HISTORY OF RON LEGENDARIO
Talking about rum is like making a trip through the history of Cuba.
The spirit, together with tobacco and coffee, make up a triad which coin the character of this Island.
The introduction of sugar cane took place during the second trip of Admiral Christopher Columbus to the Island.At the end of the 15th century the foundations for a monoculture economy were laid. Conquerors disembarked searching for gold and, instead, what they shipped back to the Old Continent was sugar.
The exact moment when Rum was born is still unknown. However, it was priest Jean-Baptiste Labat, who in 1772 observed how slaves used basic methods to produce sugar and extract a very strong drink from the cane syrup, Tafia; and which came out of a molasses which did not crystallize (treacle dregs), left to be fermented and obtained in wooden mills and in rustic cauldrons, in which Guarapo (cane juice) was boiled in order to precipitate sugar grains.
In 1837 the first railway in Latin America was inaugurated in Cuba so as to speed the Cuban sugar industry.The bases for a rapid upturn in the production of crude and liquors are settled.That rough molasses of the early days was purified, dissolved in water and added yeast for it to ferment, and then, the known Batición, as it happens with wine, appeared and it was distilled and then kept in American oak barrels so with time, light liquors were obtained and with their subsequent mixtures, ageing, refinement and filtering, sugar cane distillations with different qualities were obtained.
Around 1862 “officially” begins the production of quality rums, from different types to be consumed in the country and to be exported.In the early twentieth century develops in Cuba what was then known as the Rum boom. Bocoy, Bacardi, Pinilla, Ronda, Legendario… are among other, brands of legitimately Cuban rums which settled in the emerging market and still persist today.
That is how liquors, elixirs and rums go to make up part-and-parcel of the Cubans’ lifestyle.
But these spirits also have a different aspect: cocktails. Blended with liquors or juices they create refreshing drinks.Daiquiri, Mojito, Cuba Libre and other mixtures which have been tasted and coined by celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, Sofía Loren, Spencer Tracy, Brigitte Bardot, etc are born in Cuba.
Much has been said about the etymology of the word, but the truth is that saying Rum is talking about party, exchange, relax…all depending on the way and the place in which it is drunk.