Pristine beaches with vibrant-blue waters under a seemingly cloudless sky that appears to be the sun’s playground – that’s what Caribbean islands, in general, are most known for, and that’s why so many people from around the world travel here for paradisiacal vacations. But, apart from the naturally wondrous environment and ambiance this part of the world offers visitors, there’s culture to be found and experienced.
One of the best ways to get a taste of the islands is via their rums. From Jamaica to the Cayman Islands and Barbados, these island rums will have you feeling some type of way while on your next Caribbean getaway. Read on for our list of the best Caribbean rums.
Produced in Guatemala, Ron Zacapa is named after a town in East Guatemala. It was created in 1976 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Zacapa. Its products include Zacapa 23, Zacapa Edición Negra, Zacapa XO and Zacapa Royal. Ron Zacapa earned first place in the premium-rums category at the International Rum Festival for four consecutive years: from 1998 to 2001.
Appleton Estate Rum
Rum from Appleton Estate has been produced since 1749 in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica. It’s created in the Cockpit Country, what Appleton Estate describes as “a unique, lush and fertile terrain that is nestled inland.” Appleton Estate is the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica that’s still in continuous production.
Cayman Islands’ Tortuga Rum
The Cayman Islands’ Tortuga Rum originated from the Tortuga Rum Company that was founded in 1984 by Cayman Airways Captain Robert Hamaty and Carlene Hamaty, an in-flight supervisor and his wife. Three years later, they opened the first Tortuga duty-free liquor store and later introduced Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes. Their cakes were named the best cruise souvenir in 2012 by Porthole Cruise Magazine, and they’re also the Cayman Islands’ No. 1 export.
Myer’s Dark Rum
Myer’s Rum has been produced since 1879 and is named after its founder, Fred Myers. Using only pure Jamaican molasses, nine different rums have been produced. Myer’s Rum is made from continuous and pot still distillation and is then matured for up to four years in white oak barrels, according to the brand’s former owner, Diageo.
Pusser’s Rum, among the best Caribbean rums, was first produced in 1979, almost a decade after the Royal Navy ended its regular rum rationing. It’s composed of a blend of five West Indian rums. When it comes to cocktails, Pusser’s Rum is best known for its inclusion in the classic Painkiller drink. The Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost van Dyke of the British Virgin Islands is, perhaps, the most ideal place to concoct this cocktail.
Blackwell Rum is a relative newcomer to the rum game, as it was first introduced in 2008 by Chris Blackwell, a founder of Island Records, and Richard Kirshenbaum. It’s made of Jamaican sugar cane, water and yeast and is aged in American oak barrels. In 2015, Blackwell Rum earned a gold medal in the Global Rum Masters.
At 42 proof, Malibu is among the weaker rums, but it’s also one of the better-tasting ones, owning a coconut flavor. This “flavored rum” is now produced in Barbados by West Indies Rum Distillery. Pernod Ricard owns Allied Domecq and, in turn, holds Malibu.
This Puerto Rican rum is considered to be the U.S. territory’s best-known rum. It was named after Miguel Cervantes’ Spanish novel Don Quixote from the 17th century. The Serrallés family opened a rum manufacturer in 1865.
Mount Gay Rum
Mount Gay Rum was first introduced at the end of the 19th century, but its distillery has been around the 1703, making it the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery. It originated from Barbados and is now sold in over 100 countries. Its primary importer is the United States of America.
The Nelthropp Family have lived on St. Croix since the early 19th century, but the distillery in which Cruzan is produced was founded in 1760. More than eight generations of making Cruzan reflect the influence from this U.S. Virgin Island. There are 10 variations of Cruzan Rum, including a variety of flavors for Cruzan Tropical Rum (e.g., raspberry, coconut, mango, vanilla).