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  • Vodka Vs. Rum | What’s The Difference?

    Published on September 15, 2021
    Vodka Vs. Rum | What's The Difference?

    There are countless alcoholic drinks available in the world. Each one comes with its own alcohol content. Hard liquors such as vodka and rum have similar alcohol by volume (ABV). 

    Despite this similarity, there are a variety of differences between vodka and rum. To begin with, vodka is primarily made using grains and potatoes while rum uses sugarcane juice. 


    Vodka is a clear spirit that originated in Russia and Poland but has since become popular in the United States. This type of alcoholic drink is naturally gluten-free.

    However, your drink may not necessarily be gluten-free due to the additives and options which come with your drink. For example, there are plenty of mixed drinks that use vodka such as a White Russian, Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, or a Screwdriver.


    Vodka is also a distilled spirit that undergoes the distillation process which involves a fermentation process that uses water, grain mash, and wheat. Vodka can be made by also using cereal grains and potatoes.


    Since vodka is flavorless, many come with certain flavors for you to choose from such as strawberry, cotton candy, and blueberry. Adding vodka to a mixed drink allows you to taste different flavors as well.


    Well-known brands of vodka include the following:

    • Ketel One
    • Grey Goose
    • Smirnoff
    • Absolut
    • Stolichnaya


    Originating in the Caribbean islands, rum is made using sugarcane juice. As is the case with vodka, distilling takes place with rum. 

    Types Of Rum

    Rum is an interesting distilled spirit because there are multiple variations such as:

    • spiced rum (blended spices and caramel)
    • dark rum (consists of multiple rums)
    • light rum (typically not aged)
    • white rum (light in color, primarily used to mix with other drinks)
    • gold rum (aged and has a stronger flavor than light rum)

    Taste & Process

    How the rum is aged, and for how long, will play a part in the taste and smell of the rum. In fact, rum is aged in oak casks which hold the liquid for a certain amount of time.

    The aging process of the rum gives it flavoring. Distillation takes place at a distillery in which the rum will complete the aging process.

    Mixed Drinks

    Mixed drinks which use rum include:

    • daiquiri
    • ​rum runner
    • malibu sunset
    • mohito
    • Long Island iced tea


    Popular brands of rum include:

    • Captain Morgan
    • ​Bacardi
    • ​Kraken
    • Whaler’s
    • Tommy Bahama

    Health Concerns Of Alcohol Abuse

    Despite some of the health benefits that a few alcoholic beverages offer, alcohol can cause a number of health issues in the short term and long term. 

    Short-Term Health Concerns

    Short-term health issues are likely caused by bouts of heavy drinking or binge drinking. This can cause you to experience alcohol poisoning, falls, and car crashes. 

    Long-Term Health Concerns

    Long-term health concerns from alcohol abuse include:

    If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol abuse, please contact us today to learn about our treatment options.

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

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Alcohol FAQ
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Alcohol Use and Your Health
    Food Science and Nutrition - Effect of Ethanol on Flavor Perception of Rum
    World Health Organization - Chemical Composition of Alcoholic Beverages, Additives, and Contaminants
    World Health Organization - Worldwide Production and Use of Alcoholic Beverages

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