Estimated reading time: 23 minutes
Ahoy there, rum enthusiasts! Welcome aboard the mixeddrinkartist.com ship, where we’ll embark on a voyage to discover the fascinating world of rum. Rum is a spirited treasure from its rich history to its diverse production process. Anchors aweigh as we delve into the depths of this popular libation and find out what sets it apart from its distant cousin, whiskey.
Rum Brands You Should Try
Rum is one of the most popular spirits in the world, and for good reason. It’s versatile, delicious, and comes in various styles and flavors. Whether you prefer it neat, on the rocks, or mixed in a cocktail, there’s a rum brand for you. Here are some of the best rum brands you should try.
- Bacardi: The world’s largest rum producer, Bacardi is known for its light and smooth white rum that’s perfect for mojitos and daiquiris. They also have dark, spiced, and flavored rums to suit different tastes.
- Havana Club: The iconic Cuban rum brand, Havana Club is famous for its rich and complex aged rums that capture the essence of the island. Try their 7-year-old or Selección de Maestros to taste history and tradition.
- Mount Gay: The oldest rum brand in the world, Mount Gay has produced rum in Barbados since 1703. Their rums are made from molasses and distilled in copper pot stills, giving them a distinctive flavor and aroma. Their flagship product is the Mount Gay Eclipse, a golden rum with notes of vanilla and spice.
- Kraken: A spiced rum from Trinidad and Tobago, Kraken is named after the mythical sea monster that supposedly lurks in the Caribbean waters. It’s a dark, strong rum with hints of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg. It’s great for adding a kick to your cocktails or sipping.
- Malibu: A coconut-flavored rum from Barbados, Malibu is a sweet and refreshing drink ideal for summer. It’s made with natural coconut extract and low alcohol content, making it easy to drink. You can enjoy it with pineapple juice, cola, or any other mixer.
Best rums to drink straight
As a rum aficionado, you may be curious about the finest rums to savor neat, without the addition of mixers or ice. Appreciating rum in its pure form allows you to fully experience the intricate flavors and scents this multifaceted spirit offers, spanning from light and fruity to dark and spicy.
With a vast array of rum brands and varieties at your disposal, selecting the ideal sipping rum can be challenging. Here are a few suggestions and guidelines to assist you in discovering the perfect rum for your palate.
What makes a good sipping rum?
This question has no definitive answer, as different rums will appeal to different palates and preferences. However, some general factors that make a good sipping rum are:
- Age: Aged rums tend to have more depth and smoothness than younger ones, as they absorb flavors from the stored barrels. However, age does not always indicate quality, as some rums can be artificially aged or colored.
- Origin: The country or region where a rum is produced can influence its flavor profile, as different climates, soils, and production methods can affect the quality and characteristics of the sugar cane and molasses used to make rum.
- Style: There are many styles of rum, such as white, gold, dark, spiced, flavored, overproof, Agricole, etc. Each style has its distinctive features and nuances that can make it more or less suitable for sipping. Generally speaking, lighter rums are better for mixing, while darker rums are better for sipping.
- Taste: Ultimately, the best sipping rum is the one that you enjoy the most. Taste is subjective and personal, so you should try different rums and find out what flavors and aromas you like best. Some common notes that you might find in rum are vanilla, caramel, oak, spice, fruit, nuts, chocolate, coffee, etc.
Top four rums to drink straight
Here are some examples of rums widely regarded as excellent for sipping straight. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and you might discover other rums you like better.
1) Ron Zacapa 23 Year Centenario | $50 – $60
This rum from Guatemala is one of the world’s most popular and awarded rums. It is made from sugar cane honey (a concentrated juice) and aged in a solera system (a method of blending different vintages) for up to 23 years. The result is a rich and smooth rum with notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, spice, dried fruits, and chocolate.
2) Mount Gay XO Rum | $40 – $50
This rum from Barbados is a blend of pot still and column still rums aged 8 to 15 years in American whiskey barrels. It has a complex and balanced flavor with banana, mango, coffee, toffee, oak, and spice notes. It is also one of the oldest rum brands in the world, dating back to 1703.
3) Rhum J.M. X.O. | $65 – $70
This rum from Martinique is an example of rhum agricole (a rum made from fresh sugar cane juice instead of molasses). It is aged for at least 6 years in oak barrels and has a distinctive grassy and herbal flavor with notes of citrus, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and wood.
4) Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva | $35 – $45
This rum from Venezuela is a blend of pot still and column still rums aged up to 12 years in oak barrels. It has a sweet and smooth flavor with notes of banana, caramel, vanilla, honey, nuts, and chocolate. It is also one of the most affordable rums on this list.
Best Rum to Gift: A Guide for Beginners
If you’re looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for someone who loves rum, you might wonder what kind of rum to choose. There are so many types and brands of rum, each with its own flavor profile and history. How do you know which will suit your recipient’s tastes and preferences?
In this blog post, we’ll help you find the best rum to gift by explaining the different categories of rum, the factors that affect their quality and price, and some of the most popular and recommended rums for different occasions and budgets.
What is Rum?
Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane or its byproducts, such as molasses or juice. It is usually aged in oak barrels, which impart color and flavor to the rum. Rum can range from clear and light to dark and rich, depending on the type of sugarcane, the fermentation and distillation process, the aging time and conditions, and the addition of spices or other ingredients.
Types of Rum
There are four main types of rum: white, gold, dark, and spiced. Each type has its characteristics and uses.
- White rum: Also known as silver or light rum, this is the most common and versatile type of rum. It is usually clear or pale and has a mild and sweet flavor. It is ideal for mixing with fruit juices, sodas, or other cocktails, such as mojitos or daiquiris.
- Gold rum: Also known as amber or medium rum, this slightly aged rum has a golden color and a more complex flavor than white rum. It has notes of vanilla, caramel, or oak from the barrels. It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed with cola, ginger ale, or other cocktails, such as mai tais or Cuba Libres.
- Dark rum: Also known as black or heavy rum, this is a long-aged rum with a dark brown color and a rich and robust flavor. It has notes of molasses, coffee, chocolate, or dried fruits from the barrels. It is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed with hot drinks like coffee or tea or warm cocktails like hot buttered rum or mulled wine.
- Spiced rum: This is a flavored rum that has added spices or herbs, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, or vanilla. It can be white, gold, or dark in color, depending on the base rum and the spices used. It has a sweet and spicy flavor that can enhance any cocktail or drink. Some examples of spiced rums are Captain Morgan, Sailor Jerry, or Kraken.
How to Choose the Best Rum to Gift
When choosing the best rum to gift someone, there are several factors to consider:
- The occasion: Different rums are suitable for different occasions. For example, if you’re celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, you might want to choose a premium-aged rum that can be savored on its own. If you’re hosting a party or a barbecue, you might want to choose a versatile white rum that can be mixed with various drinks. If you’re gifting someone for Christmas or the winter holidays, you might want to choose a spiced rum that can warm up any cold night.
- The budget: Rums vary widely in price depending on their quality and rarity. Generally speaking, the older and darker the rum is, the more expensive it is. However, price is not always an indicator of quality. You can find some excellent rums at affordable prices by researching and reading reviews from experts and consumers.
- The preference: Ultimately, the recipient’s taste should be the deciding factor. Consider whether they prefer sweet or dry rums, light or full-bodied profiles, unflavored or flavored varieties, and if they enjoy neat or mixed rum. If you’re familiar with their favorite brand or specific rum style, this can serve as a helpful guide in making your selection. Catering to their preferences will ensure a more enjoyable and personalized experience.
Best Rum for Rum and Coke
Rum and coke are one of the most popular cocktails in the world and for good reason. It’s simple, refreshing, and easy to make. But what kind of rum should you use for this classic drink? There are many types of rum, from light to dark, spiced to aged, and each can give your rum and coke a different flavor and character. Here are some tips on choosing the best rum for your rum and coke, depending on your taste and mood.
If you want a rum and coke with more depth and complexity, aged rum is a great choice. Aged rum, also known as golden rum, is a rum that has been aged in oak barrels for a certain time, usually from a few months to several years. This process gives the rum a darker color and a richer flavor, with notes of vanilla, caramel, coconut, almond, or citrus. Aged rum can balance coke’s sweetness and add warmth and smoothness to your drink.
Some examples of aged rum are Rhum Clement XO Agricole from Martinique, which has a smoky aroma and a honeyed taste, or Goslings Black Seal from Bermuda, which has a molasses flavor and a thick texture.
White rum is the way to go if you prefer lighter and more refreshing rum and coke. White rum, also known as silver or clear rum, is a rum that has been distilled and filtered to remove most of the color and impurities. White rum has a mild flavor and aroma, with hints of sugar cane, citrus, or floral notes. White rum can blend well with Coke and let the cola’s flavor shine.
Some examples of white rum are Bacardi Superior from Puerto Rico, which has a clean and crisp taste, or Havana Club 3 Años from Cuba, which has a fruity and floral aroma.
If you like a bit of spice in your rum and coke, spiced rum is your best bet. Spiced rum has been infused with various spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, clove, or ginger. Spiced rum can add kick and flavor to your drink, especially in colder weather. Spiced rum can also complement the cola’s sweetness with contrast and warmth.
Some examples of spiced rum are Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum from the US Virgin Islands, which has a vanilla and caramel taste, or The Kraken Black Spiced Rum from Trinidad, which has a chocolate and nutmeg flavor.
Best rum for mojitos
Mojitos are one of the most popular cocktails in the world and for a good reason. They are refreshing, minty, and easy to make. But what kind of rum should you use to make the perfect mojito? Many types of rum are available, and each has its own flavor and characteristics. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best rums for mojitos and how they affect the taste and quality of your drink.
White or light or silver rum is the most common type of rum used for mojitos. It is clear in color and has a mild, neutral flavor that does not overpower other ingredients. White rum is also relatively inexpensive and widely available, making it a convenient choice for mojitos. Some of the best white rums for mojitos are:
- Bacardi Superior: This is the classic rum for mojitos, as it was used by the original creator of the drink, Ernest Hemingway. It is smooth, clean, versatile, and works well with mint and lime.
- Havana Club 3 Años: This Cuban rum has a slightly richer and more complex flavor than Bacardi. It has hints of vanilla, citrus, and oak, adding sweetness to your mojito.
- Flor de Caña Extra Seco 4: This Nicaraguan rum has a dry and crisp flavor that balances the sugar and lime well. It is also aged for four years in oak barrels, which gives it a subtle woody note.
Dark rum, also known as black or gold rum, is a type of rum that has a darker color and a stronger flavor than white rum. It is usually aged for longer periods in charred oak barrels, which gives it a rich and smoky taste. Dark rum can add more depth and complexity to your mojito, but it can also overpower the delicate mint and lime flavors. Therefore, you should use dark rum sparingly or mix it with white rum to create a balanced drink. Some of the best dark rums for mojitos are:
- Gosling’s Black Seal: This is a Bermudian rum that has a dark brown color and a robust and spicy flavor. It has notes of molasses, caramel, and vanilla, and adds a sweet and warming kick to your mojito.
- Myers’s Original Dark: This is a Jamaican rum that has a deep amber color and a rich and fruity flavor. It has hints of banana, orange, and nutmeg, and adds a tropical twist to your mojito.
- Kraken Black Spiced: This is a Caribbean rum that has a black color and a bold and spicy flavor. It has notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and coffee, and adds a bit of heat to your mojito.
Flavored rum is a type of rum that has been infused with various natural or artificial flavors, such as fruits, spices, herbs, or nuts. Flavored rum can add more variety and fun to your mojito, but it can also clash with the original ingredients or make your drink too sweet or artificial. Therefore, you should use flavored rum moderately or choose flavors that complement the mint and lime flavors. Some of the best flavored rums for mojitos are:
- Malibu Coconut: This is a coconut-flavored rum that has a clear color and a sweet and creamy flavor. It has notes of coconut milk, vanilla, and almond, and adds a smooth and tropical touch to your mojito.
- Captain Morgan Pineapple: This is a pineapple-flavored rum that has a golden color and a tangy and fruity flavor. It has notes of fresh pineapple juice, lemon peel, and brown sugar, and adds a refreshing and zesty twist to your mojito.
- Bacardi Dragon Berry: This is a strawberry-flavored rum that has a pink color and a sweet and juicy flavor. It has notes of ripe strawberries, dragon fruit, lime zest, and mint leaves, and adds a vibrant and colorful touch to your mojito.
Best Rum for Beginners
If you are new to the world of rum, you might be overwhelmed by the variety and complexity of this spirit. Rum is made from sugarcane or its byproducts, such as molasses or juice, and can be aged in different types of barrels for different lengths of time. Rum can also be blended from different regions and styles, creating unique flavors and aromas.
In this blog post, we will introduce you to some of the best rums for beginners, based on their quality, accessibility, and versatility. We will also explain some of the basic terms and categories of rum, so you can understand what you are drinking and how to enjoy it.
What is Rum?
Rum is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane or its byproducts. The sugarcane is harvested, crushed, and fermented to produce a liquid called wash. The wash is then distilled in either pot stills or column stills, or a combination of both, to produce rum.
The rum can be aged in wooden barrels, usually made from oak, for various periods of time. The aging process adds color, flavor, and complexity to the rum. Some rums are also filtered to remove color or impurities. Some rums are also flavored with spices, fruits, herbs, or other ingredients.
Rum is produced in many countries around the world, but the most famous ones are in the Caribbean and Latin America. Each country has its own regulations and traditions for making rum, which results in different styles and characteristics.
How to Drink Rum?
Rum can be enjoyed in many ways, depending on your preference and mood. You can sip rum neat or on the rocks, which means without any mixers or ice. This is a good way to appreciate the nuances and quality of the rum. You can also add a splash of water or a twist of lime to enhance the flavor.
Rum is also a great base for cocktails, as it can mix well with various ingredients and create delicious drinks. Some of the most popular rum cocktails are:
- Mojito: A refreshing drink made with white rum, lime juice, sugar, mint leaves, and soda water.
- Daiquiri: A classic drink made with white rum, lime juice, and sugar.
- Piña Colada: A tropical drink made with white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice.
- Old Fashioned: A simple but elegant drink made with dark rum, sugar, bitters, and an orange peel.
- Zombie: A potent drink made with several types of rum, lime juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, and apricot brandy.
What are the Best Rums for Beginners?
There are many rums to choose from, but here are some of the best ones for beginners to start with:
- Appleton Estate Signature Blend: This is a blended rum from Jamaica that combines pot still and column still rums aged for an average of four years. It has a rich and smooth flavor with notes of vanilla, caramel, spice, and oak. It is versatile and can be enjoyed neat or in cocktails.
- Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva: This is a premium rum from Venezuela that is distilled from molasses in copper pot stills and aged for up to 12 years in oak barrels. It has a sweet and complex flavor with notes of chocolate, orange peel, honey, and nuts. It is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
- Mount Gay Eclipse Rum: This is a classic rum from Barbados that is distilled from molasses in copper pot stills and aged for two to seven years in American whiskey barrels. It has a balanced and smooth flavor with notes of banana, vanilla, spice,
and wood. It is ideal for mixing in cocktails.
- Plantation Original Dark Rum: This is a blended rum from Trinidad that combines young and old rums aged in bourbon barrels. It has a rich and full-bodied flavor with notes of dried fruits,
and smoke. It is perfect for sipping or making tiki drinks.
Rum vs Whiskey: What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Drink?
Rum and whiskey are two popular types of alcoholic beverages that have different origins, flavors, and characteristics. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast rum and whiskey, and help you decide which one suits your taste and preferences better.
What is Rum?
Rum is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses or juice. It is usually aged in oak barrels for varying periods of time, depending on the style and quality of the rum. Rum can range from clear to dark in color, and from sweet to dry in flavor. Rum is often associated with tropical and Caribbean cultures, and is used in many cocktails, such as mojitos, daiquiris, and piña coladas.
What is Whiskey?
Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from fermented grains, such as barley, corn, rye, or wheat. It is also aged in oak barrels for varying periods of time, depending on the type and quality of the whiskey. Whiskey can range from light to dark in color, and from smooth to smoky in flavor. Whiskey is often associated with Scottish and Irish cultures, and is enjoyed neat or on the rocks, or mixed with soda or water.
How are Rum and Whiskey Different?
Rum and whiskey differ in several aspects, such as:
- Ingredients: Rum is made from sugarcane byproducts, while whiskey is made from grains.
- Production: Rum is distilled at a lower proof than whiskey, which means it retains more of the original flavor of the sugarcane. Whiskey is distilled at a higher proof than rum, which means it has a more neutral flavor that is influenced by the aging process.
- Aging: Rum can be aged for as little as a few months to as long as several decades. The longer the rum is aged, the darker and richer it becomes. Whiskey must be aged for at least three years to be legally called whiskey. The longer the whiskey is aged, the smoother and more complex it becomes.
- Flavor: Rum tends to have a sweeter and fruitier flavor than whiskey, due to the presence of sugar and esters in the rum. Whiskey tends to have a drier and spicier flavor than rum, due to the presence of tannins and phenols in the whiskey.
- Alcohol Content: Rum typically has a lower alcohol content than whiskey, ranging from 35% to 55% ABV (alcohol by volume). Whiskey typically has a higher alcohol content than rum, ranging from 40% to 60% ABV.
How are Rum and Whiskey Similar?
Rum and whiskey also have some similarities, such as:
- Distillation: Both rum and whiskey are distilled spirits, which means they are produced by heating a fermented liquid and collecting the vapor that contains alcohol.
- Aging: Both rum and whiskey are aged in oak barrels, which impart color, flavor, and aroma to the spirits. The type and quality of the barrels can affect the final product significantly.
- Variety: Both rum and whiskey have many varieties that differ in ingredients, production methods, aging conditions, and regional styles. For example, some of the most common types of rum are white rum, gold rum, dark rum, spiced rum, and flavored rum. Some of the most common types of whiskey are Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, and Japanese whisky.
Which One Should You Drink?
The answer to this question depends on your personal preference and taste. If you like sweet and fruity drinks that remind you of summer vacations, you might prefer rum. If you like dry and spicy drinks that warm you up on cold nights, you might prefer whiskey. Of course, you can also experiment with different types of rum and whiskey to find your favorite ones. You can also try mixing them with other ingredients to create delicious cocktails that suit your mood and occasion.
The bottom line is that rum and whiskey are both enjoyable spirits that have their own unique histories, characteristics, and flavors. You can appreciate them for their differences or similarities or both. Cheers!
What is dark rum and how to use it
Dark rum is a type of rum that has a darker color and a richer flavor than light or gold rum. It is usually aged in charred oak barrels for longer periods of time, which gives it a deeper color and a more complex taste. Dark rum can also have added caramel, molasses, or spices to enhance its flavor and aroma.
Dark rum is often used in cocktails, such as the Dark and Stormy, the Mai Tai, or the Rum Old Fashioned. It can also be enjoyed on its own, with ice or a splash of water, or mixed with cola or ginger ale. Dark rum can also be used in cooking and baking, adding a warm and sweet flavor to dishes like rum cake, banana bread, or barbecue sauce.
How to choose a good dark rum
There are many brands and varieties of dark rum available in the market, so how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here are some tips to help you find a good dark rum:
- Look at the label. The label can tell you a lot about the origin, age, and ingredients of the rum. Some common terms you may see are:
- Añejo: This means the rum has been aged for at least one year in oak barrels.
- Solera: This means the rum has been aged using a system of blending different batches of rum from different years.
- Navy: This means the rum has a high alcohol content (usually over 50%) and was historically used by the British Navy.
- Spiced: This means the rum has been flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, or cloves.
- Taste before you buy. If possible, try to sample different dark rums before you buy them. You can do this at a liquor store, a bar, or a tasting event. Pay attention to the aroma, flavor, and aftertaste of the rum. Some characteristics you may notice are:
- Sweetness: Dark rum can range from dry to very sweet, depending on how much sugar or molasses has been added to it.
- Smokiness: Dark rum can have a smoky or woody flavor, depending on how long and how intensely it has been aged in charred barrels.
- Spiciness: Dark rum can have a spicy or peppery flavor, depending on what spices have been added to it or what type of yeast has been used to ferment it.
- Smoothness: Dark rum can have a smooth or harsh texture, depending on how well it has been distilled and filtered.
- Consider your budget. Dark rum can vary in price depending on the brand, quality, and availability of the product. Generally speaking, the older and more premium the rum is, the more expensive it will be. However, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a good dark rum. There are many affordable options that still offer great taste and quality.
Some examples of popular dark rums are:
- Bacardi Black: A medium-bodied dark rum from Puerto Rico that has notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.
- Gosling’s Black Seal: A full-bodied dark rum from Bermuda that has notes of molasses, spice, and smoke.
- Kraken Black Spiced: A spiced dark rum from Trinidad and Tobago that has notes of coffee, chocolate, and cinnamon.
- Myers’s Original Dark: A rich and sweet dark rum from Jamaica that has notes of brown sugar, raisin, and nutmeg.
- Sailor Jerry Spiced: A spiced dark rum from the US Virgin Islands that has notes of cherry, vanilla, and clove.
Frequently Asked Questions about Rum
Rum is primarily made from sugarcane byproducts like molasses or sugarcane juice. These raw materials are fermented, distilled, and aged in barrels to create the final product.
There are several types of rum, including white rum, gold rum, dark rum, spiced rum, aged rum, and overproof rum. Each type has its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles.
While rum and whiskey share some similarities in the production process, they differ in ingredients and flavor profiles. Rum is made from sugarcane byproducts, while whiskey is made from various grains. Rum typically has a sweeter taste, whereas whiskey often has a more robust, earthy flavor.
The alcohol content of rum varies by style, with most standard rums having an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 40%. Overproof rums can have a much higher ABV, ranging from 50% and above.
Yes, certain types of rum, particularly aged rums and dark rums, are often enjoyed neat or on the rocks due to their complex flavors and smoothness. However, personal preference plays a significant role in how you choose to enjoy your rum.
Rum is a versatile spirit that can be used in a wide range of cocktails. Some popular rum cocktails include Piña Colada, Mojito, Daiquiri, Dark ‘n’ Stormy, and Mai Tai.
Rum should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Ensure the bottle is sealed tightly to prevent evaporation and oxidation.
Unopened bottles of rum can last indefinitely if stored properly. However, once opened, rum can oxidize and lose its flavor over time. To maintain optimal taste, it’s best to consume an opened bottle within 1-2 years.
Yes, rum is a popular ingredient in many culinary dishes, particularly in desserts like rum cake, bananas Foster, and rum-infused chocolate truffles. It can also be used in savory dishes, such as rum-glazed meats and Caribbean-inspired sauces.
Rum has its origins in the 17th-century Caribbean, where sugar plantation workers discovered that molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining, could be fermented into alcohol. The spirit gained popularity among pirates and sailors and eventually spread across the globe.