Holiday Gift Guide: Rum

From Hot Toddys and Tom & Jerrys to Eggnog, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a bottle of good rum. So, we enlisted all-star mixologist Julie Reiner, owner of tropical New York bar Lani Kai, to pick five spirited gifts.

El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve ($36):

Guyana has a long history of producing fine rums, and this bottling is no exception. Plus, the “soft, subtle Demerara rum makes a great rum Old Fashioned,” Reiner says.

Mount Gay Extra Old ($50):

Rum isn’t just for shaking cocktails, of course. “When I’m looking for a rum to sip neat or with a cube of ice, I go for Mount Gay Extra Old,” Reiner says.

Rhum J.M White ($35; 1 Liter):

“This rhum agricole makes one of the best Daiquiris I have ever had,” Reiner says. It hails from Martinique, where the spirit is traditionally distilled from sugar cane instead of molasses, and as a result “is much brighter.”

Ron Zacapa XO ($100):

With “hints of dried fruit, vanilla and spice, this is a wonderful fall and winter sipping rum,” Reiner says. The Guatemalan Zacapa XO “deserves its reputation as one of the finest rums in the world!”

Santa Teresa 1796 ($40):

Reiner first tasted this Venezuelan liquor when she was opening her bar Flatiron Lounge in 2003. “Not only is it delicious to drink on its own, but it also makes an excellent Hemingway Daiquiri.”

From our Friends



  • editor posted 6 years ago

    We love Barbancourt as well; in fact, the brand's 15-Year-Old was in our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: But try one of Julie Reiner's picks. You'll no doubt find a new favorite.

  • Tom S posted 6 years ago

    Pyrat XO should be on this list ! Excellent Rum and very "sip-able". Too bad Petron bought the company, now its being over exposed & over marketed. I see it everywhere now. There was a time the only way to get a bottle was to have it shipped to you or fly down to St. Martin for vacation and pick one up.

  • Paul posted 6 years ago

    How can you not mention Barbancourt???

  • Josh Miller posted 6 years ago

    Love the list, but one word of caution. If you're thinking of buying a white rhum agricole for someone, make sure they like agricole first. I know plenty of folks that LOVE rum with a capital "L" but absolutely detest rhum agricole. 'Ti Punch ce n'est pas pour tout le monde. There is after all, no accounting for taste, so my advice is to play it safe with the El Dorado 15 -- a legitimate crowd pleaser. Aloha

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