From Hot Toddys and Tom & Jerrys to Eggnog, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a bottle of good rum. So, we enlisted all-star mixologist Julie Reiner, owner of tropical New York bar Lani Kai, to pick five spirited gifts.
Guyana has a long history of producing fine rums, and this bottling is no exception. Plus, the “soft, subtle Demerara rum makes a great rum Old Fashioned,” Reiner says.
Mount Gay Extra Old ($50):
Rum isn’t just for shaking cocktails, of course. “When I’m looking for a rum to sip neat or with a cube of ice, I go for Mount Gay Extra Old,” Reiner says.
Rhum J.M White ($35; 1 Liter):
“This rhum agricole makes one of the best Daiquiris I have ever had,” Reiner says. It hails from Martinique, where the spirit is traditionally distilled from sugar cane instead of molasses, and as a result “is much brighter.”
Ron Zacapa XO ($100):
With “hints of dried fruit, vanilla and spice, this is a wonderful fall and winter sipping rum,” Reiner says. The Guatemalan Zacapa XO “deserves its reputation as one of the finest rums in the world!”
Santa Teresa 1796 ($40):
Reiner first tasted this Venezuelan liquor when she was opening her bar Flatiron Lounge in 2003. “Not only is it delicious to drink on its own, but it also makes an excellent Hemingway Daiquiri.”