About Mato​ppie Rum

We are crafting our unique spirits from elements of the  ​Boscia Albitrunca, commonly known as the Matoppie/Witgat tree or Shepherd tree.  
It is often called the Tree of Life as it offers sustenance to both humans and animals.

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Origins of Rum

R um is a liquor made by fermenting then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is usually aged in oak barrels. Most rums are produced in Caribbean (most famously Jamaica and Cuba) and North and South American countries, but also in other sugar-producing regions, such as the Philippines and Taiwan.

Rums are produced in various grades. Light rums are commonly used in cocktails, whereas "golden" and "dark" rums were typically consumed straight or neat, iced ("on the rocks"), or used for cooking, but are now commonly consumed with mixers. Premium rums are made to be consumed either straight or iced.

Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland, in Canada and are first mentioned in records from Barbados in about 1650. They were called “kill-devil” or “rumbullion” and by 1667 were simply called rum.

Originally, rum started out before it was even called rum. Way back before the word rum was recorded, there was a drink referred to as “wine sugar.” Wine sugar was most likely the beginning of rum back in the thirteen hundreds. While the word rum didn’t exist at the time, wine sugar most likely was very like the first official rums. It may have been something very rudimentary, but on a base level, it was, most likely, the rum origin. Rum in the early days served as a popular medium of economic exchange, used to help fund enterprises such as slavery, organised crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia's Rum Rebellion). Rum, the major liquor distilled during the early history of the United States, was sometimes mixed with molasses and called blackstrap or mixed with cider to produce a beverage called stonewall. In specific rum figured prominently in the slave trade of the American colonies: slaves were brought from Africa and traded to the West Indies for molasses; the molasses was made into rum in New England; and the rum was then traded to Africa for more slaves. The beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo). British sailors received regular rations of rum from the 18th century until 1970.

Most rums are made from molasses, the residue remaining after sugar has been crystallised from sugarcane juice. Where sugar industries are undeveloped, rum is often made with sugarcane juice. A low-quality spirit, called tafia, is made from impure molasses or other sugarcane residue, but it is not considered a true rum and is seldom exported. The characteristic flavour of specific rums is determined by the type of yeast employed for fermentation, the distillation method, aging conditions, and blending.

The heavy, dark, and full-bodied rums are the oldest type and have strong molasses flavour. They are primarily produced in Jamaica, Barbados, and Demerara in Guyana. Such rums are usually produced from molasses enriched with the skimmings, or dunder, remaining in the boilers used for sugar production. This liquid attracts yeast spores from the air, resulting in spontaneous, or natural, fermentation. The resulting slow fermentation period allows full development of flavour substances. 

The rum is distilled twice in simple pot stills, producing a distillate of clear colour that turns to a golden hue as the distillate takes up substances from the oak of the wooden puncheons used for storage during the aging period. Colour is deepened by the addition of caramel after aging. The Jamaican rums are always blended and are aged for at least five to seven years. New England rum, made in the United States for over 300 years, has strong flavour and high alcohol content. Batavia arak is a pungent rum produced on the Indonesian island of Java.

The production of dry, light-bodied rums began in the late 19th century. This type, produced mainly in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, employs cultured yeast in fermentation, and distillation is accomplished in modern, continuous-operation patent stills. The rums are usually blended and are aged from one to four years. Those rums marketed as white-label types are pale in colour and mild in flavour; a gold-label rum has a more amber colour and more pronounced and sweeter flavour, resulting from longer aging and the addition of caramel.

Straight rum is a popular drink in rum-producing countries. Elsewhere, rum is usually consumed in mixed drinks, with light rums preferred for such cocktails as the daiquiri and dark rums used in such tall drinks as the rum Collins. Rum is frequently used as a flavouring in dessert sauces and other dishes. It is also used to flavour tobacco.

Types of Rum

The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location where a rum was produced. Despite these variations, the following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum:

  • Dark rums, also known by their particular colour, such as brown, black, or red rums, are classes a grade darker than gold rums.
  • Flavored rums are infused with flavours of fruits, such as banana, mango, orange, pineapple, coconut, starfruit or lime. These are generally less than 40% ABV. They mostly serve to flavour similarly-themed tropical drinks but are also often drunk neat or with ice. This infusion of flavours occurs after fermentation and distillation. Various chemicals are added to the alcohol to simulate the tastes of food.
  • Gold rums, also called "amber" rums, are medium-bodied rums that are generally aged. These gain their dark colour from aging in wooden barrels (usually the charred, white oak barrels that are the byproduct of Bourbon whisky). They have more flavour and are stronger-tasting than light rum, and can be considered midway between light rum and the darker varieties.
  • Light rums, also referred to as "silver" or "white" rums, in general, have very little flavour aside from a general sweetness. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any colour. The majority of light rums come from Puerto Rico. Their milder flavours make them popular for use in mixed drinks, as opposed to drinking them straight. Light rums are included in some of the most popular cocktails including the Mojito and the Daiquiri.
  • Overproof rums are much higher than the standard 40% ABV, with many as high as 75% to 80% available. They are usually used in mixed drinks.
  • Premium rums, as with other sipping spirits such as Cognac and Scotch whisky, are in a special market category. These are generally from boutique brands that sell carefully produced and aged rums. They have more character and flavour than their "mixing" counterparts and are generally consumed straight.
  • Spiced rums oobtain their flavours through the addition of spices and, sometimes, caramel. Most are darker in colour, and based on gold rums. Some are significantly darker, while many cheaper brands are made from inexpensive white rums and darkened with caramel colour. Among the spices added are cinnamon, rosemary, absinthe/aniseed, pepper, cloves, and cardamom
  • Brown rums are made from cane sugar. They are generally aged in heavily charred barrels or on wood chips, giving them much stronger whisky type flavors than other dark rums. Hints of brown sugar and vanilla can be detected, along with caramel overtones. Brown rum is commonly distilled in the Middle East and is a used in place of Whisky or Bourbon. Brown rums are typically found in areas such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Wales.


Rum seems to blend well with most ingredients, creating a mixed drink that almost tastes alcohol-free (in most cases). There are a few excellent rum drinks for those who like the strong stuff to take center stage. But for the most part, rum blends into the background, letting the other ingredients take center stage.

Mojitos have a crisp, fresh taste and are so easy to make.

• 50 ml Matoppie Rum
• 25 ml lime juice
• 25 ml soda
• 2 teaspoons of fine sugar
• Mint leaves
• 4 ice cubes

Mix the Matoppie Rum, lime juice, soda together and two teaspoons of fine sugar and some small mint leaves.  

When it comes to rum cocktails, you cannot overlook one of the most famous – the daiquiri. There are many variations on how to make it, but at Matoppie we believe in keeping it simple. This recipe does just that, allowing you to create this popular drink with only three ingredients: rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.

• 50 ml Matoppie Rum
• 25 ml lime juice
• Simple syrup / 2 teaspoons of fine sugar

Mix the Matoppie Rum and lime juice together and add simple syrup to choice. It is slightly sweet, somewhat tart, and perfectly balanced in terms of flavour. If you want an extra special summer treat, put the ingredients into a blender instead of a cocktail shaker and add lots of ice. Blend it until you have a delightful frozen treat with the same great taste. 

Speaking of classic rum cocktails.

• 50 ml Matoppie Rum
• 25 ml pineapple juice
• 25 ml lime juice
• Frozen pineapple
• Cream of coconut
• 4 Ice cubes

Blend everything until it is chunky and slushy, and stick a cherry and a cutesy umbrella on top. Then you can sit back, relax, and pretend you are sitting under a Matoppie tree in the Molopo or Kalahari. 

This remains one of the classics – and one of the cocktails that lets you taste your alcohol while you’re drinking it. The dark and stormy is quick to make and uses only four ingredients.

• 50 ml Matoppie Rum
• 100 ml Ginger beer
• 3 Ice cubes
• One lime slice

Start by mixing ginger beer and Matoppie Rum to create the rich, spiced alcohol flavour. Hereafter add some ice to cool it down and a lime slice for extra zest and color, and you’re all set.

This sweet, fruity drink is absolutely delicious. The Rum Swizzle provides a deeper, richer, slightly smokey flavour that will put you in mind of grilled fruit kebabs. All you will need is Matoppie Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, and Angostura bitters.

• 50 ml Matoppie Rum
• 25 ml orange juice
• 25 ml pineapple juice
• 25 ml Grenadine syrup
• Angosturia bitters

Start by mixing the orange and pineapple juice in equal parts with the Matoppie Rum. Hereafter add some grenadine and Angosturia bitters. It has a bright, fun colour and is relatively strong, so sip it slowly and with caution.