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Prior to the invention of rum in the mid-17th century, molasses, the sickly-sweet liquid used to produce the liquor, was considered waste and great quantities of it were simply discarded. When it was discovered that molasses, along with many other byproducts of sugar processing, could be combined in a great still, fermented and turned into a beverage enjoyable to the masses, many Caribbean sugar planters leapt at the chance to install stills in their plantations. While crude at first, the distillation of rum quickly became an artform, with numerous tricks to creating the perfect batch.