Made around the world from fresh sugar cane juice or molasses, rum remains an enigmatic outlier when compared to other spirit categories. Its sales in the U. S. fall behind tequila , whiskey , and vodka , yet many bartenders consider rum to be an underrated gem capable of showcasing layers of complexity. And with so many distinct styles plus flavor profiles, the world of rum is indeed an exciting category to explore.
Below, drink experts dish on their go-to rums with regard to mixing cocktails. With suggestions that cover the spectrum from bright and herbaceous white rums to funky and grassy rhum agricoles perfect for tiki classics, there’s something on the list that will indulge novices and aficionados alike.
The Best Rums for Mixing Cocktails
- Smith & Cross
- Clairin Le Rocher
- La Favorite Rhum Agricole
- Père Labat Agricole Rhum
- Denizen Aged White Rum
- Banks 5 Island
- El Dorado five Year
- Plantation 3 Stars
- Plantation Barbados 5 Year
- Rhum Clément VSOP
- Don Q Reserva 7 Rum
- Ten to One White Rum
- Flor de Caña
- The Real McCoy
- Privateer New England White
- Bumbu Rum
- Probitas Rum
- Palo Viejo Puerto Rican Rum
- Wray & Nephew
- Batiste Gold Rhum
- Copalli Rum
- Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum
- Mount Gay
- Flor De Caña Extra Seco 4 12 months Rum
- Appleton Single Estate
- Plantation Isle of Fiji
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“My personal favorite rum for mixing is Jones & Mix Jamaican rum. Its high proof and ester count really shine through within cocktails plus lend a rich, molasses-y funk that acts as a backbone to fruity or citrusy cocktails. ” —Jessica Everett, managing partner and bar manager, Esters Fair Prospect , Maui, Hawaii
“Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican rum is a house favorite. Stack the Daiquiris , line up the shots, or bloom it over ice, it’s Abigail Hall’s favorite go-to regarding happy snacks. ” —Derek Jacobi, beverage director, Abigail Hall , Portland, Ore.
“It’s so difficult to pick just one — different drinks often call for different styles of a particular spirit. But if I have to pick, it’s going in order to be Clairin Le Rocher . Clairin is a traditional and also unique type of Haitian rum. Due to Haiti’s unique and incredible history, more traditional, pre-industrial production methods have been preserved; the focus is upon the local varieties of sugar cane, fermentation, plus distillation. I particularly love the The Rocher because it has this incredible berry, butter, grass, diesel thing going on, and the mouthfeel is distinctly silky. It does amazing things in cocktails, whether it’s the base spirit or a modifier. Since it’s unaged, and therefore doesn’t have any of the particular qualities barrel-aging imbues, showcasing it inside a cocktail is the great way to introduce this to the uninitiated. ” —Jenna Rosenbloom, general manager, Mountaineering Club , Seattle
“We really like estate-grown agricole rhums through Martinique intended for their grassy and vegetal qualities (plus, the standard 50 percent ABV and higher doesn’t hurt). Neisson is one associated with the smallest estates upon Martinique and a perennial preferred. La Favorite is a little more funky and aromatic, but that can be an advantage in a lot of classic rum drinks when you don’t want them to veer into sweet plus canned fruit cocktail territory. Plus, La Favorite will be affordable enough that it won’t break the bank. At Bar Agricole, our favorite of late has been Père Labat Agricole Rhum from Marie-Galante. This rhum is made from estate-grown organic walking cane varieties and bottled at ‘still strength’ (a whopping 70 percent ABV). This tastes associated with dried tropical fruit, sea salt, rainwater, and therefore much a lot more. Every sip is a wonder to behold. ” —Craig Lane, head bartender, Bar Agricole , San Francisco
“I’m here in order to say that a sleeper rum for Daiquiris is Denizen 3 year . It’s an aged and filtered rum that will presents clear but has body to it. It lends so well to the Daiquiri produced with Demerara simple instead of white sugars simple. ” —Anna Giordano, bar director, Anna’s , New Orleans
“ Banks 5 Island or even El Dorado (5 12 months old) to get aged. Banks is brilliant and herbaceous, lending itself to Mojitos , Daiquiris, and other cocktails calling for unaged rum. For an older rum, I love El Dorado for its deep plus rich flavor profile, adding texture and nuance without breaking the bank. ” —James O’Brien, partner/beverage movie director, Gus’s Chop House , Brooklyn
“Rum is, in my opinion, the toughest spirit to narrow down ‘the best’ for mixing because of its essentially endless range of flavors and designs. However , if I had to find one that can be best used in drinks across the board without breaking the bank, I’d possess to go with Plantation 3 Stars . It’s a beautiful blend of three terroirs. ” —Trevor Langer, drink director, Pub Calico , NYC
“ Planting Barbados five Year offers been my go-to combining rum — it stands up as a base soul as well as being versatile enough to split it along with bourbon, mezcal, you name it. It is become the back-pocket tool when the cocktail is usually missing something. Plantation 5 Year always adds a perfect amount of crème brûlée and subtle dried exotic fruit in order to anything it is mixed with, truly becoming the backbone of the beverage. ” —Brooke Toscano, beverage director plus general supervisor, The Spare Room, Hollywood, Calif.
“For rum, it’s a bit harder to pinpoint just a couple because they are so diverse, but our favorite white rum pertaining to Daiquiris would be Plantation 3 Stars (even better if you sub out 1/4 ounce or so with a grassy rhum agricole like Neisson). Plantation a few Stars is definitely a Caribbean blend and has just the particular right quantity of funkiness from the Jamaican rum to keep things interesting, even in the cocktail as simple as a Daiquiri. With regard to things like Mai Tais , We reach for Clément VSOP . It’s a rhum agricole from Martinique that is mellowed out along with aging. The particular grassy notes are a great pairing with the more floral and fruity notes of orgeat and orange liqueur. ” —Koharu Usui, bartender, Club Goto plus Bar Goto Niban , NEW YORK CITY
“ Don Q Reserva 7 Rum is the rum I choose whenever making boozy, stirred, and sipping rum cocktails. One of my favorite spirit-forward rum cocktails can be the Bywater, and the blend of column-and pot-still rums in Put on Q’s 7 year bottling adds the particular perfect chicory coffee plus caramelized nut notes into it. ” —Chris Hannah, owner and bartender, Jewel from the South , New Orleans
“For making cocktails, I will always default to using Ten To One white rum, a blend of two 5 yr rums from the Caribbean that provides Jamaican high-ester rum and Dominican column still rums. This nature has information of jasmine, lemongrass, plus pink peppercorn, with a juicy and fresh finish. Adding Ten To One White Rum guarantees a great cocktail, as it is certainly a true rum. There are no added sugars, flavorings, or colors inside the distillation process. Marc-Kwesi Farrell may be the CEO and founder, and was born and raised in Trinidad. At 101 Hospitality, we believe making use of minority-owned spirits is the best way to actively change the alcohol industry. With every alcohol purchase, you have the particular choice to help foster representation and diversity in our current world. ” —Judy Elahi, pub director, tips Hospitality , Washington, D. C.
“I don’t typically throw names, but Flor de Caña from Nicaragua is an extremely affordable and aged rum. The most compelling and popular drink I used to make at my first bartending job used Flor sobre Caña (7 years) having a shrub. People went nuts for it! ” —David Porcaro II, mixologist, Sparrow + Wolf , Las Vegas
“I’m a sucker for stories when this comes to spirits plus fell within love with Bill McCoy, the inspiration for The particular Real McCoy rum lineup — as well as the original rum runner who was supplying the States along with unaltered rum straight through the distilleries in the Carribbean. The three or more year expression has light vanilla records while still allowing the particular cane in order to shine through making the perfect base for the Daiquiri while the five, 12, and 14 season expressions play well in whiskey-based classics. ” —Phil Collins, drink director, TableOne Hospitality ( Mother Tongue , Los Angeles/ La Société Bar & Cafe , San Francisco), NYC
“I’d say you need at least four bottles of rum, probably five, but maybe that’s just me. If you’re getting just one I’d pick a white rum because it’ll be a little more flexible for a home bar, plus I’d recommend Privateer New England White-colored . The work that former mind distiller Maggie Campbell did to make this a distinctive and delicious recipe and product is really unparalleled. This rum is textured and subtly tropical, yet salty plus New Britain terroir-driven at the same time. It’s kind of a marvel, really. This rum anchors our signature drink in Shore Leave, and I actually can’t wait to see what Maggie does next with her work in Barbados at Attach Gay . ” —Ryan Lotz, beverage director, Traveler St. Hospitality ( Bar Mezzana , Black Lamb , and Shore Leave ), Boston
“I adore using the particular entire Bumbu line, from the XO to the Crème. These rums have a dynamic blend associated with select spices and fantastic aromas that will offer a certain level of finesse and craftsmanship to all cocktails that they are utilized in. Offering exceptional balance, you still can savor the rich complexity of this rum collection when used in a mixed cocktail. ” —Cosimo Bruno, beverage curator, Daxton Hotel , Birmingham, Mich.
“ Probitas : This particular collaboration between Foursquare plus Hampden Estate is lightly aged. It has nice hogo (funk) to play around using a full variety of drinks, and it certainly has a great mouthfeel meant for Daiquiris. ” —Eric Lambright, lead bartenders, Sorry Charlie’s , Savannah, Ga.
“ Palo Viejo Puerto Rican Rum is the most underrated rum out there. Absolutely delightful for all rum applications, it completely elevates whatever white rum joint you’re mixing. In Puerto Rico, this is a sleeper hit among locals for a really terrific under-the-radar product. ” —Max Stampa-Brown, drink director, The particular Garret Group , NYC
“ Wray & Nephew will be my choice. It may not be the most conventional or the particular most versatile, but it packs so much funk into a very affordable package. A little bit goes a long way, so you can use it to augment the flavors associated with other rums in a cocktail. ” —Nicholas Lappen, bartender, Backbar , Somerville, Mass.
“ Batiste Gold : One of the particular most flexible rums available, I love creating cocktails with [it] because I know I am supporting a local and truly sustainable, Earth-first product. Drinks made along with Batiste become multidimensional and complex in ways that other rums and even liqueurs cannot. Working with Batiste is fun, unique, plus will definitely upgrade your cocktail menu in numerous delicious ways. ” —Drew Majoulet, consultant, Linden Room , San Francisco
“ Copalli is 1 of my favorites at the moment. Made sustainably in the rainforest inside Belize, this really speaks to the particular terroir of the land where the sugar cane is grown, without being too intense or even funky designed for those who aren’t utilized to rums made through fresh glucose cane fruit juice rather than molasses. ” —Will Krepop, beverage director, Wiggle Room , NEW YORK CITY
“ Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum : You are literally not able to make a bad beverage with this particular beauty. It is the full-bodied, rich rum with slight smoky notes, tropical fruits, natural sweetness, and slight spice of clove. Not only is it wonderful in all tiki cocktails like the Mai Tai, but also really delicate on the own. ” —Nils Schabert, director associated with bars, Rosewood Miramar Beach , Montecito, Calif.
“I love using rums from your Mount Gay portfolio. They offer an array of products that appeal to most drink types, from light plus refreshing all the way to stirred and spirituous. ” —Jason Asher, vice president of beverage, Grey Hen Rx , UnderTow , and Platform 18 , Phoenix
“I have usually been a fan of bold-flavored Jamaican rums; purely a personal preference. We think I like the richer, more cool qualities of them. Appleton Rum was one of the first rums I actually ever tasted, and I’ve always been keen on the particular depth that will it brings to any drinks, especially anything you want in order to add citrus and higher tones to. Appleton Single Estate is usually a great start just for using within cocktails and works real [well] along with bitter elements, maybe a take on a Negroni or in the Jungle Bird . ” —Liana Oster, bar director, NoMad London , Greater london
“Draw three circles in a Venn diagram arrangement. In the top circle, you might have English-style profiles: overripe banana, gardenia, ylang-ylang, plus toffee pudding. Bottom left, you have Spanish-style profiles: chocolate, figs, cinnamon, and tobacco. And in the particular bottom right, you have got French-style profiles: grass, raspberry, alliums, and olives. Right off the bat, all of us see wildly different tastes spanning the greater category associated with rum, plus this makes sense based on production techniques and maturation philosophies through literally all over the particular world. So , how do you choose a rum to become your workhorse drink maker when there is so much variation? Well, I believe what ever bottle that it is definitely should fit square inside the middle of that will Venn diagram, offering flavors from almost all known styles. This doesn’t mean the bottle has to be a mixture of rums from just about all three designs, rather it should check the simplified boxes of ‘hogo and esters, ’ ‘rich and juicy, ’ and ‘grassy plus dank. ’ For your own consideration, I offer Planting Isle of Fiji (NV) as the ‘center ring’ associated with rums. We love this bottle since it showcases everything the rum world has to offer while answering the complex question: ‘What does rum taste like? ’ It’s got esters and volatile compounds. It is been exotic aged within Fiji in ex-bourbon casks, and continental aged inside France in ex-Cognac casks. It’s fruity, spicy, and herbaceous, plus it’s got 16 grams per liter dosage! Not only does this particular make my favorite Daiquiri, but this also makes introducing rum since a category to the guests a lot easier as it acts while a gateway to the particular more specific, a lot more nerdy information. There are many, several killer rums out there, yet none are usually as versatile and inclusive as Plantation Isle of Fiji. ” —Mark The. Mentzel, lead bartender, The Elk Space , Baltimore