Rum is great at any time of the year thanks to the different types and their various application in cocktails. However, there seems to be something special about a rum cocktail in the summertime. It’s hard to beat the paradisiacal feeling brought on by a slowly setting sun, meat on the grill, and a glass filled with a rum cocktail, slowly sweating. It’s the definition of perfection to many.
With a few months of good weather ahead of us, this means that you’re going to have to stock up on some rum in anticipation of more nights spent outside in the company of good friends and family — you don’t want to end up like the famous sea captain once that famously asked, “Why is the rum gone?”
The great thing about rums is that there are a ton of affordable and delicious options out there. Sure, they may not all be fine sippers like this aged rum from Flor de Caña, but you also wouldn’t put that in your daiquiri. Below, check out our choices for the best cheap rums under $20.
Made in southwestern Louisiana, Bayou Silver uses a blend of Louisiana sugarcane juice and molasses to create a rum that is soft, creamy, and loaded with banana and vanilla notes. Easy to sip on its own, the rum also works well in a wide variety of cocktails. Bayou Silver was the winner of the Best Unaged Rum category in The Manual Spirit Awards 2018.
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 rums that sell for twice the price, Castillo Silver is slightly sweet, but with very little burn — especially for a $10 spirit.
This filtered light rum is made in the U.S. Virgin Islands from a blend 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.
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.
An extra dry white rum, this Flor de Caña 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 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.
Article originally published September 27, 2017.