A Global History

Richard Foss

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Richard Foss

Distributed for Reaktion Books

144 pages | 40 color plates, 20 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2012
Cloth $19.00 ISBN: 9781861899262 Published May 2012 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $17.00 ISBN: 9781861899507 Published May 2012

“Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!” A favorite of pirates, the molasses-colored liquid brings to mind clear blue seas, weather-beaten sailors, and port cities filled with bar wenches. But enjoyment of rum spread far beyond the scallywags of the Caribbean—Charles Dickens savored it in punch, Thomas Jefferson mixed it into omelets, Queen Victoria sipped it in navy grog, and the Kamehameha Kings of Hawaii drank it straight up. In Rum,Richard Foss tells the colorful, 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 five-hundred-year evolution of rum from a raw spirit concocted for slaves to a beverage savored by connoisseurs. Charting the drink’s history, Foss shows how rum left its mark on religious rituals—it remains a sacramental offering among voodoo worshippers—and became part of popular songs and other cultural landmarks. He also includes recipes for sweet and savory rum dishes and obscure drinks, as well as illustrations of rum memorabilia from its earliest days to the tiki craze of the 1950s. Fast-paced and well written, Rum will delight any fan of mojitos and mai tais.
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
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