Spirits & Liqueurs Rum

The Best Rum Under $30

Image: Elizabeth Reyes

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.

  • Appleton Estate Signature Blend ($21)

    “This rum has loads of character. It's a little funky, a little citrusy and great to mix with.”—Kellie Thorn, bar manager at Atlanta's Empire State South

  • Bacardi Ocho ($25)

    “I really enjoy this rum. It has wonderful baking spice notes coming from the barrel and is delicious by itself and in a cocktail.”—Darnell Holguin, bar director at New York City's Fifty

  • Brugal Extra Viejo ($27)

    “It’s one of my favorite Dominican rums. When I lived in the Dominican Republic in the early 2000s, it was about $9 a liter. The price has gone up a little bit, but it’s still the best. It has a dry finish and really funky earthy body.”—Aaron Paul, bar director at San Francisco's Alta

  • Caña Brava ($29)

    “This Cuban-style Panamanian rum is best for Daiquiris, and who doesn't love a Daiquiri?”—Neal Bodenheimer, owner and bartender at New Orleans' Cane & Table and Cure

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  • Duquesne Blanc ($28)

    “The grassy motor oil profile I find in this bottle is a robust shock to the system. If you’re looking for a smooth sipper, I would steer you away from this, but if you like to dress up a cocktail, I would look no further.”—Peder Schweigert, general manager at Minneapolis' Marvel Bar

  • El Dorado 3 Year White ($18)

    “It does everything you need it to.”—David Y. Dong, bartender at New York City's North End Grill

  • Hamilton Guyana ($25)

    “It’s a rich and full-bodied demerara rum, with molasses, brown sugar and some smoky tobacco notes.”—Brian Means, bartender at San Francisco's Mina Group

  • Hamilton Guyana Overproof ($24)

    “This rum distilled in Guyana and aged for two years has all the spice you need for your winter Hot Buttered Rum. While this is a delicious addition to your liquor cabinet, proceed with caution, as it’s legitimately flammable.”—Kevin Beary, beverage director at Chicago's Three Dots and a Dash

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  • Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black ($27)

    “It’s heavy on flavor and low on pretense. Ed Hamilton always sources terrific juice. This is a punch rum through and through.”—Bodenheimer

  • Montanya Platino ($28)

    “This sugar cane rum from Crested Butte, Colo., has interesting characteristics that I've personally never tasted in a rum before. Aromas of fresh coconut, crème brûlée and flan fill your nose with delight . Due to being aged 12 months in third-fill whiskey barrels (after their oro rum has aged a year as the second fill), banana, custard and toasted coconut jump out upon first taste, then it finishes with light baking spices. It’s a truly unique and delicious rum.”—Alicia Walton, owner and bartender at San Francisco's Sea Star

  • Old New Orleans Cajun Spice ($29)

    “This is my favorite spiced rum on the market. The funky rum base still shines through the addition of spices and subtle vanilla.”—Thorn

  • Plantation Barbados Grande Réserve 5 Year ($25)

    “When it comes to a good sipping rum that can still shine in a cocktail, you can't beat this rum. It is perfect for enjoying on its own, either on ice or just neat, and has everything you could look for in an aged rum, such as lush notes of brown sugar, banana and vanilla. In addition, it makes a gorgeous Corn ’N’ Oil, one of my favorite classic Tiki drinks, that truly benefits from the use of authentic Barbados rum.”—Erick Castro, owner and bartender at San Diego's Polite Provisions