Whether you are a rum connoisseur or you have a bottle or two knocking around in a kitchen cabinet, you might be wondering what the best way to store rum is. Do you need to decant rum, or can you store it safely in the bottle it comes in?
You don’t need to decant rum. The main reason people might decant rum is for aesthetic reasons. Unless your rum is on the pricier side and you want to show off the brand, serving rum from a decanter is a lot more stylish than serving it from the bottle it came in.
If you’re considering decanting rum, you’ll want to stick around, as we’ll talk about how to decant rum the correct way. We’ll also cover how long rum stays fresh in a decanter.
Often, rum bottles are made of dark-colored glass or are covered with a large label, so you can’t see the contents inside the bottle clearly. When you decant it, you’re able to appreciate the clarity of the rum, and it is visually beautiful. Many people use this as a way to highlight the rum for parties or to make dinner more elegant.
Elegance is all in the detail, so if you’re having a party or a swanky event, decanting your rum into a decanter enhances the glam factor.
It makes your party look a lot more polished and tasteful than it would if you served spirits from the ordinary bottle it came in. Aside from parties, some folks enjoy having their rum in a decanter as it creates a sophisticated drinking experience.
It really is about personal preference.
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Rum is considered a “hot” spirit, which means that the flavor can be pretty intense. While aeration won’t offer the same benefits as it does with wine, introducing oxygen through decanting rum introduces oxygen into it, thus mellowing the flavor.
It is a balancing act, though, as overexposing your rum to oxygen will completely ruin the taste.
When shopping for a decanter to put your rum in, there are several things to consider:
- The material of the decanter.
- Whether it’s airtight.
- The size of the surface area.
The lead from the decanter can leach into your rum, making it toxic.
However, it is generally safe to use a decanter that contains lead for a few hours. If you have a gorgeous crystal decanter that you’d like to use at a party, pour your rum into it just before serving and transfer whatever is not consumed into a lead-free decanter for storing.
When shopping for a decanter, look for one made from good quality, lead-free crystal or glass. If you’re tempted to choose a cheaper option made with thin glass or crystal, it is worth reconsidering.
Investing in a good quality decanter with a timeless look will last you years and save you in the long run from having to replace the cheaper option.
Go for a decanter made from thick, lead-free glass or crystal, with a heavy base. Not only will it look classier, but it also serves a practical purpose. A solid base is less likely to topple over, and thick walls keep the rum cool, thus preserving it for a longer time.
Along with a good quality decanter, you will need an airtight stopper or seal. If you store rum in a decanter that does not have an airtight stopper, the alcohol will evaporate, and the rum will be ruined within a few days.
An airtight stopper is essential to preserve the flavor of the rum.
Another way to avoid alcohol evaporating from the decanter is to consider its surface area.
A decanter with a large internal surface area allows more rum to be exposed to oxygen. It also causes more alcohol to evaporate, both of which negatively affect the taste of the rum, so always choose a decanter with a smaller surface area.
Rum can stay in a decanter for about one year, and the quality will still be top-notch. A sealed bottle of rum has an indefinite shelf life, but once you open it and break the seal, the quality of the rum decreases.
After you open the bottle, it’s best to drink the rum within a year. It will be safe to drink if it is stored either in its original bottle or a decanter with an airtight seal, but the quality tends to deteriorate after about a year.
When storing your rum, always make sure to keep it away from sources of heat and out of direct sunlight. Heat and sunlight cause the quality of the alcohol to deteriorate, shortening the timespan that it stays fresh.
Your best bet is to keep your decanter of rum in a cabinet or shelf that is in a cool spot, away from windows and heat sources like stoves and heaters.
This will preserve your rum and keep it fresh for about a year.
Cleaning your decanter correctly means that you can use it for longer and also keeps it looking sparkly and beautiful. A grimy-looking decanter that’s lost its shine has no place at any party.
To clean your decanter, you will need the following:
- A bottle brush
- Paper towels
- Long spoon
To clean your decanter, follow these steps:
- Start by washing the outside of the decanter with warm water and detergent. Use a sponge to get into all the tiny crevices. This might take a while if your decanter is particularly ornate, but it is worth taking your time.
- Put a little warm water and detergent inside the decanter and give it a gentle shake. Use the bottle brush to clean the inside and make sure to clean the corners.
- Once you’ve cleaned the decanter with water and detergent, pour a little bit of vinegar into the decanter and swoosh it around. Next, pour some vinegar onto a paper towel and rub the outside of the decanter with it. The vinegar will make your decanter sparkle.
- Pat the outside of the decanter with a paper towel to dry it. To dry the inside, wrap a paper towel around a spoon, pop it into the decanter, and leave it overnight.
Final Thoughts on Decanting Rum
While it is not entirely necessary to decant your rum, a decanter does add a touch of glam and elegance to a party. Decanting rum and storing it in an airtight decanter enhances the flavor and preserves the rum so that it can be enjoyed up to a year later.
Read Also: Can You Keep Vodka in a Decanter?