A Beginner’s Guide To Pairing Rum With Food

A Beginner’s Guide To Pairing Rum With Food
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As you’ll have found from our recent pieces on pairing whiskey and gin with food, matching alcoholic beverages with your meals is by no means a luxury reserved for wine alone. This time around, we’re exploring the best ways to play with the flavour profiles in sweet and versatile spirit, rum.

The team at Diplomático helped us out here by offering their brand ambassador Sai, who shared some insights into the best food pairings for rum. Here’s what we learnt in the process.

To start, what is rum and what kind of flavours can you expect from this spirit?

As VinePair shares, rum is most often sourced from areas in the Caribbean. Though it is distilled all over the world, Trinidad, Jamaica, Cuba and Guatemala are some of the countries most closely associated with rum.

The spirit is made from sugar cane and you can get it in clear, light amber and dark amber varieties. Most bottles are aged.

Rum is often found to have tropical fruit notes and spice to it. Yum.

Okay, so how do I pair rum with food?

Diplomático ambassador Sai shared that one of the greatest combinations you’ll find is rum and chocolate. I mean, it makes sense right? Fruit, spice and chocolate? What a dream.

Speaking of Diplomático specifically, Sai suggested pairing “Planas [white rum] with coconut and white chocolate, Mantuano [blended aged] with salted caramel and Reserva Exclusiva [premium blended aged] with dark chocolate”.

Not a fan of sweet treats? How about rum and oysters? Sai shared, “I have noticed a few people add a few drops of Planas to oysters, I tried it myself and it tastes great”.

Town and Country magazine appears to agree, writing that blending a “creamy and light oyster” with a rum cocktail that heroes flavours like banana and pineapple creates a perfect marriage.

And if that’s not your thing, either Sai also suggested trying the spirit paired with Wagyu beef, cheeses like aged Gouda or blue varieties, and tropical fruit and nuts like coconut, pineapple, banana, fig, raisins and almonds.

“My favourite is grilled pineapple with some DRE [Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva].”

What should you avoid here?

Now you have an idea of some tasty flavour pairings, what are some no-no’s when sipping on the pirate’s spirit?

While no specific flavour combinations stood out here, Sai warned against “over-diluting the spirit” and “mixing too many ingredients together” at once, as you don’t want to take away from the flavour of the rum itself.

Dickie Cullimore, Global Brand Ambassador for Bacardi, spoke with our pals at Business Insider a few years back and he added that going for the cheapest variety isn’t a great idea.

He explained that production rules can be inconsistent so “instead of picking the cheapest rum, pick a rum you trust, that’s authentic or established,” he said.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, Dan Murphy’s has a pretty robust list of rums available and the VinePair guide to rum also lists some a-grade options. Enjoy!

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