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words by ben stephens
Rum. Spelt backwards is Mur. Which sounds like it was a gift given to the baby Jesus upon his birth. That’s actually Myrrh and not Mur. It would be a homophone, but the word Mur is actually not a word. Sad that. Anyways, back to rum.
The history of the dark spirit is as misty as the hangover that takes control the morning after a large night with the said hooch. Marco Polo states that he was offered a wine made from sugar sometime in the 14th-century when he was in what we now call Iran. Then sometime in the 17th century, Barbados laid pretty big claims to producing the first distillation of the fermentation of molasses. Though there was a bottle of rum found in 1628 on the Swedish warship Vasa – crazy huh!
Another rum related myth that you never asked for is the one about that cheeky pirate named Blackbeard. Back in the early 1700’s when he was in the height of all his pirating of actual ships, he used to drink his rum with gunpowder- you know, for that extra kick. Then when he was feeling the hit of the sugary goods with some explosive granules, he’d go and take over a ship.
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A tall (ship) story or actual fact, who knows.
With all this talk of rum, have you heard of the local Wellington distillery that is Smoke and Oakum Manufactory? It’s quite the place, producing quite the product. Their number one best seller is the S&O’s Gunpowder Rum, a blend of dark rum, chillies, calumet tobacco and black gunpowder (see relevant story above). Each bottle is labelled with the date of bottling and batch number. All this attention to the finer details of the rum creates a unique tipple and something that you need to try.
Thankfully, as the S&O team are good friends, our mixologist team at Hippopotamus have created a nice little number and titled it Buried Treasure.
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It’s being crafted as we speak, so we’ll see you at the Hippo soon.
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