January 17, 2012
Dark and viscous.
Looks a bit devilish.
Just process some cane, grapes and or sugar beets into sugar and you have it.
When molasses was imported to Colonial America from Jamaica, it was discovered you could make something wonderful out of it.
Samuel Morewood, a British etymologist, in an 1824 essay about the word itself suggested that it might be from the British slang term for "the best," as in "having a rum time."
"As spirits, extracted from molasses, could not well be ranked under the name whiskey, brandy, or arack, it would be called rum, to denote its excellence or superior quality."
Wasn't long before colonists discovered this "superior quality" stuff would work in a dignified concoction that begins with...
A stick of unsalted butter.
Three sticks of cinnamon.
Cloves, sugar, cream...
An old colonial recipe today you can actually make fittingly in a crock pot.
(I'll leave that one alone.)
A roundabout, but I hope instructive, way of calling attention to National Hot Buttered Rum Day.
Charles Coulombe, author of Rum: "The Epic Story of the Drink that Conquered the World," makes the point that rum has always been an important component of American celebrations, especially given the Puritanical ban on enjoying religious holidays.
Spiced rum drinks were a godsend.
Or devil send, so spoke Robert Louis Stevenson in "Treasure Island."
"Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest— Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest— Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
Still...a chill outside.
A roaring fire and a grog of Hot Buttered Rum inside.
Indeed, a rum time.
Always available in here, with or without.