Rum for his short history It has become one of the most important links in a variety of military clashes and the favorite drink of pirates, a city-forming product for the whole region and a strategic reserve of whole flotillas, a healing tool and a guarantee of early death, etc.
- Captain, captain Jack Sparrow ...
- Jack, drunk you, not the captain
The very origin of the name of the drink is unclear. Here everyone pulls the blanket over himself - from the French “arîme” (flavor), from the English “rumbullion” (big noise and din), from the Latin “saccharum” (sugar) and so on. No matter how some romantics of the green serpent try to implant the history of rum in antiquity, but the distillation of precisely known rum began in the 17 century. Thousands of Negro slaves working on plantations in the Caribbean have noticed during the processing of sugar cane that molasses (a by-product of sugar production) is capable of fermentation with the release of alcohol. No, of course, different states vied with each other that it was their Negroes who turned out to be so inventive - from Barbados to Brazil.
The colonial countries, in particular, England, desperately tried to suck all of their colonies. For example, the British, who did not disdain slavery in the 17 century, planted their territories, such as the aforementioned Barbados, with sugarcane. As a result, the side molasses became so much that the production of rum flew up to heaven (although it was previously fed to the same slaves or poured into the river). And cheap booze was badly needed in new colonies for various reasons. For a few years, rum production began even in New England (Plymouth colony).
Thus, the eerie paramilitary, economic and even political monster - the “rum triangle” was born. Ships of all stripes, from future “freedom-loving” Americans, Englishmen, Spaniards to French, Dutch and even Swedes, cruised between Africa, the New World and Europe. On rum, sugar, clothes and weapon in Africa they bought slaves. In the New World, slaves were sold, investing in spices, again rum and sugar, carrying it to Europe. And so on.
Impeccable logic in its cannibalism was that the slaves began to cultivate the very plantations on which that very “currency” was born for which slaves were bought. Not bad, right? And under the operating conditions of a slave on a plantation, he cut down the required amount of raw materials (sugar cane) in a week to cover the cost of himself.
Purchase and sale of slaves in Africa
By the way, in one of these flights from the Old World to Barbados, the legendary pirate Henry Morgan, who worked as a simple youngster, was able to accumulate a small capital. Then, on shares with a couple of comrades, he was able to buy ... a ship. It seems that this gives an idea of what finances revolved in the "rum triangle." Later, this particular ship will be just the beginning of a pirate flotilla Morgana.
Another confirmation of the strategic importance of the Roma for the whole Caribbean region, apart from those involved in the “rum triangle”, is the exchange of tough economic sanctions between their countries of exploitation. It would seem that the middle of the 17 century - rampant piracy and privateering, no other business? But no one wanted to miss his chance on the rum-horse to enter the unusually favorable economic reality of that time.
For example, France, which banned the import of rum and molasses into the territory of the metropolis, in order to protect the local producer, only increased the production of molasses and sugar in the colonies. “French” raw materials for rum turned out to be the cheapest and drove other players out of the market. The British opposed this in every way by imposing a ban on French raw materials. Everyone fought for the market by any means.
Rum was needed by all. Sailors needed this drink. So, fresh water in those days was given on ships at a strict limit. In this case, it is often quickly spoiled. So that the water can be swallowed, it was diluted with rum. Sometimes rum was added to the water before it becomes unusable. In addition, rum saved from scurvy, in a sense.
Admiral Edward Vernon
So, almost all the cocktails, for the portion of which modern hipsters lay out hundreds of rubles, were born thanks to military sailors or desperate militant pirates. For example, grog was born thanks to the British admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), who saw that his brave sailors fool around after Roma. Instead of giving out rum, the admiral could not - a longstanding tradition of the fleet and the legitimate right of a sailor. Therefore, he ordered the rum to be diluted with lemon juice, which, by the way, strengthened the healing properties of the drink in the fight against scurvy and other ailments in a long hike.
In much the same way, countless other cocktails appeared in the light of God. The pirates who preferred the quality of the hot, the bad taste of cheap rum drowned mint and lime, adding more water. So, when another beauty from the lodge of VIP clients will smack "mojito", advise her to curtain one eye and get a parrot.
In addition, the rum was a very powerful incentive for the team during ... boarding fights. Everyone knows that the life of a sailor at that time was not full of joys, so rum was a small compensation. And when the sailors went into battle, whether they were from the British fleet or simple adventurers from a pirate ship, they knew that the stocks of rum, which were certainly present on the attacked ship, would be divided into all. The phrase "forward to the wine warehouses" no longer seems so funny, right?
And, of course, the way of life, and the very appearance of warlike pirates (in their heyday, they called themselves “brothers on the coast”) would not have developed without rum. True, he is significantly different from the romanticized fictional figure of Captain Blood, and the funny Jack Sparrow from the endless Hollywood series. First, they compensated for their complete indifference to personal hygiene with excellent care for their personal weapons. Secondly, the rum on the shore instantly turned skillful militarized sailors into real insane. The robbed gold and silver were drunk at the moment, strengthening the power of the “rum triangle”.
This is how Alexander Ekskvemelin, a contemporary of those events, described (either Dutch or French) life in one of the cradles of piracy in Jamaica: “Some of them manage to make two or three thousand reais a night (a slave cost 100 reals, and a bottle of rum 4 ), so that by the morning they don’t even have a shirt on their bodies. ” At the same time, by the end of 17 in the Jamaican Port Royal, the house was worth almost as much as a decent mansion in London or Paris. Almost every one of them either had a tavern or a distillery. Revenues were breathtaking. Pirates and planters were served with silver dishes, and rum was drunk from golden cups for church communion.
True, with such a lifestyle, they quickly fluttered everything and went out to sea again. The famous cutthroat Rock Brazilian sawed the rum with whole barrels, and when he was out of sorts, with a keg in one hand and a naked saber in the other, he wandered through the streets. It was worth a casual passer-by not looking at Rock, as he instantly chopped off his hand. And one of the most legendary pirates, Henry Morgan, even by the end of his life became a planter and an influential political figure, ended up drunk and died of cirrhosis of the liver. What irony! So look for treasure is not in the buried chests, and in the accounts of the most ancient distilleries of the time.
Well, the most direct example of how rum, or rather, the original "priests" of this drink, influenced the geopolitics of the region, is a certain Charles Barre. This enterprising fellow hired as secretary to Count Arlington and migrated to Jamaica. Deploying vigorous activity, he called fresh fighters into the New World to replenish the fleet of filibusters, who were sometimes given letters of marque. Soon he became a “diplomat” with a Caribbean flavor, i.e. negotiated the issuance of letters of marque, the sale of stolen booty, and besides, was the most successful owner of ... taverns. There he recruited new pirates and invariably grew rich.
The rum triangle, which gathered its bloody harvest both at sea and on land, broke up only at the beginning of the 19 of the 20th century. And that is only because the stakes were no longer dependent on the Roma, Molasses or slaves.