11 Essential White Rums For Your Liquor Cabinet

Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc
Photo: Courtesy of SPIRIBAM

In the world of important spirits for your liquor cabinet, white rum might not strike you as the highest priority—not when there's gin and bourbon out there. But rum is key for so many classic drinks, from the daiquiri to the summer-friendly mojito to the simple Cuba Libre. Here are 11 bottles you need to know. —Carey Jones

01 of 11

Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year

Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year
Courtesy of Flor de Caña

While many white spirits are unaged, most white rums do spend time in a barrel—and then have their color stripped out. This beautiful Nicaraguan rum spends four whole years in oak; the flavor is dry and a little toasty, with hints of fruit and vanilla but not sweet in the slightest. ($20 at flaviar.com) Try it in: a piña colada

02 of 11

Mount Gay Silver Rum

Mount Gay Silver Rum
Courtesy of Mount Gay Rum

This Barbadian producer, the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, is better known for their golden Eclipse rum. But their Silver, made from both pot and column-still rum and then triple-filtered, is tasty and versatile, whether you're using it to spike up a Coke or in more elaborate cocktails. ($25 at caskcartel.com) Try it in: a Cuba Libre

03 of 11

Banks 5 Island Rum

Banks 5 Island Rum
Courtesy of Banks Fine Rums

While rums from different nations tend to have distinct styles, the Banks 5 Island blends spirit from (you guessed it) five: Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, and Java. Each of these rums has been aged between three and five years. The resulting rum is extremely complex with a real weight to it—ideal in cocktails. ($36 at reservebar.com) Try it in: a classic daiquiri

04 of 11

Brugal Especial Extra Dry

Brugal Especial Extra Dry
Courtesy of Brugal Rum

Many bartenders pledge their allegiance to this Dominican white rum, using it both in their well and in craft cocktails. Aged as long as the Brugal añejo rum (between two and five years), it's triple-filtered to remove the color, leaving behind a spirit that's as smooth as it gets. ($20 at totalwine.com) Try it in: a pleasantly dry mojito

05 of 11

Caña Brava

Caña Brava
Courtesy of Caña Brava

Developed by the 86 Company, producing spirits intended for bartenders, Caña Brava is, unsurprisingly, quite popular amongst the cocktail set—a Panamanian rum modeled after the crisp, clear classic Cuban style that's hard to find in the States these days. ($29 at totalwine.com) Try it in: a Hemingway daiquiri

06 of 11

El Dorado 3 Year

El Dorado 3 Year
Courtesy of El Dorado

This Guyanese rum from a centuries-old distillery is a screaming value, rich and creamy with fragrant hints of vanilla, citrus, and coconut. ($19 at drizly.com) Try it in: a classic daiquiri

07 of 11

Havana Club 3 Year

Havana Club 3 Year
Courtesy of Havana Club

Okay, we're being a little coy, because you can't legally purchase this classic Cuban rum in the States. (That whole embargo thing.) But since Havana Club is distributed by liquor-world heavyweight Pernod Ricard, you can pick up a bottle at duty-free virtually everywhere outside the States. So put your Toronto or Frankfurt layover to good use and bring home a bottle. Crisp and light as they come, it's the ideal choice for mojitos, daiquiris, and anything else Cuban-inspired. ($20 at totalwine.com) Try it in: any classic Cuban cocktail

08 of 11

Plantation 3 Star White Rum

Plantation 3 Star White Rum
Courtesy of Plantation Rum

Another great value, Plantation blends rums from three islands (young rum from Barbados, 2-3 year rum from Trinidad, and older rums from Jamaica). Created by Maison Ferrand, the famed Cognac house, there's a true finesse to the blend. Complex, light-bodied, a little grassy. ($20 at totalwine.com) Try it: with soda water and lime

09 of 11

Denizen Rum

Denizen Rum
Courtesy of Citizen Spirits

Sourced from the Caribbean, then blended in Amsterdam, Denizen is a carefully designed aged white rum—column-distilled Trinidadian rum from the celebrated Angostura distillery, along with 15 types of Jamaican pot-still rum. It's got a real hint of fruit and funk from the latter, far more so than most rums in this category—a quality that many rum fans prize. ($24 at reservebar.com) Try it: on the rocks

10 of 11

Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum

Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum
Courtesy of Campari Group

Utterly unlike any bottle on this list, Wray and Nephew is formidable—up at 126 proof, nearly double the strength of most spirits. But it's a classic and beautifully-made Jamaican rum, and a key player in many tiki cocktails. It's funky, unpredictable, powerful, and a splash of it enlivens many a drink. ($25 at wine.com) Try it in: rum punches

11 of 11

Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc

Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc
Courtesy of SPIRIBAM

Rum, by definition, is made from sugar. Most rums, including just about every rum the casual drinker would be familiar with, is made from fermented molasses, a sugar byproduct. But the spirit known as rhum agricole is distilled from sugarcane juice, and as a result, it's a whole different animal—extremely fruity, funky, and wild-tasting in a way nearly unique among spirits. If you're used to the Bacardi style, it might be off-putting, but for spirits nerds, this Martinique rhum is where it's at. ($30 at wine.com) Try it in: ti' punch

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles