Happy National Rum month.
About a year ago, Heritage Distilling Co. (HDC) launched rum for the first time. After a year, we believe it's time for a rum history lesson provided by Anthony Peters, HDC Eugene Production Bottling Lead.
When thinking of rum, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a sleepy beach bar, or perhaps images of a pirate captain and crew taking a celebratory swig after a successful pillage. After all, the spirit from the sugarcane plant is synonymous with the history of the Caribbean Islands, and it was once in such demand that it became one of the supporting pillars of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. However, the road to rum’s entrenchment in the heritage of the Caribbean, early America and yes, even Oregon, had its fair share of bumps along the way.
The earliest documents and reports suggest that rum was first distilled on the tropical island of Barbados, sometime in the mid-17th century. The early British colonialists in the area were not immediately impressed with the drink, and gave it the colorful nickname “kill-devil” called as such because it was “a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor.” The British can also be credited for the drink’s modern name, as the most popular origin theory for the word “rum” is that it comes from the word “rumbustious” a now-outdated piece of British slang that means “boisterous and unruly.” As those are both common side-effects of consuming copious amounts of alcohol, the connection seems obvious.