Can the U.S. Recognize Rum Regulations?

As Caribbean rum gains in popularity and rum enthusiasts push back on the “rum has no rules” trope, an oft-heard refrain is, “The United States doesn’t recognize rum’s rules.” It’s been said by well-meaning advocates online and from the stage at public events such as Tales of the Cocktail. In fact, I’ve said something along those lines myself.

If you’re a proponent of artisanal rum, striving to improve its reputation among anybody who will listen, it’s easy to shake your virtual fist at the faceless bureaucrats in the U.S. government who seemingly don’t care about recognizing the regulations held by Jamaica and other rum-producing countries.

That frustration is misplaced.

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