start the fun with a choice of mojito or daiquiri,” he suggested.

  • Premium rums are sipping rums. Some enjoy it neat, while there are those who have it with ice or water. You can also add lime or citrus to it.

“Eventually, as you develop a liking for rum, you explore the premium rums. Like the Tanduay CLX Rum, you’ll get hints of chocolate and vanilla, tropical fruits, and orange zest. It’s a different experience all together,” revealed Ramsay.

  • Try different rum varieties. Before you get your hands on premium rums, which are the most expensive rum variety, try out the more affordable ones first to determine the ones you like and how you want to drink them.

“Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore. Find the rum that best fits your taste for as long as you get to the one,” Ramsay concluded.

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