You’ve seen it on the shelves of countless liquor stores and you may have never seen anything like it before, but thehorchata-inspired RumChata isn’t all that revolutionary. There are, in fact, a number of different rum cream liqueurs out there in the world, allowing the masses across the world to booze up their milkshakes, desserts, and more.
In general, rum cream liqueurs are the Caribbean and Latin American equivalent of Irish cream liqueurs such as Bailey’s. Other than the obvious use of rum en lieu of whiskey, rum creams tend to be unique from 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.
With summer on the horizon, it’s time to rethink your standard drink rotation and try out these other popular rum creams.
To ease into this creamy world, first head to Ricura, which literally translates to “delicious” or “sweetie” in Spanish. Like RumChata, this is a horchata-inspired liqueur, but the flavor profiles are notably different. Ricura is more rum-forward, using a spirit 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 addition. Either way, the best quality version will 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, spicy, yet also sweet, Ponche Kuba perfects the balance of what rum creams should be.
Try if: You make your eggnog with rum.
Article originally published by J. Fergus on May 3, 2017. Last updated by Sam Slaughter on April 26, 2018.