Author(s): Richard Foss
'Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!' A favourite of pirates, the molasses-coloured liquid brings to mind clear blue seas and weatherbeaten sailors. But enjoyment of rum spread far beyond the scallywags of the Caribbean - Charles Dickens savoured it in punch, George Washington served it at campaign rallies, Queen Victoria sipped it in the British Navy's grog, and Kamehameha I of Hawaii drank it straight. In Rum Richard Foss tells the colourful, secret history of a spirit that not only helped spark the American Revolution but was even used as currency in Australia. This book chronicles the 500-year evolution of rum from a raw spirit concocted for slaves to a beverage savoured by connoisseurs. Rum has left its mark on religious rituals - it remains a sacramental offering among voodoo worshippers - and became part of popular songs and other cultural landmarks. Fast-paced and well written, Rum will delight any fan of Mojitos and Mai Tais.
Richard Foss is a food historian and journalist, and has recently contributed to Food Cultures of the World Encyclopaedia (2011).