If you’re a whiskey drinker, you probably know that American varieties are spelled with an “e” and that the spirit generally tastes delicious in an Old Fashioned.
What you may not know is that whiskey shares a lot in common with another spirit: rum.
Rum and whiskey share an intertwined history in the American colonies. Rum was produced by distilleries in New England, spurred by the molasses trade with the West Indies and served at taverns throughout the colonies. Meanwhile, whiskey was being made with leftover corn by farmers. When the American Revolution hit, the British blockaded American ports (stalling the molasses trade), so distilleries shifted to producing whiskey. It soon became the most popular spirit in the colonies.
Perhaps more importantly for whiskey drinkers, there are flavor similarities in the two spirits. Although rum is made with sugar cane, it’s quite often, like whiskey, aged in American white oak barrels. The resulting liquids carry the flavors of vanilla, toasted and charred oak, and, in some cases, notes of smoke.
Even the time the two spirits spend aging in the barrels can be similar—between three and seven years. BACARDÍ®, for one, actually purchases oak barrels that have been used by American whiskey distillers, then treats them to remove all of the bourbon out of the wood.
Because of these parallels, you can easily refresh traditional cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan with rum. The drinks will still share a lot of the same flavors you know and love.
Try them with BACARDÍ 8 Años, an amber-hued sipping rum that shares a profile in tone with the vanilla and butterscotch notes of the American oak and toasted cedar. Not only is it great in traditional whiskey cocktails, but like the American spirit, it pairs well with cigars when sipped on its own.