A familiar melody in the form of the Fugees' “Killing Me Softly” filled the dining room at Pirata. But instead of Lauryn Hill weaving together the melody, it is the reminiscent-of-an-island-sound of steel drums. Cheesy? A touch. But gosh darn it if it didn't transport me to a warmer locale with sea breezes and electric sunsets. The creamy banana and coffee rum cocktail in my hand helped too.
The root of the word is unclear: It may have come from British slang meaning “the best,” or perhaps it was from a Roma word meaning strong. The Latin root of sugar — saccharum — is a possible source, as are the archaic English words “rumbullion” and “rumbustion,” which were slang for “tumult” and “uproar.”
But it was in the Aug. 21, 1794, edition of the Hartford Gazette in a poem called the “The Happy Man” that rum’s link with the unseemly was established:
How happy is the man,
Who has a quiet home,
Who loves to do what good he can,
And hates the demon rum.