Despite the historical links with pirates and sailors, you don’t have to take to the seas to enjoy this spicy spirit. In fact, Agostino Perrone, award-winning director of Mixology at the Connaught Hotel, says rum has never been so trendy.
With tropical flavours ranging from light and sweet to dark, rich and treacly, rum comes increasingly high on people’s lists of favourite spirits, “not just for its smoothness, but also for its character,” he says.
Each country of origin has its own individual style, he says. “Cubans, for instance, have round flavours and dry fruits while Jamaican rums are rich, round and tropical, with a sweeter finish.”
There are different colours too - white rum, gold rum, dark rum and black rum.
There two main categories, he adds - rhum industriel (rum made from sugarcane byproducts, usually molasses, which form the majority of rum on shelves today) and rhum agricole, (a rarer, more expensive seasonal method using freshly harvested sugarcane, which is squeezed for its juice).
Read on for our guide to the best rums across all budgets, including Agustino’s expert picks.
Click on the gallery to see the Inybest buys
Brugal 1888 is Augustino’s personal favourite, renowned for its rich butterscotch flavour. As for a white rum, we’d go with Wray & Nephew’s - the best-selling high proof rum in the world.