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We Asked Bartenders For The Best Rums To Drink While Stuck At Home

Obviously, there’s a lot going on in the world of hospitality lately. It really brings everything into perspective and reminds us all what’s most important. Above work, money, and social media followers, our health and safety is truly vital to our lives. Let’s not forget that.

Many bars and restaurants have closed their doors for the foreseeable future as they wait out the coronavirus. That means that bartenders are stuck at home, unsure of when they’ll be able to return to their bars and pubs and continue earning a living. While at home, many are delving into their liquor collections. They’re whipping up cocktails for partners and housemates and drinking coveted spirits neat or on the rocks.

One spirit they’re playing with a lot this time of year? Rum. We at UPROXX have long enjoyed rum in all of its glory — whether in a classic, summery Tiki-style cocktail or on its own with a single ice cube. But we don’t know as much about this sugarcane-based spirit as our friends behind the bar. That’s why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the one rum they’ll be drinking while they’re stuck at home.

Plantation Rum Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple

Emily Kraus, national beverage manager for Wolfgang Puck Catering

Plantation Pineapple Infused Rum. This rum is the star of the show in one of my favorite cocktails on our menu mixed with a spicy Amaro its layers of flavors, but this rum is delicious on its own. The subtle pineapple flavor is not too sweet and reminiscent of the tropics.

Hampden Estate Rum

Sam Gay, bartender at Ojai Valley Inn in Ojai, California

Hampden Estate Rum. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a funky, smooth Jamaican rum that’s been made for over 250 years at the same place. Highly versatile when used in a cocktail, but great on its own as a sipper.

Plantation 3 Stars

Hector Acevedo. part owner of Spanglish Craft Cocktail Bar & Kitchen in Miami

Plantation 3 Stars. I enjoy a daiquiri and there’s no better rum to mix into the iconic drink than Plantation 3 Stars. It’s like they bottled the classic taste of the Caribbean and are offering it to you in the form of white rum.

Banks 5 Island Rum

Osvaldo Vasquez, mixologist based at Chileno Bay Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico

My favorite is Banks Rum 5 Island Blend. The reason why I like because it is a perfect blend of 5 origin rums from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Indonesia and Barbados. Love this rum because it works fantastic with tropical fruits and you do not lose the principal Rum flavor in the cocktail.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Ashley Thomas, brand advocacy at William Grant & Sons

Obviously, I’m going to go with Sailor Jerry. The classic spiced rum is the right choice because not only does it make a killer Piña Colada, but you can cook with it too. What could be better?

Ten To One White Rum

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First Friday of the new year? Enough said. 👆

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Amanda Swanson, bar manager at Fine & Rare in New York City

Ten To One. This very new and contemporary brand of rum is phenomenal for mixing in classic rum cocktails. It has all the grass and funk of a Rhum Agricole, which is my favorite style of rum, and pairs beautifully with citrus.

Clement Canne Bleu Agricole Rum

Matt Hoffa, lead bartender at The Mayfair Hotel in Los Angeles

Clement Canne Bleu Agricole Rum. This agricole rum from Martinique isn’t your average rum. It’s made from the juice of the Canne Bleue sugarcane, known for its intense, sweet flavor. Part of its flavor comes from resting for half a year in a stainless-steel tub and mixed with volcanic spring water.

Bacardi Carta Blanca

Nikki McCutcheon, beverage director at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City

When I make a daiquiri, I prefer mixing with Bacardi rum due to its value and affordability. Bacardi also has such a wide array of flavors so you could make various deliciously flavored daiquiris that everyone will enjoy.

Pusser’s Rum Original Admiralty Blend

Kyle Walter, bartender at Grayton Beer Brewpub in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

I would go with Pusser’s Rum Original Admiralty Blend. Mostly because it’s traditionally used in a Painkiller, which fits for a desert island or homebound quarantine. Hopefully this island (or apartment) has coconuts and pineapples growing (available at local grocers) abundantly.

El Dorado 12 Year

Ben Schiller, beverage director at RPM Restaurants in Chicago

El Dorado 12 Year. It’s an extremely versatile rum of the utmost quality. It works in a variety of cocktails and is great over ice as well.

Writer’s Picks: The Real McCoy 12 Year

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It’s some sort of rum day. I’m game.

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Named for famous prohibition-era rum runner Bill McCoy, this is one of the best sipping rums on the market. If you’re stuck in an apartment riding out the coronavirus, you can mix this smooth, buttery, slightly peppery rum into any number of Tiki drinks. Better yet, drink it straight.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

If you haven’t tried this Venezuelan rum yet, now is the time to order some so you’re stocked up while you wait this thing out. Distilled in antique copper pot stills and aged for as much as twelve years, this smooth sipping rum is on par with any well-made bourbon or Scotch in terms of sipping neat.

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