What is rum?

Rum is a spirit made from sugar cane juice or fermented molasses that comes in both white and dark varieties. It’s used in cocktails or mixed drinks but can be served on its own. 

How many units are in rum?

A single 25ml measure of 40% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) rum contains one unit.

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO) advise it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

Drinking 15 25ml measures of 40% ABV rum during a week (or eight double 50ml measures) means you’ll exceed these guidelines. Doing so regularly could increase your chances of developing long-term conditions like heart disease and cancer.

Remember that mixed drinks featuring rum can contain more than one measure, making it harder to stick to the unit guidelines.

Find out more about the health effects of alcohol.Am I drinking too much? Take our self-assessment

How many calories are in rum?

A single 25ml measure of 40% ABV rum contains 61 calories – similar to a digestive biscuit. Don’t forget that in a cocktail the mixer also adds to the overall calorie count.

Just like in other alcoholic drinks, these are ‘empty calories’ with no nutritional value, so don’t benefit your body in any way.

Drinking too much rum, or other alcoholic drinks, means taking on extra calories on top of your food. After a while, this can lead to weight gain and also affect your appearance.

Use our calculator to find out the calories in your other drinks

Check the strength of rum

Rum is a spirit, which makes it stronger than many other alcoholic drinks. There doesn’t tend to be any strength difference between dark and light varieties.

It’s easy to check how strong rum is – just look out for the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) on the bottle, or ask at the bar. The ABV tells you what percentage of the drink is alcohol.

For example, a 25ml 40% ABV measure of rum contains 40% pure alcohol. The higher the ABV, the more alcohol is in the rum.
Be aware that some small-batch and artisan rums may feature a higher ABV than traditional brands.Drinking games: harmless fun or harmful to your health? Find out here

How to reduce the amount of rum you’re drinking

Whether you’re at a pub or a party, it’s smart to see how much rum is going in your drink.

In cocktails ask whether you’re getting a single (25ml), double (50ml) measure – or more. And remember that home-poured drinks can be much stronger than those at a bar. 

To make sure you’re not drinking more than you’d like, use these tips:

  1. Try a Unit Measure Cup. This handy addition to your kitchen cupboards takes the guess-work out of home pouring and ensures you don’t exceed the unit guidelines. Order one from our online shop.
  2. Experiment with alternatives. Flavoured colas and authentic ginger beer served with lime and plenty of crushed ice are the key to creating sophisticated alcohol-free Dark and Stormy-type drinks.
  3. Take a break. Planning in a few alcohol-free days is a simple way to help stay within the unit guidelines. Put them into your phone’s calendar, so you won’t forget.
  4. Opt out of rounds. Drinking in rounds means you’re sipping at the speed of the fastest-drinking person in your group. Opt out and go at your own pace instead.
  5. Use our free app to track your units. The Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units App is a simple-to-use tool for keeping tabs on how much alcohol you’re drinking each week.

Get more practical tips to help you cut down