Producers have been having fun with this category, expertly blending rums and spices to produce smooth, flavoursome, enticing spirits to be enjoyed every which way.
Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold
This medium-bodied amber rum has a rich, distinctive nose thanks to the master blender's selection of smooth rums aged in charred white-oak barrels, which have been combined with spices. Fabulous over ice, in cocktails or even desserts.
Try it in a Sumggler's Folly:Fill a shaker with ice. Add 50ml Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold Rum, 40ml pineapple juice, 20ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup, 5 basil leaves and 2 grinds of black pepper. Add 4 chopped strawberries and shake until cold. Strain into a tankard over ice.
Bacardí Oakheart (available on Waitrose Cellar)
From Puerto Rico, this bold, spiced drink comes straight from charred American oak barrels, which give a golden hue. Rich and oaky, Bacardí Oakheart has hints of smoke and background notes of dried fruit. A robust, punchy palate is laced with a maple vanilla sweetness, yet is dry and peppery on the finish. Smoky and smooth.
Try it in an Oak & Coke:Combine 50ml Bacardí Oakheart rum and 100ml cola in a highball glass filled with ice.
Fact file: Bacardí
Instead of a rum and Coke, many people ask for a Bacardí and Coke, such is the brand recognition of this giant of the rum world. Bacardí has a complicated history, starting life in Cuba in 1862, then coming into its own during Prohibition, when Bacardí invited Americans over to ‘bathe in Bacardí’. The Cuban revolution changed everything, and after its assets were seized, the Bacardí family had to start up again, from scratch, in Puerto Rico. Bats were a symbol of good fortune, so when Doña Amalia Bacardí spotted fruit bats in the original distillery, she insisted the image be used as a logo on the label, where it remains today.
Bacardí Carta Fuego
Bacardí ’s first rum designed to be enjoyed as a shot. This characterful red spiced rum spirit drink takes its name from the Spanish word for ‘fire’ and is aged for at least a year in charred oak barrels. If you like hot flavours, enjoy it neat or in a shot glass with a few dashes of Tabasco sauce – or make a long drink with cola or ginger ale.
Try it in a Fire & Dry:Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in 50ml Bacardí Carta Fuego rum. Top up with 100ml ginger ale (or ginger beer) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir gently.
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
From the Caribbean, and named after the sea beast of myth and legend that spooked mariners, The Kraken Rum is blended with spices including cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Rich, dark and smooth, it’s good as a shot, on the rocks or with your favourite mixer.
Try it in a Kraken Summer Storm:Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 50ml The Kraken Black and 2 drops Angostura bitters, then squeeze in the juice of 1 lime wedge. Top with cloudy lemonade and garnish with a lemon wedge, raspberries, cucumber, a sprig of mint and a deseeded red chilli (optional).
This smooth spiced rum with vanilla notes is named after Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, the father of ‘old-school’ tattooing, whose detailed designs made him a well-known local figure in Honolulu. Serve Sailor Jerry rum on its own over ice, or mixed into a long drink with ginger beer.
Try it in a Rockabilly Juice:Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add 50ml Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, 50ml iced tea, 12.5ml lemon juice and 10ml Curaçao, and shake vigorously. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.