Rum is nothing more than sugar that has been fermented and distilled. Since sugar is not strictly Paleo, we can hardly consider rum to be Paleo.
Fermentation v. Distillation
Fermentation may be a natural process that happens in the wild, but distillation is an industrialized process. It’s thousands of years old, but it is still a man-made invention that allowed us to experience distilled liquors long after we had already been farming and eating grains for several millennia. It has been relatively recently in our evolutionary history that we have had access to such high amounts of alcohol, and although there are certain health benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation, distilled liquors contain few, if any of those benefits.
Alcohol and Antioxidants
Although, wine and hard cider have immune-boosting antioxidants, which account for much of the health benefits of drinking alcohol, distilled liquors, such as rum, do not have any of these beneficial antioxidants. The result is that you get all the problems associated with drinking alcohol, without any of the health benefits.
We’re not saying that you can’t enjoy that mai tai, you just may not want to make it a regular thing.
Remember, we’re shooting to get better every day, not paleo perfection. Shoot for 100% paleo, 80% of the time and you’ll be doing great.
If you want a little more about enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverages, Mark Sisson has a guide to the including alcohol in your paleo lifestyle.