SOUTH FLORIDA – If there is one drink that is quintessential to tropical island nations, it is rum. Caribbean rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane juice or molasses, and it has been a part of Caribbean culture for centuries. If you’ve ever visited the islands then you have likely even tasted some of these fine Caribbean beverages.
So many of those cruise boats leave our harbors with cases filled with the best white rums and other drinks that do the trick quick.
And, don’t get it twisted. Even though rum is produced all over the world these days, the best rum comes from the Caribbean. There are many different types of rum, and each has its own unique flavor. You even get different flavor profiles depending on where the rum comes from. The next time you want a mixed drink worthy of paper umbrellas, pirate ships, and beachfront parties, reach for these popular brands.
Bacardi Rum from Puerto Rico
While the popular worldwide brand Bacardi offers many different types of alcohol one can include in their home bar essentials, one of the most popular is their Caribbean rum 8 Años.
And boy does this Puerto Rican rum have a kick and smooth flavor to it.
This is one of their more serious products, combining multiple barrel-aged rums together to deliver a spicy and fruity taste that is easy to sip. This Puerto Rican brand has been creating unique rums since 1862 and offers everything from white rum perfect for mixing to coconut and spiced rum as well as more upscale reserve varieties.
Other popular Caribbean rum varieties from Puerto Rico include the Ron del Barrilito and Don Q brands.
Appleton Estate Rum from Jamaica
While one of the more expensive Caribbean rum options on this list, the 21-year-aged liquor is much appreciated by fans of darker rum. The blend brings to mind citrus peel with a dry finish that lingers on the tongue. This year, the Appleton Estate Ruby Anniversary Edition was released to celebrate Master Blender Joy Spence’s 40 years of craftsmanship with the distillery.
Many Jamaican rums including Hampden Estate and Wray & Nephew tend to have bolder, sweeter flavors. They keep a lot of molasses and caramelized sugar notes on the palette.
Mount Gay Bajan Rum
It’s time to climb the mount to taste some of the best rum the Caribbean has to offer. And try not to be too hung over on the way down, we don’t want to send the rescue helicopter up to get you after all.
Redolent of baked bananas and spice, this popular Barbados rum is aged for 12 or more years before being bottled in the Caribbean. It offers a mouthful of flavor and warmth that goes down smooth.
Also try Foursquare, Cockspur, and R. L Seale’s brands.
El Dorado from Guyana
For more than 300 years, this region of the Caribbean has produced amazing rum like the El Dorado 12-year variety. They use both wood and steel pots and bourbon barrels for the aging process. This darker rum has considerable spice and clove flavors that impart a delicious warmth to the drinker.
And just look at that bottle… that bottle means business. This is the kind of rum you break out in the waiting room to celebrate the birth of a new family member. Or you might give this to a close rebate on their wedding day. Just spectacular Caribbean rum.
Boukman Rum from Haiti
Ok, if you’ve tasted anything from Haiti is most likely Barbancourt, the 3-star, 5-star, or 8-star variety. Speak to any Haitain, and ask them about Barbancourt and you will hear a long list of stories about how strong that stuff is. But the taste leaves a little to be desired.
Instead, try some Boukman from Haiti. Ooooooh we, this is the stuff.
Symbolic of Haiti’s fight for freedom and created from the sugarcane that powers a good portion of its economy, this Caribbean rum comes from one of the 500 different distilleries on the island.
It is considered a botanical ‘rhum’ with a dry and herbaceous flavor that combines orange peel, clove, vanilla, cinnamon, and almond essences. It has one of the most unique bottles on the list, too, with deep blue-green glass and a unique freedom hand icon.
Cruzan Caribbean Rum
Although last on our list of the Quintessential Caribbean Rum Brands, please don’t believe that this is the worst of the list. Cruzan Rum is a fantastic choice for a night of drinking and dancing.