To some, great rum can rival — or even surpass — great whiskey. However, outside of the Caribbean, rum often isn’t explored to the extent it deserves. The spirit offers an incredible range of flavors and depths depending on base spirit creation and aging.
Many drinkers stop their rum exploration with spiced rum, but it warrants a richer appreciation — and you don’t have to break the bank to do so. Here are a few examples of the best rums under $20.
Castillo Silver, $10
Castillo Silver can often be found for under $10. While it’s cheap, it’s a solid representation of a clear rum fermented from molasses. It’s not something that would be sipped neat, but it’s great for cocktails, much like a base level vodka. Better than some clear rum twice its price, Castillo Silver is slightly sweet, but with very little burn — especially for a $10 spirit.
Cruzan Aged Light, $14
This filtered light rum is made in the U.S. Virgin Islands from a blend of rums aged between one year and four years. It maintains a deep body, perfect for use in frozen and traditional rum cocktails like a daiquiri, Cuba Libre, or mojito.
Sailor Jerry, $15
There’s a time and place for spiced rums, the type some drinkers associate with the entire category. Vanilla and cinnamon follow you through the full Sailor Jerry experience. Cheaper and stronger than some other brands of spiced rum, it’s a great bang for your buck. We suggest a squeeze of lime.
Flor de Cana 4 Years Extra Seco, $15
An extra dry white rum, this Flor de Cana is aged for four years, which rounds out the taste nicely. Notes include citrus, coconut, and vanilla. The light body does well for mixing in fruit juices, clear sodas, and tonic water.
Mount Gay Eclipse, $20
Mount Gay Eclipse exudes a range of flavors throughout a sip, including floral, fruity, and vanilla. This golden rum spends time in American oak barrels, which imparts a smokiness that whiskey drinkers would appreciate. It’s certainly one of the best rums for $20. The bright finish makes this Mount Gay product nice on the rocks with lime or in a classic cocktail such as the Dark and Stormy.