Believe it or not, RumChata isn’t revolutionary.
The alcoholic horchata you know and love is just one of many rum creams on the international booze market, but it has managed to make a lasting impression on landlocked Americans.
Rum creams, in general, are Caribbean and Latin America’s answer to more northern climes’ Irish creams such as Bailey’s. But, other than the use of rum instead of whiskey, rum creams tend to be unique from both other cream liqueurs and each other thanks to the inclusion of local flavors. This variation allows each rum cream to be a transformative and distinctive force in tropical cocktails.
So rethink your standard summer drinks rotation with these popular rum creams.
To ease into this creamy world, try Ricura, which literally translates to “delicious.” Like RumChata, this is a horchata-inspired liqueur, but the flavor profiles are notably different. Ricura is more rum-forward, using rum specifically from Barbados, and tastes more like a rice pudding than an horchata.
Try if: You think RumChata is too sweet.
If you’re used to making piña coladas with anything other than a batida de coco, you’re in for a palate awakening. Batida de coco is a Brazilian coconut cream liqueur made with rum or cachaça and coconut pulp. In Brazil, people tend to make their own batidas, but Mangaroca is the most popular brand in bars.
Try if: You like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.
Though rum cream has a D.I.Y. history throughout the Caribbean, two of the major distillers reside in Jamaica: O’Riley’s and Sangster’s. As a result, Jamaican rum cream tends to lead the international conversation. Choosing between O’Riley’s and Sangster’s has become an age-old debacle for tourists and locals alike. Both offer original, coffee, coconut, and banana flavors, but Sangster’s also offers a wild orange flavor. Either way, the best quality would be found duty free in the Caribbean because preservatives must be added to U.S. imports.
Try O’Riley’s if: You want a smoother rum taste.
Try Sangster’s if: You enjoy spiced rum.
We’ve circled back to a Barbados-based rum with the classic Ponche Kuba. Dating back to 1942, this is the oldest rum cream in this pack. Though named after the island on which it was founded (Cuba), Ponche Kuba is known for tasting its best when from Barbados. Rum-forward, smooth and spicy, yet also sweet, Ponche Kuba perfects the balance of what rum creams should be.
Try if: You make your eggnog with rum.
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