Recently there was an article posted on The Huffington Post about a dozen sipping rums. It’s a great article to read and it also includes a link to an earlier article that the author Tony Sachs wrote about some of his favorite rums. (At least I think it does. The supposedly “high speed” internet at my hotel here in New Orleans is anything but.) I’ve tasted most of the rums, and of the ones I’ve tasted, I agree with almost all of his recommendations. The Plantation XO 20th Anniversary rum is great to use as a mixer and tasted great in a few different drinks that I made with it, but as a sipping rum, I felt like there was too much heat, and any flavor that I tasted was lost almost immediately. (And that’s the great thing about rum. Everybody has different tastes. What I think about the Plantation rum is just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.)
What I think is most important about the article, and something I try to emphasize with people when I introduce them to rum, is that not every expensive rum is worth what it costs, and not every really strong sipping rum is necessarily expensive. Yes, some of the rums listed are pricey, listing at over $100. He refers to the limited edition Appleton 30 year old rum. (And let us not forget my willingness to pay $1,000-you read that right-for a bottle of Mount Gay Tricentennial. (Just don’t tell my mother that.) But, if you look through the list that he offers, five of them are less than $50 a bottle, and there are several other equally high quality rums that are in the same price range. A lot of rums come from countries where (fortunately or not, depending on your opinion) the dollar goes very far in the exchange rate, and most of the distilleries spend little if anything on marketing. These saving are passed on to you, the consumer.
Don’t think I’m trying to imply that only sipping rums are worth drinking. There are several rums that I enjoy mixed with a soda of some kind (depending on the rum) or as part of a cocktail. What I am saying is that the next time you’re having some friends over, pick up a few of these bottles, and have a good time. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just some bottles, a few glasses for each person, a bucket of ice and some good music on the stereo. Remember, rum is fun.
So call up some friends, clear off your coffee table, and Make Life One Long Weekend ™.