For many of us, “spiced rum” conjures images of poolside Rum & Cokes or hazy college bar nights. But these days, the category goes far beyond the Captain and the Sailor. What may have begun as a way to make harsh spirits more palatable has morphed into a legitimate craft cocktail element, where distillers and blenders can indulge in a little creativity.
“There are really great options out there that go beyond what we were drinking in the 1990s,” says Kate Perry, the general manager at Seattle’s iconic rum bar Rumba. She oversees more than 500 different rums and makes a house spiced version, inspired in part by her trips to the Caribbean. “One of my favorite things to do is check out all the local spiced rums, made in giant plastic gallon jugs with barks, roots and spices.”
In fact, experimentation in premium spiced rum is on the rise in recent years, as a whole host of new bottles have appeared on liquor store shelves, commanding your taste and attention.