Stocking Your Home Bar: White Rum Advice From the Experts


These days, it's easy to go to a good cocktail bar and get seriously jealous. Look at all those bottles they have! 10 kinds of gin! 12 different kinds of whisky! I am curious about them all. But when it comes to the home bar, I have to choose carefully, since I'm limited in both space and budget. So I decided to ask a few bartenders and spirits pros for their help picking the best bottles, one type of booze at a time.

If you could only have one bottle of white rum at home, I asked, which would you want it to be? Read on for their answers.

Yael Vengroff, Painkiller

For those looking to stock their home bar with rum, I would suggest avoiding major brands, and instead consulting a bartender you trust. Sit down at the bar, ask questions, and let them taste you on products that they are excited about. Flor de Caña 4 is my rum of choice for a classic daiquiri, which is in my opinion one of the most delicate, fragile, and delicious cocktails of all time."—Yael Vengroff, Painkiller, NYC


The old-school daiquiri [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Stephanie Moreno, Astor Wines & Spirits

I'd pick Denizen Rum. (Available online here and here.) Denizen obtains rum from Trinidad and Tobago and then this gets blended and aged in Amsterdam. Despite the color, this has spent time in former bourbon barrels. The color has been filtered out, but the taste has clearly not been. Notes of banana, baking spices and vanilla with a hint of funkiness coming from a little Jamaican rum. We like funkiness. I need this for my daiquiris."—Stephanie Moreno, Astor Wines & Spirits

Blair Reynolds, Trader Tiki

Something along the lines of Flor de Caña 4-year white or Matusalem Platino, which is very floral and complex. If you're looking for something beyond this, try El Dorado 3-year for a Demerara rum, with a rich molasses and spice note. Or, if you want a real fantastic but a strange one, go with, Banks 5 Island, a blend of five island-style rums, with a "secret ingredient" that gives it an amazing kick."—Blair Reynolds, Trader Tiki

Michael Neff, The Rum House

A white rum is essential, as many classic cocktails depend on the lack of wood flavor that is gained from aging, and you can get any number of really great spirits for very little money. I like Don Q, because it's pretty widely available, very inexpensive, and versatile enough to make either highballs (rum & coke) or cocktails."—Michael Neff, The Rum House, NYC

How about the rest of you? Which white rum do you like to have around the house?