This spare tome covers considerable territory as it surveys the history of rum on a global scale. Beginning with its sketchy origins on the 16th century sugar cane plantations of Brazil and the Caribbean, the book traces the spirit's growing popularity and diversity up to the present day.
As the title suggests, this is a "global" story that ventures far beyond the Caribbean where many similar histories drop anchor. It covers rum smuggling, the triangle trade, rum runners and tiki bars.
While early descriptions of the molasses-based spirit refer to it as a "hot, hellish, and terrible liquor," today rum is best known as the base alcohol in tiki bar staples such as the mai tai, blue Hawaii, and piña colada.
A Global History
by Richard Foss
Reaktion Books, 2012
continued in The Book Stall
good spirits & fine liqueurs
Outrider Reading Group