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Rum Hardcover – November 1, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a most attractively produced illustrated book about one of the world's oldest spirits. The first rum may have been enjoyed some 2,500 years ago, but the modern drink began with moonshine fermented by Iberian New World settlers and later by the other Europeans when they established their Caribbean colonies. Perhaps the most popular rum comes from Cuba, where humidity levels are responsible for the sweetest sugar cane, and where in 1878 Don Facunado Bacardi imported the first still and created his famous brand. Dave Broom examines the colourful history of rum and explains production techniques from around the world. He also offers a directory of more than 200 rums with tasting notes and ratings. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dave Broom is an award-winning drink writer. Among his books are Drink! Never Mind the Peanuts, winner of the Glenfiddich Drink Book of the Year 2002, as well as the Handbook of Whisky, Spirits & Cocktails.

Jason Lowe travels the world taking photographs for a variety of international publications. He has been particularly well recognized for his work in food and beverage photography.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789208024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789208026
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.9 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
By Bill Marsano. Rum has been a forgotten drink for some decades now. Just why it fell from favor isn't entirely clear, but now, more or less all of a sudden, it's back. And in comes with this handsome book--a real lapful of pleasure--to do it justice. Certainly the new interest in cocktails of recent years has fostered the comeback, and so has the long-delayed realization that there really isn't any such thing as "rum." Instead, there are many, many rums--each different by style or flavor or the whim of its maker. Rum shows as many personalities as malt scotch does, in fact. Finally, serious drinkers have recognized that while there are plenty of raffish, piratical rums of the "Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest" variety, there are others that are made as carefully and aged and lovingly as fine cognacs.
David Broom is our guide here--he's a good writer (author of numerous other books on fine drink) and a real expert in the realm of distillative arts. Wisely he doesn't try to cover every rum from every place (there are far too many, after all). Instead he focuses on the home country of rum, which is the Caribbean basin and the Spanish Main (which means, of course, mainland, so we get the word on rums from Venezuela, Guatemala, Guyana, Brazil and elsewhere). But he concentrates on the islands: Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad, the Virgin Islands (U.S. and British) are of principal importance. And of course there are little oddities. Bermuda has its own famous run but grows no sugar cane; the Caymans are known for what might be called "J. and B."--a blend of Jamaican and Barbadian rums.
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Format: Hardcover
I could kick myself for digging through a shelf of quotation books to find Lord Byron's "There's nought no doubt so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion." Rum, by Dave Broom, a luxuriant keeper volume published by the Wine Appreciation Guild, has got the very same quote emblazoned on the back cover. Of course, Byron used the term "rum" to refer to all potent alcoholic beverages. If anything, the usage attests to the wide historical and social reach of rum. "Here is a drink," Broom writes, "that has been the catalyst for the birth of nations." The scope of Rum, the book, aided immeasurably by the superb photography of Jason Lowe, does true justice to the beverage.

Rum is distilled from sugar cane, and like sugar, it reveals a history of misery and pain. "Rum was slavery's currency; it made some people vast fortunes and helped others forget their misery," Broom reflects. Caribbean sugar production was so labor-intensive that it almost mandated that slaves be worked to death and periodically replaced. The rum and slave trade went hand-in-hand, enriching cities like Bristol in England and Newport, Rhode Island. American rum, sugar and slave trade with the Caribbean led to the first major commercial rifts between the American colonies and England; these soon escalated into heated debate, then gunfire and revolution. America's founding fathers reached for rum above all other beverages when they needed to stiffen their resolve.

In the nineteenth century, technical innovation spurred the creation of a modern rum industry. The Caribbean nations stratified into various "schools" of rum production: Don Facunado Bacardi in Cuba developed light rums; Jamaica kept to fuller-flavored rums ("Jamaicans are hard-headed people. They weren't going to change.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this book only a few days ago, and have hardly been able to put it down. The book simply reads like a great story about rum, and it actually pulls you along. The profiles of individual rums are very interesting and useful, and the photography throughout is spectacular.

The major shortcoming is the photograph descriptions. The book is so well-written that it makes you feel like you're there, but the photograph descriptions as so general that they're useless, and actually take away from the book. One photograph shows someone walking up a colourful but run-down backroad in some Carribbean town, but all the caption says is the "The Real Carribbean is in the backroads." Others say things like "Sugar cane harvest" or "A local enjoying some rum". Some basic information about where the photo was taken and a bit more about what we're looking at would be nice.
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Format: Hardcover
As a long time sailor and regular rum drinker (Mount [..], lime slice, dash of seltzer) I found "Rum" to be much more than a book about my favorite libation - it is, in fact, a fascinating portrayal of a young America flexing it's early capitalistic muscle in competition with England, France and Spain each of whom is entangled with slavery, intrigue and occasional flashes of distilling brilliance. I bought the book as a coffee table item for my boat "Rumble," named after my two favorite subjects, rum and bull, but found it instead to be a fascinating historically accurate novel. Pour a glass of rum and settle in for a great read called "Rum."
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