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