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Rum is a distilled alcoholic liquor obtained juice or molasses from sugar cane. It is usually a by-product of the manufacture of sugar and includes light, clear types typical of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Bahamas, Colombia, Panama, Spain, Guatemala, Philippines, India, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, United States, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Chile.

It became an important product of the Antilles (West Indies) following the introduction of sugar cane in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. Initially valued by the sugar produced, soon discovered that there were other uses for sugar cane. He could ferment the thick brown liquid ("molasses") remaining after extraction of sugar and distilled to produce a stimulating liquor.

This drink was first mentioned in documents from Barbados in 1650. It was called "kill-devil" ("kill-devil") or "rumbullion" (a word of Devonshire, England, which means 'a great tumult') . In the French Caribbean colonies, it was called Guildive (modification of "kill-devil") and then tafia, an African or indigenous term.

Already in 1667 it was called simply "rum", from where the Spanish word ron and the French rhum. The first official mention of the word "rum" appear in an order issued by the Governor-General of Jamaica dated July 8, 1661.

The rum was an important economic factor in the 17th and 18th centuries it was exported to Europe from the West Indies and was used in the African slave trade and the fur trade with Indians of North America. The rum to the English colonies in America also exported but demand was so high that distilleries were established in New York and New England in the 17th century From there, imports were mainly from molasses. In 1763 there were 150 distilleries in New England, which is mainly supplied from the French Antilles. About 80% of the product was consumed in the American colonies, and only the rest was sent to Africa to be exchanged for slaves, ivory or gold.

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