Tafia (probably an alteration of ratafia, via aphesis) is a kind of rum made from sugarcane juice. It is typically unaged whereas rum is typically aged in wooden barrels to reduce the level of fusel. Most of the fusel is absorbed in the first two years. Premium rums are aged for a longer period, incidentally increasing the evaporation of ethanol.

Rum and tafiaEdit

The history of rum and tafia dates back to the 17th century. They originated on vast sugar plantations in the Haiti. In the colonial era, the rum trade became very lucrative and rum production was a major source of the demand for slaves to produce the sugar cane.

Often both tafia and rum were produced. Tafia is a kind of rum mostly for local consumption, as it is easier and cheaper to make. Production of rum took more time, effort, and resources but produced a more concentrated and stable product that could be shipped to distant markets.

In the making of rum, the juice from sugarcane is boiled down to syrup. This syrup is briskly stirred until crystals form. When the crystal layer is removed, the remainder - molasses - is boiled again and water and yeast are added to the molasses and water mixture and allowed to ferment. The fermented mixture is then distilled. The distilled product is colorless until it is aged in wooden barrels and other natural ingredients like caramel is added.