Cheers! High-quality rum from jaggery coming in Karnataka
Bangalore: If you happen to be a rum connoisseur in Karnataka, it would really be a three cheers moment for you when you know that the state is set to become the first in the country to high quality rum from jaggery.
According to a report in the ' Bangalore Mirror', the state government is planing to even amend the excise law to include jaggery as a raw material from which alcoholic drinks can be distilled in the state.
Rum, so far made only from by-products - sugarcane spirit or molasses - rather than from sugarcane juice or jaggery directly is therefore of a lower quality than say, whiskey, which are fermented from are used for fermenting it. For manufacturing single malt whiskey, cereals are grown with care to achieve the required quality.
This single malt whiskey is differentiated from regular whiskey for its taste and quality,. Similarly rum made from jaggery will be of a far better quality than regular rums being made from fine quality jaggery.
The new method of making rum from jaggery is profitable as well. Thus according to excise sources, a tonne of sugarcane yields 230-250 litres of pure alcohol. All this comes from molasses. Now, more than 300 litres of alcohol can be distilled from per tonne of jaggery.
Therefore one thing is clear. Rum, thus far dubbed the 'poor man's drink' is on the verge to take a big leap, which will seat it with its more sophisticated cousins, whiskey and brandy. Nnow one hopes that the other states follow Karnataka's lead and bring in jaggery-based rum.
However while improving the taste and quality of rum based on jaggery, its cost is also likely to shoot up, which may not be good news for the poor who will have then to make do with ordinary rum made from molasses.
Rum has always remained a poor sibling of whiskey or brandy since it is produced from by-products - sugarcane spirit or molasses - rather than from sugarcane juice or jaggery directly. The excise law too disallows use of sugarcane juice or jaggery for producing rum.