Rum is fermented juice from sugar cane or by-products of its production (most commonly the molasses.) It’s then aged in oak barrels. It was first made in Barbados in the early 17th century, but the finest exponents now, are often the Central Americans. Rummy used to be an insult for drunken sailors, as well as a card game.
Rum to Mix
£3.40 Mount Gay Rum 40% (Barbados)
£3.40 Bacardi 37.5% (Cuba)
£3.50 Koko Kanu 37.5% (Jamaica) Named after the Arawak Indians (Jamaica’s earliest inhabitants) this naturally produced coconut rum is, put simply, a lot better than Malibu.
£3.60 Gosling’s Black Seal 40% (Bermuda) Gosling’s Black Seal has a rich, intricate flavour, well balanced and nuanced with butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Black Seal has become synonymous with Bermuda. It’s the national drink and the island nations most widely exported product.
£3.60 Sailor Jerry’s 40% (US Virgin Islands) Insanely popular spiced rum incorporating the designs of prominent American tattoo artist Norman Collins.
£3.80 Appleton Estate VX 40% (Jamaica) Another terrific upgrade, excellent value and a completely different style of rum to Pampero. The woody dryness of this rum (aged in bourbon barrels) cuts through sweet mixers particularly well. Try it with ginger beer and lime.
Rum to Sip
£3.50 Pusser's Blue Label 40% (Trinidad/Guyana) Still made with the exact same blend of rums - a recipe from the admiralty - it is now bottled at 40% ABV rather that 54.5% ABV. The reasoning behind this, is it allows Pusser's to be distributed to naval bases, where the maximum allowed strength is 40%.
£4.00 Captain Bligh XO Special Reserve 40% (West Indies) An XO rum from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is distilled from molasses in a modern two column still, and it is diluted to 87.5% before it is aged in first fill Kentucky bourbon barrels for around a decade. It has won many gold awards at various rum festivals.
£5.00 Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 40% (Venezuela) Off dry and deeply complex, this ‘old world’ style rum is incredible when simply sipped neat. Caramel, vanilla, a little pistachio and a hint of spice. Hold it in the mouth and enjoy.
£5.50 Santa Teresa 1796 40% (Venezuela) Comprised of a blend of Venezuelan rums between the age of 8 and 12 years and then vatted using the solera system. After blending it is aged for a further year in bourbon barrels. This rum has been awarded multiple gold medals including at the International Cane Spirits Festival and The Rum Masters.
£5.60 Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary 40% (Caribbean) A superb-looking decanter bottle of XO rum from Barbados, aged in bourbon barrels before being shipped to France for a secondary maturation in Cognac Casks from the Ferrand house... The result was awarded 94 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.
£6.20 Ron Zacapa 23 40% (Guatemala) Aged above the clouds (some 2300 metres above sea level) this rum is made from pure sugar cane honey, not molasses. Delightfully sweet and as smooth as liquor can get. This has won so many gold medals it’s exempt from entering major competitions!