When it comes to liquor, we like to think that we don’t play favorites. Whether it’s a cold pint of beer, a glass of red wine, or a shot of whiskey, we’re all down for a good time.
But let’s face it. Some booze just tastes better than others. In the case of gin vs. rum, they both have different flavor profiles that appeal to different people.
If you want to know the difference between these two liquors, here’s a quick look at both spirits in terms of their origins, production process, taste, and health benefits.
Both liquors had their heyday, becoming popular among nobles and tradesmen. The big difference between them is their roots: Gin originated in Europe, while most historians believe that rum hails from the Caribbean.
It is believed that gin was first produced in the middle ages by the Dutch. It was only when gin made its way to England that it had become a drink to be enjoyed by all. Because the English government allowed gin to be produced even without a license, gin became even more popular than brandy at that time.
Rum was first produced in the 17th century, when slaves at a sugarcane plantation in the Caribbean discovered that molasses could be fermented to produce alcohol. Because of rum’s unique flavor and aroma, demand for the alcohol quickly grew, and other sugar-producing countries got into the rum production business. This alcohol became so popular that rum became a form of currency in many colonies in the 18th century.
Gin and rum may each have their own fascinating histories, but their production process is pretty much the same, with one remarkable difference.
Gin is made from fermented grain mesh (barley, rye, corn, and wheat) that has been distilled with juniper berries and other herbal ingredients that give it its clean taste and distinct aroma.
Usually, the alcohol is usually left to age or mature in making spirits; however, in the case of gin, this step is usually skipped. The result is a light-bodied liquor perfect for mixing with classic, fruity cocktails and making martinis.
Rum can be made from both molasses and pure sugarcane. It is produced all over the world, with Latin America and the Caribbean leading the pack.
Unlike other spirits, rum has no specific production method. It simply runs through the general process of distillation, fermentation, and aging.
For this section, we’ll be exploring their flavor profiles, as well as the varieties.
Today’s gin is typically flavored with different botanicals. It has a dry and herbal flavor that comes mainly from the juniper berries it’s made of.
Since gin can’t be classified by age, it’s primarily categorized based on the ingredients that were used in the distillation process. Here are the 5 distinct gin varieties that you can enjoy today.
Its flavor profile varies by regions where the sugar is grown and the method of distillation. But even though rum comes in many variations and grades, it generally falls under one of these 7 different types:
Both gin and rum have their plus points so at this point, we’re calling it a draw.
If you’re a born traditionalist, gin has a lot to offer you. Whether you like it in your martini or with some tonic, gin can show you a good time. The versatility of gin is one of the many reasons mixologists like to experiment with it.
On the other hand, rum is also a good choice for creating classics such as mojito, daiquiri, and mai tai. Taken alone, it can be sugary or spicy or a sweet mixture of both — sommeliers recommend sipping it slowly to fully enjoy the liquor’s hints of toasted sugar.
When taken in moderate amounts and without mixers, both spirits offer a plethora of health benefits.
It’s a good source of antioxidants. Juniper berries are super foods loaded with antioxidants that help reverse free radical damage and fight signs of aging, such as wrinkles.
Juniper berries are also a good source of flavonoids, which help prevent heart disease and improve blood circulation.
A shot of gin contains around 97 calories, making it the ideal poison for the weight-conscious. Drink it straight if you want to avoid piling on the pounds.
It helps with heart health. Rum prevents blockages in the arteries, thereby reducing the risk and impact of a heart attack. It also aids in the production of HDL, which is considered good cholesterol.
It treats the common cold. Rum has antimicrobial properties, which help fight bacteria that cause colds.
It offers relief from cramping and muscle pain and promotes bone health, keeping osteoporosis and arthritis at bay.
In this case, gin trumps rum. The positive effects of gin are more holistic than that of rum, and its source — juniper berries — offers a wider range of benefits.