Although bay rum sounds as if it should be an alcoholic drink, in fact it is a distillate made from rum and used primarily in men's hair care products. It is also used in aftershave lotions and deodorants.
Bay rum is believed by some to stimulate hair growth, so it is often used in men's hair care products. Some people also blend it with eucalyptus oil to dilute the eucalyptus smell and use it in aromatherapy or as a cold medicine during cold and flu season. Although bay rum is formulated for external use only, during Prohibition, some people bought it because it contained almost 60 percent alcohol, and they used it as a basis for creating alcohol to drink.