What Rum is 151 Proof?

by Kaia
Bushmills Whiskey

Rum, a versatile and storied spirit, has been enjoyed for centuries across the globe. One particular type of rum that stands out for its potency is 151 proof rum. Known for its high alcohol content, 151 proof rum is a favorite among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts who seek a bold and intense flavor profile. This article will delve into the specifics of 151 proof rum, exploring its history, production process, popular brands, and uses in cocktails.


Understanding Proof in Rum

The term “proof” in rum and other spirits refers to the measure of alcohol content. In the United States, proof is calculated as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). Therefore, a 151 proof rum contains 75.5% alcohol by volume. This high alcohol content makes 151 proof rum one of the most potent spirits available, often used in cocktails that require a strong kick or in flaming drinks due to its flammability.


History of 151 Proof Rum

Rum has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century in the Caribbean, where it was first distilled from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses. The high-proof variety, including 151 proof rum, emerged as distillers sought ways to create stronger, more concentrated spirits. Sailors in the British Royal Navy were particularly fond of high-proof rum, using it not only for consumption but also for medicinal purposes and as a means to preserve water during long voyages.


Production Process of 151 Proof Rum


The production of 151 proof rum involves several key steps, starting with the fermentation of sugarcane byproducts. Yeast is added to the molasses or sugarcane juice to convert sugars into alcohol. The resulting liquid, known as “wash,” is then distilled to increase the alcohol content. For 151 proof rum, the distillation process is carefully controlled to achieve the desired high proof. After distillation, the rum is aged in oak barrels, which imparts flavor and complexity to the spirit. Finally, the rum is diluted with water to reach the precise 151 proof level.

Popular Brands of 151 Proof Rum

Several brands are well-known for their 151 proof rum, each offering a unique take on this powerful spirit:

Bacardi 151

Bacardi 151 was one of the most famous and widely recognized 151 proof rums until it was discontinued in 2016. Known for its intense flavor and high alcohol content, Bacardi 151 was a staple in many tiki bars and home bars alike. It was often used in cocktails like the Zombie and the Mai Tai, where its potency could shine through.

Cruzan 151

Cruzan 151, produced in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is another popular high-proof rum. This rum is known for its robust flavor and versatility in cocktails. Cruzan 151 is aged for a minimum of one year in American oak barrels, which helps mellow its intense alcohol content and adds subtle flavors of vanilla and caramel.

Hamilton 151

Hamilton 151 is a relatively newer entry in the 151 proof rum market but has quickly gained a following among rum enthusiasts. Produced by the Ministry of Rum Collection, Hamilton 151 is crafted in Guyana and features a rich, full-bodied flavor profile. It is often praised for its smoothness despite its high proof, making it a favorite for both sipping and mixing.

Uses of 151 Proof Rum in Cocktails

151 proof rum is a versatile ingredient in the world of mixology, known for adding a powerful punch to cocktails. Its high alcohol content and bold flavor make it a popular choice for a variety of drinks:

Flaming Cocktails

One of the most dramatic uses of 151 proof rum is in flaming cocktails. Due to its high alcohol content, 151 proof rum is highly flammable and can be ignited to create visually stunning drinks. Flaming cocktails are popular in tiki bars and at parties, where the spectacle of a flaming drink adds an element of excitement. Examples of flaming cocktails include the Flaming Dr. Pepper and the Blue Blazer.

Tiki Drinks

Tiki drinks, with their tropical flavors and elaborate presentations, often call for the inclusion of 151 proof rum. The strong, intense flavor of 151 proof rum can stand up to the bold fruit juices and syrups typically used in tiki cocktails. Classic tiki drinks that feature 151 proof rum include the Zombie, the Scorpion, and the Navy Grog.


In some cocktails, 151 proof rum is used as a floater, meaning a small amount is poured over the top of the drink just before serving. This technique adds an extra layer of flavor and a potent kick to the cocktail. Floaters are commonly seen in drinks like the Mai Tai and the Planter’s Punch.

Mixing with Caution

While 151 proof rum can enhance the flavor and strength of cocktails, it should be used with caution due to its high alcohol content. Bartenders and home mixologists alike must be mindful of the potency of 151 proof rum and ensure that it is balanced with other ingredients in the drink. Overuse of 151 proof rum can result in overly strong and potentially hazardous cocktails.

Health and Safety Considerations

Due to its high alcohol content, 151 proof rum should be consumed responsibly. The potent nature of this spirit means that it can quickly lead to intoxication if not handled with care. Additionally, the flammability of 151 proof rum means that precautions should be taken when using it in flaming cocktails. Always follow safety guidelines and ensure that any flames are properly extinguished before consuming the drink.


151 proof rum is a unique and powerful spirit that has earned a place in the hearts of many cocktail enthusiasts. Its high alcohol content and bold flavor make it a versatile ingredient in a variety of drinks, from tiki classics to flaming cocktails. While it requires careful handling and responsible consumption, 151 proof rum can add an exciting element to any cocktail experience. Whether you are a seasoned mixologist or a curious beginner, exploring the world of 151 proof rum can be a rewarding and flavorful adventure.



© 2023 Copyright