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208 × 127 × 14 mm
144 pages
53 illustrations, 34 in colour
01 Apr 2012

Rum A Global History 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.

‘Urbane, wry, and unafraid to editorialize, Foss brings us the intrigues of the colonial Caribbean, the molasses rotguts of Massachusetts, cachaça rebellion in Brazil, and Hawaiian tiki drinks . . . Foss manages to tell the story with restraint and relish, providing recipes to accompany the history. Ernest Hemingway, Captain Bligh, and Trader Vics make appearances. Through it all, Foss remains a food writer. By the middle of the book, you will be craving a shrub, punch, daiquiri, or mai tai.’ — Boston Globe

‘Food historian and journalist Foss spins a well-researched tale of the colorful history of rum rife with pirates, revolution, and palm trees delightful to read and full of wry wit.’ — Library Journal

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Richard Foss is a food historian and journalist. He has written for many publications including Time Out magazine, Easy Reader newspaper and Los Angeles CityBeat, and has contributed to Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia (2011).

Liquid History: An Introduction

1. What Is and Isn't Rum?
2. The Elusive Origins of Rum: From the Caribbean to the USA
3. Rum Manufacture by Other European Powers
4. Rum All Over the World: Australia, India, Asia, South America and Beyond
5. Rum Falls from Grace and Rises Again: Temperance, Cocktails, Wars and Religion
6. Rum Today and Tomorrow

Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Rum Museums
Photo Acknowledgements