Rum: Sugar Cane, Rhum Agricole, Cachaca

Rum is the most varied, and loosely regulated, spirit category so there is lots of room for inventiveness if that is your thing. Rum is usually produced anywhere sugarcane grows but purchasing molasses or different grades of cane sugar in bulk is easy, and there are few restrictions on calling a spirit rum or rhum, which means you can make it if you want.

History of Rum

The story of rum goes back centuries and is quite interesting and brutal at times. We won’t get into the details too much here but if you want to know more I can whole-heartedly recommend “And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World” by Wayne Curtis.


Some producers try to claim that beets, which when extracted and boiled down produce a molasses-like syrup, make a rum, it is in fact not a rum.

Bryan Edwards History of the West Indies Book V Chap II
Monzert – 1889 – Practical Distiller

Added Sugar in Rum

Many rums contain added sugar, and this is reported by analysis of the rums by governments. It should come as no surprise that black rums have sugar, since the idea of black rum is to add molasses to the distilled rum. However, if you, as a new distiller, think that producing a pure rum distillate is going to appeal to a mass market, you might want to rethink that because rum can be a harsh spirit and a small amount of sugar takes the edge off.

Angostura 1919 14gr/l
Appleton Estate Extra 12 Years less than 3gr/l
Botran Solera 1893 Gran Reserva Añejo 9 g/l
Dillon Très Vieux Rhum less than 3gr/l
Diplomático Reserva 8 Años 7gr/l
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 12 Años 41gr/l (!!!)
El Dorado 15 Years 31gr/l
Matusalem Solera 7 Blender less than 3gr/l
Negrita Dark less than 3gr/l
Ron Barceló Gran Añejo 5gr/l
Ron Quorhum Solera 23 Years 46gr/l (!!!)
Ron Zacapa Gran Reserva 41gr/l (!!!)
Rum Plantation 20th Anniversary Extra Old 29gr/l
Rum Plantation Grande Reserve Barbados 22gr/l
Zacapa XO 26gr/l
Bacardi Black 8 gr/l
Bacardi Superior less than 3gr/l
Barracuda Rum Silver less than 3gr/l
Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Familiar 3gr/l
Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Sherry Oak 4gr/l
Cachaça 51 16gr/l
Captain Morgan Jamaica Rum 3gr/l
Havana Club Añejo 3 años 3gr/l
Havana Club Añejo 7 años 4gr/l
Havana Club Añejo Blanco 3gr/l
Havana Club Añejo Reserva 3gr/l
Matusalem Platino 5gr/l
Matusalem Solera 7 Blender 3gr/l


Simple Rum Wash Recipe

Recipe for 100L
100 liters Water
5.0 kg Blackstrap Molasses
25 g Yeast Nutrients (or Ammonium Phosphate)
50 g Yeast

Molasses contains roughly 75% fermentable sugars.


Method for producing heavy rum by low-concentration syrup

Uncle bingos famous Jamaican rum punch


Alcoholic fermentation of beet molasses: effects of lactic acid on yeast fermentation parameters