SpiritsHandpicked by IWSC

Top 5 rums for summer

With the 50th anniversary of Black Tot Day coming up next Friday 31 July, there can’t be a better time to celebrate one of the greatest and most versatile of all the spirits

Words by IWSC experts

Handpicked by IWSC

There’s no spirit quite like rum, with its wonderful variety or aromas, flavours and hues. Depending on the time of year – or your mood – you can find a rum that is dry and elegant, rich and spicy or brooding and dark. You can find brisk rums for long cocktails and complex, late-night rums for hot summer nights.

Rum is the perfect spirit for summer as it lends itself beautifully to a kaleidoscope of cocktails from bright and brash Piña Coladas to cool Mojitos, thirst-quenching Ron Collins –  or the multi-ingredient (and potentially lethal) Zombie.

Our selection encompasses light and fresh white rums, which offer a sweeter taste with ripe banana and creamy vanilla flavours, as well as a couple of bolder aged rums which carry notes of dried fruits and spices. There’s also a coffee-flavoured rum for those seeking something a little different – best served with chilled espresso and a spoonful of honey.

And while Jamaica and Barbados are perhaps best known for producing fantastic rums, we’ve also got a couple that are made closer to home – including Cabby’s, which is crafted in the heart of London at the city’s first rum distillery – and even one from a secret distillery in Panama.

Next Friday 31 July is 50th anniversary of Black Tot Day. On this day in 1970, the Royal Navy’s daily rum ration (known as the ‘daily tot’) was issued for the last time. There can’t be a better time to celebrate one of the greatest, most versatile, complex and ageworthy of all the spirits.