You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why. Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s a list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary state to state.
“This stuff is both a cult favorite and a crowd pleaser. It won best new product at Tales of the Cocktail this year and is great neat, on ice or in a cocktail. I’ve tasted this rum straight from the vat as the pineapples imparted their goodness. Trust when I say this is magic in a bottle.”—Karin Stanley, co-owner of Dutch Kills and bartender at Little Branchand Suffolk Arms
“This solera-aged rum has been my No. 1 pick for many years. Great to sip and beautiful in cocktails, it is full-bodied and incredibly versatile.”—Michael J. Neff, bar director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge
“Rhum agricole has a wild, grassy character that’s tamed well by barrel aging. This bottle is best consumed straight from the bottle while floating in the ocean off Martinique but still tastes delicious sitting on your porch.”—Michael J. Neff, bar director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge