Distilled from sugar cane, Rum traditionally has its home in the Caribbean, Central and South American, having originated in the West Indies around 1650. Rums are often distilled from molasses, as are many of the darker rums from Jamaica, Bermuda and Barbados, originally British colonies, while lighter-bodied rums from sugar cane juice are the norm in former French colonies like Haiti and Martinique, known as Rhum Agricole. Former Spanish colonies of Cuba, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico tend to produce a golden style somewhere in between, called Añejo.
Many Rums are aged, generally in older oak barrels, giving them added colour and spice. It's very hard to categorise Rum as a single category, with so many styles and flavour profiles produced throughout the world. Un-aged white Rums are an essential feature of any drinks cabinet and are used extensively in cocktails and long drinks, while oak-aged Rums are finally gaining the recognition they deserve as spirits with the same complexity and character of the world's most sought after whiskies.