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Published on October 16, 2023.

Tickle your Tastebuds: Sweet

Part 3 of the tastebud series.

Sweetness is one of at least five basic tastes detected by the tongue’s taste buds. Others include sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and a balanced flavor called umami. Normally you’ll only taste sweetness after eating something that contains sugar. This could be something more natural, like honey or fruit, or something processed with substances that mimic sugar, like ice cream. 


Sweetness is often regarded by many as a pleasureable sensation and is connected to aldehydes and ketones, which contain a carbonyl group. Sweetness is detected by a variety of G protein coupled receptors (GPCR) and there are at least two different variants of the “sweetness receptors” must be activated for the brain to register sweetness. Compounds the brain senses as sweet are compounds that can bind with varying bond strength to two different sweetness receptors. 

Rum is made using sugar, commonly either molasses or sugar cane, and tends to therefore have a sweeter flavor profile relative to other spirits. It is a versatile spirit and is great to bring out the sweetness in an drink. There are multiple different types of rum. Some have an even sweeter flavor profile than ordinary rum, while others are earthier/oakier, depending on how and where they’re made and aged. Spiced rum can typically be very sweet as it is made with spices and molasses to bring out caramel, vanilla and honeyed tones on the palate. 

One of the sweetest cocktails served at bars is the Strawberry Daiquiri. Combining the aforementioned rum as well as the sweetest of the berries, strawberry makes for a brightly coloured, sweet reat. Bartenders often add sugar syrup to exaggerate the flavours and lime juice that only highlights the sweet nature of the drink. It is perfect for sweet-toothed customers and can even come frozen, appearing even more like a dessert! 

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About the author

Chloe Lewis

Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine. 

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