Holiday Gift Guide:

Looking for the perfect holiday present? We’ve got you covered. Our six gift guides feature spirited suggestions from top bartenders around the country. No matter what kind of spirits your friends and family enjoy, we’re sure you’ll find something they’ll love. It’s our gift to you.
Gift Guide
American Whiskey
The High-Roller Drinker
Last-Minute Gifts
Tequila & Mezcal
One of the things we like to serve guests this time of year is a steaming glass of Hot Buttered Rum. And no matter how you enjoy the spirit, it’s also the perfect holiday present. So we asked all-star bartender Michael Neff, co-owner of New York’s acclaimed Rum House, for some of his favorite bottlings. Cheers!

Santa Teresa 1796

“If I had to choose one rum for both sipping and mixing cocktails,” Neff says, “it would be this one.” The flavor of the Venezuelan liquor is “big and robust, while remaining smooth on the palate. A wonderful all-around choice.”

Rhum J.M Rhum Vieux

The island of Martinique has a long tradition of making rhum agricole from fresh sugar cane. Neff recommends the cask-strength Rhum J.M Rhum Vieux, which is 10 years old and “has a beautiful balance of vegetal spice and toasted chocolate.”

Bacardi 8

On cold days, Neff likes to pour this classic Puerto Rican spirit. “Bacardi 8 is a nice introduction to aged rum,” he says. “And it’s a beautiful sipper.”

Banks 5-Island

Banks 5-Island is a blend of aged Caribbean rums that was created with the help of advisory board member and top mixologist Jim Meehan. It has “good sharp flavors that favor blackcurrants,” says Neff. “Use in any cocktail calling for ‘white rum,’ as it adds a bit more character to drinks you think you already know.”

Caña Brava

This rum was created by advisors Simon Ford and Dushan Zaric, and their business partners. “What they made is a great benchmark white rum, for anything from the Cuba Libre to the Daiquiri,” Neff says. “Good value and a great rum for mixing.”