Rum, the drink of pirates, drink from the Caribbean and other countries where sugar cane is grown, is a drink that is distilled from either sugar cane or molasses. When it is produced it is a clear liquid with a slightly sweet taste. So is there anything else to it other than that? What's with the name? Why has one brand become so interchangeable with the drink? The word first. It is thought that the short form 'rum' comes from the 17th century English slang word 'rumbullion'