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Rum

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Rum is distilled from the fermented products of sugar cane – usually molasses. As is the case with all distilled spirits – rum is water white when first distilled. Fermentation is the process by which the sugar in molasses in converted into alcohol by the use of yeast. Distillation is the process of boiling a liquid and condensing its vapour to produce another liquid. Once fermentation and distillation have taken place, the Master Blender uses several different types of types and styles of rum to create a brand – in a similar way that an artist uses different colours to create a painting. Rum then ages in oak barrels that have been charred on the inside. The ABV for rum can vary from 37.5% to 57% - according to the style – please check carefully when making your cocktails as rum cocktails can be very strong – especially when mixed with other alcoholic cocktail ingredients.

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Rum – Aged, Golden, Spiced

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Produced using a similar process to dark rum – the golden rather than dark colour depends on the amount of caramel added to colour and flavour the rum. Aged rum usually refers to a longer period of ageing of a particular rum style to achieve a more robust flavour from the wooden barrel it is aged in. Spiced rum is as it suggests a rum blend which contains additional spices such as vanilla and ginger for added aroma and flavour The ABV of these rums can vary – please check carefully.

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Woods 100 Dark Rum

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Produced by the above method, dark rums obtain their colour from the addition of caramel and the extractives of the oak barrel during their ageing. In-the-spirit’s preferred Dark Rum is Woods 100 Rum. Woods 100 is blended with several different rums and has soft toffee notes complemented by rich Demerara flavours. At 57% ABV, Woods 100 is the highest ABV dark rum on the UK market – so go for cocktails of quality and not quantity!

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White Rum

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For our entry on white rum, we are using the most well known brand - Bacardi Carta Blanca. As with many rum brands, molasses are used as the base product are transformed into alcohol through spontaneous (natural) fermentation. In the recipe for Bacardi, purified water and yeast are then added producing a “mash” which is then fermented for a further 30-35 hours in carefully controlled conditions. The fermented mash is then distilled. Distilling involves the heating the fermented mash and repeatedly passing it through copper and stainless steel stills to remove the smallest impurities. Bacardi is then charcoal filtered to rigorously control the purity before ageing begins. Bacardi is aged in white oak casks which are monitored closely. After ageing to develop the flavour, the liquid then undergoes a finishing process known as charcoal mellowing leaving the rum clear and colourless or as they can now refer to it “white rum”. Perfect for cocktails! The ABV of white rum can vary from between 37.5 to 50% ABV. Bacardi Carta Blanca is 37.5% ABV.

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Sour Apple

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De Kuyper’s Sour Apple is a delicious liqueur made with apple flavours blended with fine spirits and is reminiscent of Granny Smith apples. This beautiful bright green liqueur brightens up cocktails and long drinks with its exceptionally fresh sweet and sour apple taste.

De Kuyper Sour Apple liqueur is 15% ABV.

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Tequila

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Contrary to popular belief, Tequila is not made from alcohol derived from the cactus plant, but from the agave plant (pronounced ‘Uh-Gah-Vee’), which is closely related to the yucca and the amaryllis. The sweet sap from the agave is fermented and then distilled twice in copper pot stills to retain the flavour of the original liquid. Tequila is traditionally drunk either as a shooter, with lime and salt.

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Tia Maria

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Tia Maria is still made according to a secret family recipe dating back to mid 17th century Jamaica which has been passed down through the generations. First produced commercially in the 1950s when Dr Kenneth Leigh Evans - a prominent scientist and gourmet - was offered the liqueur at a friend's home and persuaded them of its great commercial possibilities.

Tia Maria is made using carefully selected best quality Jamaican coffee beans which are roasted to create a perfectly balanced coffee taste. The coffee beans are then finely grounded and added to high quality sugar cane spirit. Natural cane sugar is also added to the blend which is then left to mature for at least 14 days. Enriched further with high quality vanilla and additional cane spirit to achieve the taste of sweet, lightly roasted coffee - the unique taste of Tia Maria also has hints of chocolate and aromatic vanilla making it ideal for use in cocktails.

Tia Maria liqueur is 20% ABV.

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Triple Sec

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Triple Sec is similar to Blue Curaçao in that it is made from oranges from the Caribbean island of Curaçao (situated just off the coast of Venezuela in South America). Triple Sec – literally meaning Triple Dry – is distilled three times – creating a liqueur which is drier to the taste and higher in alcohol strength than the Curaçao liqueurs– yet still keeping the juicy orange flavour.

De Kuyper Triple Sec is 40% ABV and is widely regarded as an economic alternative to Cointreau.

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