Rum has also been used in ways other than just drinking during its long history. Rum was used as currency when trading. It was at first used by English privateers to trade with, however some of these privateers become pirates and the appeal of rum never left them. As a result, rum was used as a trading currency between pirates as well and that is part of the reason pirates are associated with the molasses based beverage.
But as well as currency for simple bartering and trading, rum was also used in the infamous slavery triangle for almost 3 centuries. This triangle carried slaves, cash crops and manufactured goods between the Caribbean, American and West Africa. For the colonial molasses trade, sugar was transported to America where it was distilled to rum. The profits were used to purchase manufactured goods which were taken to West Africa and traded for slaves. The slaves were taken to the Caribbean and traded for sugar and sold to plantation owners. The profits were spent on sugar and the triangle began again.
Next time you’re out with another rum enthusiast, give him a bit of extra knowledge of the history of rum and keep the conversation flowing enough so he can buy you another rum or two!