American colonists in New England and New York knew all about rum. They imported molasses from the West Indies to convert it to rum. Molasses oozes out during the sugar production process and was considered junk, according to author ("And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails") Wayne Curtis.
"A lot of it was just dumped into the sea. But somebody figured out, well, it's got enough sugar in it to ferment so it could be fermented into a sort of wine, and then the wine could be distilled into something that was really quite nasty at the outset. Originally called kill devil, later called rum," Curtis told NPR.
What makes rum so unique in the world of liquor? During production it can be made either brown like brandy or clear like vodka. Rum is made with a base of sugarcane or molasses, not a grain. The conversion from starch to sugar, required for fermentation of other spirits, is not necessary in rum making. The liquid is fermented and distilled, with a proof ranging from 80 to 150. ("The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.")
* Get into the spirit of summer with Rum-Berry Shortcake.
* Jazz up the main course with Rum-Glazed Ribs.
* Liven up the party with classic Rum Punch.
Joe Miller's Joke Day
He was so funny he inspired a book. Joseph Miller was an English comedic actor born in 1684 (exact birth date is unknown). He was a popular act at the Drury Lane Theatre in London. He died on Aug. 16, 1738, Within a year, John Motley compiled Miller's jokes into "Joe Miller's Jest Book: An Immense Collection of the Funniest Jokes, Quaint and Laughable Anecdotes, Mirth Provoking Stories, Brilliant Witticisms, and Queer Sayings, As Told by the Original Joe Miller."
You may not be immortalized by your friends that way, but you can still join in the fun and tell your favorite jokes today.
Elvis Presley Death Anniversary
Madonna was celebrating her 19th birthday. Twenty years earlier on Aug. 16 Babe Ruth died. The date was August 16, 1977. Popular singer Elvis Presley was only 42 when was pronounced dead at the Memphis Baptist Hospital. Before the age of music videos, Elvis found another way to use his good looks to build his fan base: movies. Watch any classic Elvis film and get ready to dance and swoon, including "Viva Las Vegas " or "Jailhouse Rock."
- Wayne Curtis
- Drury Lane Theatre in London
- Elvis Presley Death