For centuries, Western explorers have been powerless to resist to the mystical allure of Asia. Nearly 160 years ago the makers of TANDUAY ASIAN RUM discovered a way to capture the essence of the mysterious East, creating a spirit as intriguing in its silky smoothness and elegant taste as the land of its birth.
Today TANDUAY ASIAN RUM, one of Asia’s best-kept secrets and one of the world’s most decorated spirits, is captivating rum lovers the world over.
Created thousands of years ago in the pristine volcanic soils and pure waters of the Philippines, the sugarcane that is at the heart of TANDUAY ASIAN RUM is a direct descendant of the original heritage Asian noble and ancestral wild canes. It is this this ancient lineage that makes TANDUAY the original Asian rum brand.
The story of rum begins with the story of sugarcane, born in the ancient Far East. Early references to a “honey bearing reed” show sugarcane originating in Asia sometime near 6,000 BC. As early as 4,000 B.C. it had found root in the Philippines, where it flourished in the lush tropical countryside, rich, volcanic soils, and perfectly suited weather conditions. Hundreds of generations later, it is the modern offshoots of these ancient canes that are used to make TANDUAY.
Some 2,000 years later conquerors and explorers began carrying the new treasure back from their journeys to Far Eastern lands. By the 6th century A.D., the cultivation of sugarcane had spread throughout Southeast Asia and Northern India.
While Alexander, the Great is said to have introduced sugar to the Mediterranean nations around 300 B.C., it was Marco Polo, the inveterate explorer who did much to introduce Europeans to Asia, whom may have been the first Westerner to report witnessing the drinking of rum. He was offered a “very good wine of sugar” during his 14th century travels, also recognizing sugarcane’s immense potential as a commodity for trade. And so began sugarcane’s worldwide presence and popularity.
Sugarcane only entered the Caribbean in 1493, when on his second voyage to the New World Christopher Columbus himself carried cane seedlings to what is now Santo Domingo. While his transplants reportedly failed, other explorers were more successful and soon sugarcane was growing in the West Indies, Brazil, and Mexico. As it is species non-native to the Caribbean, extensive efforts have gone into hybridizing and cross-breeding those canes over the years, manipulating them with local species to help them resist the pests and diseases encountered in its adopted home. TANDUAY Asian Rum heritage cane is descended directly from the original ancient noble and ancestral wild varieties found in sugarcane’s Asian birthplace.
There is no single origin for the word “rum.” Many scholars believe that “rum” is derived from saccharum, the Latin word for aroma. Some 19th century dictionaries linked the word to India and Sanskrit, where roma means water, while others suggest Malayan origins from beram, or brum, meaning alcoholic drink.
Throughout the centuries, the ideal tropical conditions found in the Philippines nourished a thriving sugarcane crop, and Asians were among the first to use it to make alcoholic drinks. When the 14th century traveler Wang Tayuan visited the Philippines, he observed the natives turning cane juice into wine. Later, 17th century Jesuit missionary Francisco Alzina described a similar process of fermenting cane juice mixed with a special tree bark in Chinese jars. It was from these beginnings that rum was born.
That ancient wisdom is captured today in the form of TANDUAY Asian Rum. TANDUAY was established in 1854 and is one of only a handful of rum brands much over 150 years old. TANDUAY has thrived by focusing on quality and reliability, and continues to do so, making the brand the 7th largest International Spirit Brand in the world in 2011.