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5 fan-favorite budget rum bottles, ranked

5 budget rums, ranked

Rum cocktail
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When it comes to sippable, mixable, value spirits, it’s challenging to beat the overall appeal of rum. There’s a lot to choose from. There’s white, dark, spiced, and even navy-strength rum (and a few other offshoots). The best part? There are many bargains to be found in the rum world.

For those new to the spirit, rum is a popular spirit made by fermenting sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice and then distilling it. This sweet, sugary spirit is then bottled immediately (or lightly aged) and called white rum or is aged for a period of time in charred oak barrels and referred to as dark rum. Spiced rum, on the other hand, is dark or gold rum that has spices and other ingredients like vanilla beans, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and other sweeteners added to it.

Like any spirit, there are longer-matured, limited-edition, and simply overly expensive bottles on the market. There are also many budget bottles just waiting to be discovered.

Rum cocktail
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Why rum?

There’s a lot of value in the rum world. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced everyday sipper or a rum to mix into Mojitos, Cuba Libre’s, and Mai Tais, there are seemingly countless bottles to be found. With flavors like vanilla, caramel, oak, molasses, and others (depending on the style), there’s a lot to love about rum.

Rum cocktail
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Our 5 favorite budget rum bottles, ranked

To help you on your rum journey, we did the work for you. We found five of the best budget rum bottles (all are between $15-45). These white rums, spiced rums, and dark rums deserve a permanent spot on your home bar or bar cart. Keep scrolling to see them all.

Don Q Cristal Rum
Don Q

5.) Don Q Cristal Rum

This award-winning Cristal rum from Puerto Rico should be your go-to mixer for your favorite rum-based cocktails. This surprisingly inexpensive rum is a great mixer, but it’s also a tremendous rainy-day sipper. This is because, while it’s crystal clear, it’s not an un-aged rum. It’s actually matured in oak between 1 and a half and five full years before being charcoal filtered to remove the caramel color and impurities. The result is a smooth, complex rum with notes of vanilla, pineapple, chocolate, and island spices.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

4.) Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

When it comes to value spiced rum, there’s no name bigger name than Sailor Jerry. Named for a renowned tattoo artist and adorned with some of his iconic designs, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum is flavored with a blend of ingredients and spices, including vanilla, oak, clove, and cinnamon. If you only purchase one spiced rum for everyday mixing, make it Sailor Jerry. You and your wallet will be happy you did.

Flor De Cana 7
Flor De Cana

3.) Flor De Cana 7 Year Rum Gran Reserva Rum

This popular rum from Nicaragua was matured for a minimum of seven years in oak barrels that are sealed with plantain leaves. It’s aged in a volcanic climate, which the distillers believe adds to the overall flavor. It’s known for its mellow, sippable flavor profile featuring hints of dried fruits, toasted coconut, vanilla, toffee, and spices. It’s a great rum to always have on hand for sipping neat, on the rocks, or mixed into a rum-based cocktail.

The Real McCoy 3
The Real McCoy

2.) The Real McCoy 3-Year-Old Rum

Named for a prohibition-era rum runner named Bill McCoy, the Real McCoy makes a range of award-winning rums. The best bargain option is its 3-Year-Old Rum. This popular rum was matured for at least three full years in oak barrels. You might find this confusing because it doesn’t have any noticeable coloring whatsoever. This is because, after maturation, its charcoal is filtered to remove its caramel color while keeping the nuanced aromas and flavor. This creates a memorable rum with notes of vanilla beans, oaky wood, caramel candy, dried fruits, and gentle spices.

Santa Teresa 1796 Rum
Santa Teresa

1.) Santa Teresa 1796 Rum

You might not immediately look at this Venezuelan rum’s price tag and consider it to be a budget bottle. But, when it comes to the quality-to-value ratio, it’s tough to beat this rum’s price. This solera-aged rum is a blend of rums of various ages, with the oldest being 35 years old. It’s well-known for its complex palate of candied nuts, fresh leather, chocolate, vanilla, honey, cracked black pepper, and cinnamon. One sip, and this is guaranteed to be a bottle that you buy again and again.

Rum bottle
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Picking the right rum for you

If you have extra cash, we suggest stocking your home bar with all five bottles. But, if that’s not in the cards, figure out what type of rim you prefer and get that bottle. If you enjoy rum, you’ll be happy with all of the above choices.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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