As rum ages, it gets darker and more potent, the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. While rum doesn't have to be old to taste delicious, aged rum is like your favorite pair of blue jeans or leather boots — it gets better the longer it matures.
What Is Aged Rum?
If you're used to running around a tropical beach with Captain Morgan, you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised by aged rum. For one thing, you probably won't wake up with the headache that lesser rums can cause.
Lighter rums are aged in stainless steel tubs, while dark rums mature in white oak or dark oak casks. Some distilleries add caramel coloring, while others leave the spirits clear.
Generally speaking, the darker the rum, the older it is.
You can also identify aged rum by its flavor. Older rums typically feature spicy and sweet notes in equal measure, but the flavors grow more intense. Just as a cast iron pan picks up flavors as it ages, rum slowly develops into a delicious, thick spirit that you can drink straight in drams or with mixers as a cocktail.
How Should You Drink Rum?
We'd never caution you against sipping rum. It's an elegant experience that can make a long night of good conversation taste even sweeter. However, if you're less acclimated to straight liquor, you might want to toss in a mixer or two.
Common rum mixers include the following:
Fruit juice and syrup: Make yourself a daiquiri before you lounge by the pool or invite guests over for poker.
Pineapple juice and coconut: Make sure you have one for each hand if you're mixing a batch of pina coladas.
Butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar: Why should Harry Potter have all the fun? Make your own version of Butter Beer with aged rum (the darker, the better) and these other ingredients for a Hot Buttered Rum drink that wards off the chills.
Orange liqueur: The classic Cable Car generally calls for Captain Morgan, but it works with any aged rum that contains lots of spice.
Why Should You Try Aged Rum?
Whether you go light or dark, aged rum reveals its maturity in every note. It's sophisticated, delicious and the perfect complement to any appetizer or meal. It also works as a night cap after a hot date, so make sure to have a bottle ready in your liquor cabinet.