Rum is a fun drink. Slightly sweet with hints of spice, it’s a drink that evokes the warm weather and liveliness of the region it originates from – the Caribbean. And if you’re looking for that same experience at home, rum is the perfect drink for sipping and partying during the summer. In recent years, there has been an explosion of high-end premium rums (and rums of all kinds) on the market, in addition to the dozens of classic, time-tested rum they’ve been crafting in the Caribbean for the last several hundred years. When it comes to rum, we recommend skipping the mixers and experiencing the luxurious liquor itself for the full experience. But whatever way you prefer to enjoy your drinks, here are some of the best rums for sipping on this summer.
Cockspur Rum is an iconic rum in the Caribbean, widely popular and known for the rooster adorning it’s classic bottle. It hails from Barbados, where it has been distilled since 1884 by Hanschell Innis, LTD. It’s light and smooth, with a fruity palate and notes of golden-brown sugar.
Santa Teresa is made in Venezuela, where it is aged in the Solera process – a method commonly used by sherry produces in Spain. It’s actually the first anejo rum to use this process, which, on average, includes aging the rum for about 6 years. The palate includes flavors of caramel, almond butter, saddle leather and vanilla, while the finish has dark chocolate and butter – a multi-layered and complex drink.
Brugal is one of the driest, smoothest rums you’ll find, distilled in the Dominican Republic since – well, 1888. It’s double distilled and double-matured in white oak bourbon barrels, and then in Spanish sherry casks, anywhere from 4 to 14 years. It’s one of the driest rums on our list, with notes of apricot, vanilla and little sugar.
Mount Gay is another popular Barbadian Rum, handcrafted since 1703. The 1703 Master Select blend is a celebration of their long heritage, and features a blend of copper column and copper pot rums, ranging from 10-30 years old. They only release one batch of 1703 Master Select every year, of about 12,000 bottles. The body is round, with a balance of caramel, spice and toast, while the aroma is one of oak and caramel.
Plantation Grande Reserve is aged for 2 years in bourbon casks, before being sent to France, where Pierre Ferrand ages it at Chateau de Bonbonnet for another year. The color is a rich amber gold, and the flavor itself is full of ripe tropical fruits and vanilla, and Plantation says there is some white peach and coconut in there, too. It’s rich, warm and smooth, and perfect for sipping (or mixing, as you like).
Cruzan’s regular rum may not be anything special, but their Black Strap is a rich, delicious blend made from blackstrap molasses and sugar cane. Made in St. Croix, it’s thicker, heavier and sweeter than most other rums, and goes perfectly in cocktails. It may be a bit much for drinking straight, but you can try that, too.
Batiste Rhum Agricole is definitely something a little different, and worthy of a spot on our list of best rums. Rhum Agricole is made exclusively in the French West Indies from the fresh-press juice of sugar cane, making it a delicious, smooth and sweet rum blanco, with rich layers of tropical fruit, herbs and cane grass. It’s bold enough for mixing in cocktails, but with a rhum this unique and flavorful, you’re best off enjoying it neat or on the rocks.
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