Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | June 2, 2009

Things You Should Know

I haven’t done much of this sort of posting yet, but it’s an area I want to break into: helping readers learn about how to set up a home bar, decide what spirits to stock in the early going, and what bottlings you should have as an introduction to specific sorts of liquor. Fortunately today there are two posts from other esteemed cocktail bloggers to help neophytes navigate around the important questions of what to stock for their home bar.

Matt at RumDood makes his recommendations for the essentials brands to start out with each major type of rum: white, gold, spiced, and aged. I don’t know of any bloggers whose advice on rum I would take ahead of Matt’s, so I’m happy to pass along his advice of Flor de Cana Extra Dry, Mount Gay Eclipse or Appleton Estate V/X, Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, and Appleton Estate 12 Year Old as the starting points for your rum repertoire.

Marleigh at Sloshed! has an incredibly comprehensive run-down of the essentials for setting up a home bar. Actually comprehensive may not do this post justice. It’s thorough. Exhaustive. Detailed. In-depth. Just go read it already…



  1. Re: rum essentials.

    Flor de Caña: yes, the basic 4-yr gold or silver should be staples of any bar.
    Mount Gay: no, unless it’s the sugar cane rum or Extra Old.
    Appleton Estate: yes, any.
    Sailor Jerry: If you can’t get Foursquare, sure.

    I would add:

    El Dorado: any, because you need a Demerara cane spirit. The basic bottlings are good values, and the 12-yr and 15-yr are staggeringly delicious.

    Neisson and/or La Favorite: because you need a Martinique cane sugar spirit, esp. the 100-pf blanc (for Ti Punches).

    Wray & Nephew 126-pf rum: Because you need at least one overproof rum in your repertoire. Alternately, El Dorado 151 (because Lemon Hart 151 might be discontinued)

    Cruzan Black Strap “Navy” Rum: Because there are cocktails that call for blackstrap molasses -based rums.

    There is an embarrassment of fantastic rum riches beyond ubiquitous Bacardi if consumers would only open their eyes and look.

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