Spirits distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
The origin of the word "rum" is generally unclear. In an 1824 essay about the word's origin, Samuel Morewood, a British etymologist, suggested it might be from the British slang term for "the best", as in "having a rum time." Given the harsh taste of early rum, this is unlikely. Morewood later suggested another possibility: that it was taken from the last syllable of the Latin word for sugar, saccharum, an explanation commonly held today. There is also a theory that it comes from the Turkish name for Greeks, Rum, as some of the earliest rum spirits were distilled by Greek Christians in the eastern Mediterranean.