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Is Rum Keto Friendly? Is Rum derived from sugar, sugar-free?

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Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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We get asked all the time – aren’t you concerned about all that sugar you are pumping into your body when drinking your beloved rum? Sure we are, but not all rums have sugar. Wait…back the bus up. A product derived from sugar is sugar-free? As to whether rum is keto friendly, it depends on what rum you choose.

Before we get into this discussion rum cocktails mixed with ginger beer, full leaded soda and fruit juice have sugar. Is diet soda and rum Keto friendly? As you’ll see below it depends on the rum. But why would you want to mix perfectly good rum with chemical laden diet soda anyway?

Is Rum Keto Friendly? Is Rum derived from sugar, sugar-free?
Is Rum Keto Friendly? Is Rum derived from sugar, sugar-free?

Rum begins with sugar cane which is pressed to extract the water and the sugar juice.

Some producers use this sugar cane juice as the base of their rum while others boil the juice further to create either a cane syrup or molasses. The juice, syrup or molasses is combined with water and yeast and fermented for as little as a day to upwards of two weeks. Then Magic! The yeast eats all the sugar leaving the producer with pure alcohol. The alcohol is then distilled and aged. It’s the blending process that can cause some skepticism on whether the rum is truly sugar free. If the producer is going to add sugar or additives, it will be at this time.

Unfortunately, most producers are not forthcoming as to whether they add anything back into the rum during the blending process because…we put simply, they are not regulated by their country to do so. Regulations run the gamut from zero requirements to requiring minimum aging time. Jamaica is one of the few countries where it’s illegal to adulterate rum without the permission from the government.

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How do we find out if we are drinking pure unadulterated rum?

There is a tool called a Hydrometer which measures the ABV (alcohol by volume) in a liquid. Hydrometers do not measure the amount of sugar in alcohol rather the change in density from the reported ABV. This change could be from sugar, additives or an inaccurate representation of the reported ABV, though the latter is rare. Readings between 0-5 g/l (grams per liter) are considered to be additive free.

As an example Appleton Estate 21 from Jamaica states an ABV of 43.0 with a Hydrometer reading of 42 equating to 0-5 g/l. Keto friendly. On the other hand Ron Zacapa products, known as the benchmark of fine rum, measures between 20-28 g/l. In fact many of the rums we have reviewed over the years show up on the Hydrometer lists as having higher additives readings.

Confused yet? Here’s a simple list of Keto Friendly Rums:

  • Barbados rums like Foursquare, Mount Gay and Doorly’s do not have added sugar.
  • Neither do Appleton, Blackwell or Mezan from Jamaica, as required by law.
  • If you want to mix with diet, Bacardi Superior and Captain Morgan White are Keto friendly.
  • For all other rums check out The Fat Rum Pirate for an extensive Hydrometer list. https://thefatrumpirate.com/hydrometer-tests-2

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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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