When people think of rum, they probably think of dark, brown liquor. And when people think of vodka, they envision a clear liquid. To take it a step further, if you see a Bacardi Superior bottle (which is a clear liquid), one immediately thinks it is vodka.
However, Bacardi is not vodka. Bacardi is a brand of rum and the two are very different! Bacardi Superior is actually a white rum.
While it might not look like there is much difference between Bacardi and vodkas on the shelf of a liquor store, they contrast vastly!
Both liquors are fermented and distilled and contain about the same percentage of alcohol, but the basic commonality stops there! Vodka is an un-aged liquor that is clear and flavorless. In contrast, rum must be aged for at least one year, typically has a dark color and a deep sweet flavor.
See the details of the main differences between the two liquors below.
What is Vodka?
- Distilled from: Mostly grains or potatoes
- Appearance: Clear
- Flavor: Alcohol flavor, somewhat neutral
- Alcohol content: 40-50% (80-100 proof)
- Aged: Not aged
Vodka is a liquor that is very common in many cocktails. For this reason, it is easy to find loads of different vodka flavors, like citrus, whipped cream, chocolate, and more.
Vodka is traditionally a Russian spirit but some brands are also established out of Poland and Sweden. Vodka is a bit easier to manufacture based on its wide variety of possible starting ingredients. Vodkas can be crafted from anything from potatoes, soybeans, rice, grapes, or more. It is often a home-distillers first foray into alcohol making due to this versatility.
It is neutral in flavor and there is much argument about whether there is much difference between “cheap” vodka and top-brands. Vodka doesn’t come in different types, aside from flavor additions.
Popular Vodka cocktails:
- Vodka martini
- Moscow Mule
What is Rum?
- Distilled from: Sugar (molasses or cane sugar)
- Appearance: Often dark or caramel-colored, but also clear (white rum)
- Flavor: Usually sweet, but can vary
- Alcohol content: Averaging around 40% (80 proof)
- Aged: At least one year and commonly 3-10 years
Rum is a tropical liquor with a sweet taste. You can find flavored rums, but the base liquor has a taste of its own liken to a range of chocolate, spice, oak, and more.
Typically, rum is aged in barrels, which can lend to its color and rich aromas, often smelling of almonds or fruits. There are also many white or light rums, such as Bacardi Superior, as well as spiced rum and dark rum.
Aged in American oak barrels, Bacardi Superior has hints of almond, lime, and vanilla. According to Bacardi’s website, the liquid is “shaped through a secret blend of charcoal.” White rums can also be aged in stainless steel tanks.
Rum itself often hails from the Caribbean, like Bacardi is from Cuba. This makes sense, as a popular crop in this region is rum’s main ingredient, sugar cane.
Rum has a rich history as one of the oldest spirits in alcohol history. Bacardi was established over 150 years ago in Cuba and continues to thrive today. You’ll recognize the bottles by their signature bat icon, inspired by its symbolism of good health and fortune.
Popular Rum cocktails:
- Pina Colada
- Hot buttered rum
So, is Bacardi vodka? Nope. Far from it! The two liquors couldn’t be more different. While many might associate Bacardi white rum with vodka due to its similar color, you’ll quickly find that they are completely different spirits!