Rum was also the drink of sailors and pirates in the 18th Century, as we made great progress on distillation methods, it also found its followers in Europe and North America.
Today, rum is one of the most consumed spirits of the world. Its produced on the 5 continents, in Latin America, Oceania and the Middle East, but undoubtedly, the Caribbean is home to the most famous rums. Rum is the best-selling spirit in the world with 1500 brands, produced in more than 40 countries! Originally from Asia, the cane collection took place in the Caribbean with the second expedition of Christopher Columbus to the West Indies at the end of the 15th Century. Rum production was first mentioned in writing in 1647 in Barbados, but there is evidence that this spirit has been produced there from the beginning of the 17th Century.
At the time, the rum was not that good-quality and for its production costs it was meant to be a drink for the slaves (who could not afford expensive cognac or sherry, like colonists).
Its history dates back to the first half of the 18th Century. The original company was founded in Buchsdorf, Austrian Silesia, under the name of Albert Michler Buchsdorf, Likör- Rum und Spiritus-Fabrik. In 1863, the original company was supplying the entire Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and all corners of the Empire. Later it was re-organized in Buchsdorf Austrian Silesia. During the Monarchy, the brand name “Albert Michler ́s Original Buchsdorfer” became famous worldwide. The Company was permitted to use the title “Purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Household”, and in the 19th Century participated in some of the most renowned World Exhibitions. Albert Michler was one of the first distributors of original Jamaican Rum in Central Europe, also being a supplier of genuine rum for the Austrian Imperial Navy. Today, the original distillery has been refurbished and operates as a rum warehouse to bring the tradition of the distillery in modern splendor internationally with their individual rum bottlings.
Sugar cane grows in many tropical and subtropical areas of the earth and belongs to the family of grasses and is very similar to bamboo. There are about 9,000 different types of sugar cane which grow up to 6m high. The trunks can reach a diameter of up to 5 cm. 2/3 of the trunk contain sweet marrow which is taken from the sugar production by pressing. You get up to 20 percent sugar per plant and the proportion of sugar cane juice is around 90%. From planting to the first cut it takes 12-18 months depending on the region and climate.
Around 8,000 BC, the first harvest of sugar cane in Papua New Guinea was made. Then the spread followed in Asia. Planting of sugar cane then spread through China, Indonesia, the Philippines and India. Sugar and fermented sugar drinks were first produced around 350 BC in India to make the estate last longer. The first plantations in Europe were discovered around 800 AD. The main area of the spread of sugar was the southern area, Greece, Italy as well as Spain (Canary Islands). Sugar became a luxurious commodity in Europe, and Madeira was the world's largest sugar exporter in the 15th century. It was Columbus who, on his second trip to the Caribbean, brought sugar cane to Hispaniola in 1493, the island that today shares the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
From there the spread of sugar cane advanced into South America.
Rum is produced by fermentation and distillation of sugar cane molasses. Molasses is a residue of the sugar industry with brown and viscous consistency. A large part of the sugar cannot be dissolved out at the sugar distillery and remains in the residual product, the molasses. The molasses can be used only after dilution with water for fermentation, because sugar molecules are still too concentrated to be processed by yeasts to alcohol. The aqueous molasses are added skimming and dunder. "Skimming" refers to the foam that settles on the surface when the sugarcane juice boils. "Dunder" is an alcohol-free yeast residue from earlier distillations. Both additives are crucial for the flavour of the later rum. Because fermentation in rum happens very quickly and intensively due to the high sugar content, the fermentation process is prolonged to promote a more intensive aroma. 12h - 7 days.