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!
“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.”
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.”
Banks 5-Island is a blend of aged Caribbean rums that was created with the help of Liquor.com 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.”
This rum was created by Liquor.com 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.”