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Reading through a book of cocktail recipes from the late 1800s, I notice some recipes call specifically for Santa Cruz rum and some call for Jamaican rum. Is this a mere place of origin reference, or is there some qualitative difference? For example, would one of them be what we now call spiced rum? Or light rum vs dark rum?

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If the cocktail is from the 1800's it's just the place of origin. Nowadays the two are both fairly strong rums. They taste almost the same except the Jamaican Rum (where I live) is cheaper.

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Were they also strong in the 1800s? –  Jefromi Aug 24 '13 at 4:54
    
IN the 1800's the rum wasn't that strong. You can hear stories and such but today's rum has the "enhanced flavor of spicing and hard/soft rums". –  Young Guilo Aug 24 '13 at 9:33
    
Source, please. Or are you actually an anthropologist with a specialization in cocktail recipes? –  Bob Sep 10 '13 at 14:15
    
@Bob I just know. It helped Yami. –  Young Guilo Sep 10 '13 at 14:19
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The difference seems to have been smaller than that. (I'm not an expert on the subject, but I did read this page.)

You can probably use any aged rum here; light rum would probably have too little flavor and spiced rum probably wouldn't fit. Of course, it depends on the specific recipe.

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