Rum and Coke is a classic cocktail that, though popular, has still gotten a bad rap from some folks. Maybe a few of the reasons are even a little valid. Often, this is a drink made or ordered by college students and people looking for a good buzz instead of a real “experience” in a glass. As a consequence, it’s been knocked by people who are looking to enjoy a carefully-crafted cocktail.
While all of that might be true, it doesn’t have to be the only way we look at a rum and Coke. In fact, if we tend to a few important details, a rum and Coke can be a wonderful and refreshing addition to your favorite drink list.
The first and most important thing to think about is the bottle of rum you’re reaching for. Since Rum and Coke is normally a party drink and far from “highbrow,” the Coke is often paired with bottom-shelf rum that you wouldn’t order in any other context. But by choosing a more appropriate rum for the flavor profile, you can make this drink absolutely delicious.
Here are a few of the bottles we believe are the best rums for rum and Coke:
There are a few different options to consider when choosing a bottle of Bacardi. For a rum and Coke, the best option is to go for Carta Blanca, Bacardi’s light rum. This Cuban classic has its allure locked in its tropical profile, bringing some light pepper and spice in the nose and some tropical fruit and dark brown sugar on the palate before a smooth and spicy vanilla finish. Those vanilla notes are the key to a good rum and Coke.
Rum and Coke made with Bacardi is a classic and traditional flavor profile. It’s agreeable, inoffensive, and easy to drink. A squeeze of lime juice can also help to brighten up the profile and make this cocktail nothing short of delightful.
Mount Gay Extra Old
This award-winning bottle of rum is fine choice for a rum and Coke, and for some very particular reasons. It’s delightful to sip and great for mixing. The nose gives us a sweet, fragrant punch while also coming off as dry and oaky. The tropical notion is not lost in the palate, either—it brings in rich, sweet, and fruity notes along with it. The finish is like molasses with a hint of char.
Pour this in with your Coke and you’re going to find a much more complex and enjoyable profile than you might be used to with rum and Coke. You’ll get a robust and slightly more challenging bite, too, along with some hints of coconut. Is this a rum and Coke that makes you think? Yes. And we’ll drink to that.
Zaya Gran Reserva
Remember the vanilla thing we talked about? Oh boy does it come into play here! Zaya Gran Reserva, originally bottled in Guatemala and currently produced in Trinidad and Tobago, is a wonderful bottle of rum that packs a whole lot of flavor. With buttery notes of Curaçao orange, brown sugar, walnut, some savory olive oil on rye bread, and that oh-so-important vanilla pod, the flavor profile hidden in this bottle will make your mouth water just thinking about it.
Having vanilla notes present in your rum and Coke is an overlooked way of taking the flavor through the roof. Zaya has all of the sweet and savory notes to take this classic cocktail from “college frat party” to a mouthwatering, refreshing favorite.
There’s nothing like a tasty rum and coke to top off the day. The next time you’re in the mood for a Rum & Coke, pick up a bottle of coke and a bottle of rum at your local Zipps Liquor store, and you’re all set. Don’t forget a lemon or lime garnish!