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  • Rum Alcohol Content | How Strong Is Rum?

    Published on September 28, 2021
    Rum Alcohol Content | How Strong Is Rum?

    Rum is a distilled spirit that contains 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). However, rum doesn’t always contain the same ABV, but can range between 20 percent and 75.5 percent ABV.

    Rum is made from fermented sugarcane or molasses. There are several different rum types such as spiced rum, light rum, dark rum, and aged rum. Because of this, you can expect to find numerous flavors as well as different alcohol content. 

    The Alcohol Content Of Rum

    Liqueurs such as rum can contain a range of ethanol depending on the type. This is true for any type of alcohol. 

    Many rums contain 40 percent ABV which is the same as 80 proof. Overproof rum is a type of rum that must contain an alcohol concentration of at least 57.5 percent ABV. 

    Typically, overproof rum contains 75.5 percent ABV which is the equivalent of 151 proof and is seen in Bacardi 151. 

    Always read the label because the rum ABV can vary so widely. It’s a good idea to monitor your alcoholic beverages if you drink rum.

    How Rum Is Made

    Since all rum must be sugar-based and contain sugarcane juice, most distilleries are located in countries rich in sugarcane fields. This is why rum is made in countries such as the Caribbean, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

    Other spirits such as tequila and absinthe are made in different countries such as Mexico and the Czech Republic. Tequila uses an agave plant while absinthe uses herbs.

    First Distillation Of Rum

    The first distillation of rum took place in the 17th century in the Caribbean when slaves were forced to work in the sugarcane fields. Distilling rum requires fermentation and is usually aged in oak barrels. 


    White rum is aged in stainless steel containers for a year. While some rums use pot stills, others use column stills. Aged rums, for instance, use charred oak casks which can cause the rum to have a darker look. 

    Grenada rum is made in Grenada. There, the traditional pot stilling method is used for distillation. This method is slower but successful. 

    Brands Of Rum & ABV

    From white rum to dark rum and everything in-between, there are multiple options which you may be familiar with. Some popular brands of rum include:

    • Bacardi (40 percent ABV)
    • Captain Morgan (40 percent ABV)
    • Stroh (80 percent ABV)
    • Whaler’s (30 to 40 percent ABV)
    • Tommy Bahama (40 percent ABV)
    • Castillo (40 percent ABV)

    Mixed Drinks That Use Rum

    Some of the mixed drinks that use rum include:

    • pina colada
    • daiquiri 
    • hurricane
    • dark ‘n’ stormy
    • mohito
    • mai tai
    • Long Island iced tea

    If you have trouble controlling the amount of rum you drink, please contact us today to learn how we can help.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food Science & Nutrition - Effect of Ethanol on Flavor Perception of Rum
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - A Standard Drink
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - What is a Standard Drink?

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