Spirits & Liqueurs Rum

The Best Rum Under $30

(photo illustration: Laura Sant).

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 an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.

  • Angostura 7 Year ($28)

    “It’s not too sweet, not too dry and an excellent all-around drinking rum.”—Yani Moraitis Frye, owner, operator and head bartender at Detroit's Bad Luck

  • Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black ($26)

    “Holy rotten funky amazingness, it’s so intense in all the best ways.”—Adam Fortuna, assistant general manager and sommelier at Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Reserve Wine & Food

  • Hamilton New York Blend ($26)

    “This is a great rum for the Trader Vic's 1944 Mai Tai recipe and a great bottle just to sip on. It makes a fine Daiquiri, too. It’s an aged rum that has many great uses for Tiki, spirituous cocktails and a quick nip.”—Nick Detrich, co-owner and bartender at New Orleans' Manolito

  • Havana Club 3 Year ($25)

    “Next time you're passing through duty free, grab a bottle of this for making your mojitos, cuba libres, or frozen daiquiris. Thank me later.”—Detrich

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • Martí Plata ($18)

    “I find it reminiscent of a beautiful rum from Nicaragua that’s perfect in a Daiquiri.”—Lucinda Sterling, managing partner and bartender at New York City's Middle Branch

  • Smith & Cross ($29)

    “Everyone remembers their first. Smith & Cross was the first rum I ever sipped that made me believe the category was more than just fruity cocktails and opened my eyes to the possibilities of rum.”—Nathaniel David Smith, bartender at St. Paul, Minn.'s Hodges Bend and ambassador for Teeling Irish whiskey

  • The Real McCoy 5 Year ($20)

    “A Foursquare rum at $20 a bottle? C'mon!”—Fortuna

  • Two James Doctor Bird ($25)

    “It's funky! Lots of pineapple and tropical fruit. The higher proof makes it ideal for cocktails as well.”—Brian Means, bartender at San Francisco's Pacific Cocktail Haven

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • Worthy Park Rum-Bar ($25)

    “Probably one of the best representations of a pure single-pot-still rum you will find in the U.S., it’s perfect for the home or behind the bar. Big-time Jamaican funk, ripe banana and dry herbs are just some the words to describe it. Try it in a Daiquiri or mix it with your favorite grapefruit soda. I recommend Ting.”—Jordan Joseph, bar manager at Raleigh, N.C.'s Centro and Gallo Pelón