First, what fresh hell is spiced rum? Well, it’s all in the name really. It’s rum with added flavours such as vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and whatnot. You know, rum is nice; just add sugar and spice. To upgrade your cocktails or experience rum from a different angle.
The truth is, in the Caribbean, they’ve been adding spices to their rums for ages, but it wasn’t until the massive success of Captain Morgan – “the original spiced rum" – in the 1980s, that the category made some serious headway in our local bars and liquor stores.
Spiced rums have come a long way since, and now there are plenty to choose from, many good enough to sip, even by Uncle’s strict criteria.
Higher-quality rums use real spices to add flavour, while many spiced rums just use aromas, which can still be natural, but it’s just not the same thing.
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What to Mix With Spiced Rum?
When faced with a bottle of spiced rum, the most obvious thing to do is mix it with Coke. If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, however, you may mix your spiced rum with many a thing:
Ginger beer: Ginger beer will balance the sweetness of the spiced rum, especially if you make a highball (2:4 in beer’s favour).
Lemonade: Another gorgeous balancing act where a tangy and fresh lemon juice elevates the rum’s flavours. Summery AF, too!
Pineapple juice: We’re looking for tropical vibes, so this one’s a no-brainer. Mix it with ice for an insane refreshment - or go all-in with a hollowed-out pineapple filled with its juice and spiced rum. You only YOLO once or whatever.
Iced tea: What’s better than iced tea? Iced tea with spiced rum in it, of course! Simple and lovely.
Cold brew: Need some jolt with your flavoured tum? Spike it with cold brew. You can have your dose of caffeine and imagine you’re on a beach.
Spiced Rum Drinks you need to try:
When faced with a bottle of spiced rum, the most obvious thing to do is mix it with Coke. If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, you could also go for spiced rum with ginger beer or root beer.
Get Beaten by The Kraken
Kraken is Caribbean rum, enriched with 13 different spices and famous for its beautiful illustration of the fatal sea beast.
In true Kraken spirit, why not go for a Squid Bite?
It’s a warm cocktail, made from one part Kraken Rum and three parts warm cider, garnished with a cinnamon stick and thin apple slices.
Drink it the St. Lucia Way
Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum from the island of St Lucia is usually spiced with local spices and fruit – including the usual suspects like cinnamon, clove, and vanilla, but also nutmeg, coconut, allspice, lemon, orange, and a touch of bark from a tree that's known aphrodisiac.
It’s one of the bartenders’ favourites, meaning there’s no shortage of cocktail recipes for this rum. The makers suggest you enjoy Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum with cranberry juice or ginger beer on ice with a grating of fresh nutmeg. Spicy!
Left Leg, Right Leg, Red Leg, Dead LegRed Leg is distilled in the Caribbean. It’s aged in old oak barrels infused with Jamaican vanilla and ginger, giving it its signature sweet spiciness. It’s named after the Red Leg Hermit Crab native to the Caribbean. Cool, right?
To give a twist to your ordinary spiced Rum & Coke, try the Dead Leg recipe: Fill a glass with ice, then add 25ml of Red Leg, 125ml of Coke, and a lime wedge. Top up with 25 ml of Guinness. Stir and serve!
Sporting a Tattoo?
Named after a tattoo artist, you’d expect Sailor Jerry to be rum with an edge. And it is. It’s a dry kind of spiced rum (meaning it’s less sweet), with higher than average alcohol content at 92 proof (46% ABV).
The makers of Sailor Jerry Rum have quite a few daring mixed drink recipes, but we’ve decided to go with the Old Ironsides cocktail made from two parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, foue parts fresh pineapple juice and soda water. Garnish it with a lemon wedge.
Want Even More Ways to Drink Spiced Rum?
Well, you could eat it. Spiced rum is a versatile spirit. It will work in many drinks, hot or cold, but it will also give your tiramisu, apple pie, and other desserts that call for a splash of rum a real kick. Yummy!