The Daiquiri — and I’m talking about the true Daiquiri, not the frozen slushy imitation — is an iconic rum cocktail. The mix of white rum, lime, and simple syrup shaken and served neat is a boozy, refreshing, and simple drink that can transport you into a summer state of mind. If, that is, you use the right rum. Here are the six best white rums to mix into your Daiquiri, from premium to budget.
All rum from Venezuela, like this one from Diplomatico, must be aged for two years. Planas takes it a step further by blending in rums up to six years old. Then it’s charcoal-filtered to remove the color, giving you a white rum that’s as smooth as an aged rum but as light as a white rum. Planas is ideal for a slightly sweet and rich Daiquiri. Average price: $30.
Plantation 3 Stars
Three different rums from three different iconic rum-producing Caribbean islands (Trinidad, Barbados, and Jamaica) are blended into this one bottle. The blend brings old and young together, giving it subtle notes of brown sugar, coffee, and vanilla. The taste also has some clove and spice, retaining some of the taste of aging without the colors that are filtered out of the wood. The creamy nature of the rum makes it a perfect fit for a Daiquiri. Average price: $17.
El Dorado 3 Year
Like the two previous rums on this list, El Dorado is an aged rum that’s then filtered (charcoal-filtered, in this case). The aging smooths the rum out and emphasizes vanilla notes. El Dorado 3 Year is a dry rum — which makes it made for Daiquiris — and it makes a cocktail that has some of the flavors of oak aging (vanilla, coffee, toffee) without losing it’s bite. Average price: $18.
Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
When you want a Daiquiri that kicks like a mule, grab the Wray & Nephew Overproof. The spirit delivers a long and strong finish with slight notes of molasses and spice. Liquors labeled “overproof” clearly aren’t meant for straight-up or on-the-rocks consumption, but if you like a Daiquiri that you can really feel, Wray & Nephew Overproof delivers with a rum that refuses to be overpowered or smoothed over by lime and simple syrup. Average price: $20
Neisson Rhum Blanc
Neisson brings big flavors that are asking to be mixed into a Daiquiri. Grassy notes complement floral notes, and the higher alcohol (50 percent alcohol by volume) gives the spirit backbone. It’s an assertive, unaged rum that blends itself into a deliciously strong cocktail. Average price: $29
Flor de Cana Extra Dry
Flor de Cana’s Extra Dry rum is as neutral as can be without letting the sharp and sweet of lime and sugar get in the way. It’s simple and clean without coming off as too sweet. The flavors that give it character (some spice and grassy notes) aren’t entirely filtered out, making it perfect for a refreshing poolside cocktail. Grab the Extra Dry for batched Daiquiris that are both affordable and delicious. Average price: $13.