Rum is distilled from sugar cane and molasses and aged in oak barrels. It has the quality of mixing easily with other flavors. This makes rum a popular alcohol year round. In winter, the rich flavor of rum adds to coffee and other hot drinks and in summer months is the perfect companion to fruit juices and sodas.
The exact origin of rum is not known, but it is thought to have originated in India or China. Caribbean slaves in the 1500s found that molasses could be fermented into alcohol. The first rum distillery in America was opened in 1664 in what is now Staten Island, according to ChefTalk. Rum became a popular drink for sailors who mixed the rum with lime juice to prevent scurvy. They named the rum concoction grog.
The calories in rum vary depending on the percentage of alcohol, called proof. For 80-proof rum, 1 oz. is around 97 calories. For 94-proof rum, 1.5 oz. is around 110 calories and 100-proof rum comes in around 125 calories for 1.5 oz. The standard bar shot is 1.5 oz. and is called a jigger, reports Nutrition Vista.
Other calories that are sometimes missed are mixers used to make cocktails. While a jigger of rum is around 97 calories, the soda or juice that may be used adds to this total. For instance, a rum and coke is around 240 calories, according to an article by Darryl Beeson published in the "Travel Lady Magazine." One way to cut calories and still enjoy your cocktail is by using low calorie mixers. Add just a splash of juice for flavor, use diet sodas or club soda and add a little garnish to spice up your cocktail without adding extra calories.