Rum is made from sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. Rum can be referred to in Spanish by descriptors such as ron viejo ("old rum") and ron añejo ("aged rum").
Premium rums are made to be consumed either straight or iced.
Light rums are commonly used in cocktails, whereas "golden" and "dark" rums were typically consumed individually or used for cooking, but are now commonly consumed with mixers.