How to drink rum - 5 great ways to enjoy rum

How to drink rum - 5 great ways to enjoy rum

Want to get the most out of rum? You’re not alone. Rum deserves its fame as one of the world’s finest spirits, and as one of the most complex. From spiced rum to white rum, there are hundreds of flavours you can discover with quality rum. As Australian rum gains prestige, there's never been a better time to learn more about a drink so deeply involved in our history and culture. That's why we've put together a few tips on how to drink rum.

Tasting your rum

Whichever way you drink it, knowing how to taste rum is crucial. Start by checking the quality of the rum. You can tell the difference between a quality rum and a cheap one by looking for cloudiness in the liquid. For dark rum, look for a distinct amber tint, while white rum should be completely clear. Before you take your first drink, make sure to smell the rum. Your nose is a great guide to the complex aromas of a quality rum. Like whiskey, it's best to start by taking a small sip to get your mouth used to the spirit’s flavours, and then take more generous mouthfuls. Follow these steps, and you’ll notice more and more of rum’s unique notes as you drink.

Drinking rum neat

To focus on the qualities of rum alone, there's no better way than drinking rum neat. Light rum can be enjoyed on its own, and stronger rums can be diluted with a dash of soda water or ice to reduce your hangover without compromising on flavour. For white rum, look out for notes of vanilla, fruit, and of course sugar cane. Drinking gold rum? These spirits are celebrated for their darker and richer aromas. Aged rum offers even more flavour, with the oak barrels imparting sweetness and nuttiness to the spirit. If you think you've found the best rum, then drinking it without any distractions is sure to be a great experience.

Rum cocktails

Rum cocktails are perhaps the most popular answer to the age-old question of how to drink rum. In particular, white rum has a well-earned reputation for tasting great as part of tropical cocktails. Throw together rum, lime juice, ice and sugar, and you have a daiquiri. If you're looking for something more complex, there are plenty of other classic white rum cocktails. The mojito is like a daiquiri, but with soda water and mint added in. If you're feeling tropical, the pina colada is a winning combination: just combine rum, pineapple juice, lime, bitters and coconut cream. The mai tai is an iconic cocktail, made from an equal amount of dark and light rum, an orange liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup. Try one, and you'll see why they've been popular since the 1940s.

Do you prefer dark rum? Then why not try a rum old-fashioned, bringing together your best dark or gold rum with simple syrup, angostura bitters and an orange peel garnish. As with other older cocktails, there are many variations to the old-fashioned formula. If you fancy a fresher taste, switch the simple syrup for club soda, or exchange the angostura for a different type of bitters. Another option is a hot buttered rum. For this festive cocktail, you'll want to mix dark rum with spices like cinnamon, butter and brown sugar. Buttered rum is best drunk in the winter months, as a treat for cold evenings.

If you've got some spiced rum, one cocktail to try is a spiced palmer. Simply add lemonade and peach tea to your spiced rum, and you've got a fruity cocktail that brings out the best qualities of the rum's spices. If you want to make this drink with the best rum Australia has to offer, we recommend our Bushtucker Spiced. It’s made from the finest quality Australian ingredients and was highly commended at World Spirit Awards.

Mixed drinks

Rum cocktails aren't the only way to go. Keeping it simple can also leave you with a great drink. Rum and cola is a classic way to enjoy gold rum, as long as you don't drown out the spirit. As a rule of thumb, add 1 part rum to 3 parts cola to keep the balance right. We also love the combination of rum and less traditional mixers. Try ginger beer with a spiced rum for a refreshing summer drink, or mix rum's notes of sugar cane with apple juice for a crisp autumn flavour. For a lighter alternative, there's always rum and tonic. The best drinks don't need to be the most complicated, and these delicious combinations show that.

The experience

Where you drink rum can be just as important as what rum you’re drinking. If you fancy heading over to a bar, try and find a place where the bartenders know their rums. A good barkeep should have some great tips about how to drink rum. After all, they're the pros! Another great way to experience rum is to find a restaurant that cares about their spirits. Great food tastes even better when paired with rum. Illegal Tender's open air restaurant brings together the best Australian rum and amazing local produce. Something else you might want to consider is a brewery tour. Nobody knows more about rum than its producers, and going through a brewery gives you the chance to learn about this amazing product from start to finish. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to try complimentary samples as you discover new things about the spirit’s fascinating history.

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