Surf, Sun, Sand, and Rum!

A smooth rum cocktail. Summer. Cape Cod. Sunshine. Sand. They go together perfectly, don’t they? The key is selecting the right rum. Whether it’s for a Cuba Libra, Mojito or something straight up, don’t spoil the moment with a less-than-stellar, bottom shelf-dwelling plastic bottle…that’s a no-no. Here’s my simple fallback rule is: select something distilled in Barbados.

Rum is made from the juice of sugarcane (molasses) and it’s believed to have been first distilled in the Caribbean island of Barbados during the 1600s. Today, major Barbados producers like West Indies Rum Distillery, Mt. Gay, St. Nicholas Abbey and Foursquare are all creating excellent products and keep this island’s distilling tradition vibrantly alive.

With bottles like their Velier Foursquare 2006 and Foursquare Criterion, Foursquare is considered by many to make the world’s best rum. I’m pretty sure word got out after the first sip and every review there-after made these bottles harder and harder to find. That said, you don’t have to shell out big bucks to enjoy their rums, Foursquare offers a variety. Stock up when you find them!

The West Indies Rum Distillery was opened on the shored of a tropical beach back in 1893 and consistently produces high quality rums such as Cockspur and Malibu. Another brand coming out of this distillery is called Plantation Rum, an amazing mid-priced bottle called XO Barbados 20th reserve which offers amazing notes of caramel, toasted coconut, oak and vanilla. It’s double aged for as much as 20 years and then shipped to France to hang out in oak casks for a little while. The result…perfection! And, this is one of those highly attractive bottles that actually tastes as good as it looks on the shelf.

Mt.Gay Rum was established in 1703 and can now be found, well, nearly everywhere thanks to the 18th century sailors who toted this spirit around the world. This distillery offers an impressive lineup of rums, from the XO Reserve Cask—carefully aged, blended and wonderful for sipping straight—to their Silver (white) rum which mixes perfectly into Mojitos. When I’m thinking mixed rum drinks… I’m always thinking Mt. Gay.

Keep those drinks cold this summer and enjoy responsibly!

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