If you’re a fan of cocktails, chances are you’ve tried rum and coke, also known as the Cuba libre. The cocktail is a spirited combination of smooth rum, refreshing cola, and ice with citrus. First made in Cuba in the 1900s, it has been a hit everywhere since.
Rum and coke is a beloved cocktail all over the world. Bacardi calls it the “second-most popular drink in the world,” due to how easy it is to make and how affordable the ingredients are. Any one of us can make delicious rum and coke.
From smooth woody rums to liquors with notes of fruit and vanilla, making the best rum and coke all depends on the rum that you choose. Check out our list of the best rums for rum and coke below before you make your next cocktail.
Bacardi has been one of the leading rum brands since its inception in 1862.
Bacardi Superior is a top choice for any rum cocktail, and it goes perfectly in a rum and coke. The smooth flavor of the rum is subtle enough to mix with but strong enough to stand on its own in any combination.
Bacardi superior is gluten-free, has zero grams of sugar or carbohydrates, and is only 98 calories per serving. Sounds perfect already, right? Well, wait till you taste the notes of almonds, lime, and vanilla. The rum is dry and crisp with a clean finish, and it was a refreshing treat in my cocktail.
Brugal Anejo Rum
Brugal Anejo rum is made from reserves kept in American white oak casks that once held bourbon. After distillation, the rum is fresh, clean, and smooth with buttery caramel notes. When I added it to a cocktail, I found the bright amber rum had a pleasant, dry, aftertaste, perfectly compatible with cola.
Brugal Anejo rum smells like cedar, with a slight hint of chocolate. I didn’t find it especially sweet but it has flavors of oak and tobacco. The rum does combine nicely with lime juice and cola, but can barely be tasted once mixed. So, I always recommend being careful about how much you add to your cocktail or mixed drink.
Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
Captain Morgan has been producing its original spiced rum since 1984, and has since become a standard for Americans and rum drinkers worldwide. The spiced rum is medium-bodied, with subtle notes of vanilla and caramel, two classic rum flavors.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Morgan’s original spiced rum. After all, it has a very smooth and distinctly flavorful enough to stand out in your rum and coke. It blends especially with cola and citrus flavors like lime or citrus bitters.
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
Kraken Black Spiced Rum is a popular newcomer in the rum industry. Introduced by Proximo Spirits in 2010, the rum has since been labeled a hot brand and has grown into a real competitor to long-time brands in the rum and liquor scene.
Okay, I have to admit, I was first drawn to Kraken because of its quirky bottle design. But, I’m glad I tried it out!
The rum is blended with a combination of secret Caribbean spices and smells subtly of caramel, golden toffee, and fragrant herbs. Add in a light trace of cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg? Well, I just about felt like I was going to materialize on a heavenly tropical beach.
Appleton Estate Rum
Appleton Estate has been producing Jamaican rum since 1749, so has had plenty of time to perfect its signature blend.
Located in Nassau Valley, Appleton grows sugarcane for its liquors and sources water from the limestone springs and other underground water sources. The Appleton Estate Signature Blend is aged for an average of four years in American-made oak barrels.
One thing I love about this rum is its gorgeous, bright amber and gold color. The rum also has several sweet fruity notes, including dried apricots, juicy peaches, and molasses. Ever since I first tasted it, Appleton has been my go-to blend for giving any cocktail a Caribbean twist.
Goslings Gold Seal Rum
Goslings Gold Seal Rum is another newcomer who has made a big impact in a small amount of time.
The bottle was released in 2016, the first new release from Goslings in 100 years. Other bottles have won gold at the International Rum Festival Awards. Now, I’m not one to be persuaded solely by awards. After all, everyone’s taste buds are different!.
But, I found myself enjoying this delightfully complex and neat rum. It’s ideal on the rocks, in a shot, or mixed with bitters and soda. The rum makes a delicious rum and coke when mixed with coca-cola and lime juice (or bitters). Whatever goes into making this exquisite rum is a closely guarded secret passed down for years in the Gosling family.
Flor de Caña 4 Extra Dry
The brand is focused on refined, sophisticated rums that have gone on to win multiple international awards. Their rum is aged in oak bourbon barrels for four years, one of the only white rums on the market with that pedigree.
If you’re looking for a Latin twist, Flor de Caña is worth a try. I loved the sweet vanilla and coconut flavors, and the bottle itself was pleasing to the eye.
Mount Gay Eclipse Barbados Rum
Mount Gay was founded in 1703 in Barbados and has a proud agricultural and cultural heritage in the area. The brand still uses the first and only well dug on the property 300 years ago as a water source. It also uses single strand fields to plant sugar cane used in the rum.
Using the water, sugarcane, and airborne yeast naturally found in Barbados, Mount Gay has produced several award-winning bottles. One of the first things I noticed about this was its bottle, which could easily be used as a charming decoration. It has notes of vanilla and banana, caramel, summer fruits, and spices.
Rhum Clément XO Agricole
Rhum Clement was built by Homère Clément, who had a hand in saving the economy of Martinique when he suggested producing rum from sugarcane, an unutilized crop natively growing on the island. In 1917, Clément opened his first distillery producing Rhum Agricole.
I’m personally very thankful to Clément. If it wasn’t for him, I would never have had the chance to savor Rhum Clément’s XO Agricole bottle. It’s aged six years in the tropics, in barrels previously used to store bourbon.
The smell is an experience in itself. When I opened up my bottle, I immediately noticed scents of brown sugar, dried fruit, dates, and baking spices. The rum won a chairman’s trophy at the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge and has a full-bodied taste, with oak flavors and a hint of gingerbread and mocha.
Cruzan Aged Light Rum
Cruzan Rum has been around since 1760, producing rum on the island of St. Croix. The distillery made its first bottle in the 1930s and has been a top brand ever since. Several barrels and bottles of Cruzan Rum have won World Rum Awards and other liquor accolades.
Cruzan’s aged light rum ages between one and four years in ex-bourbon barrels before being filtered to ensure the taste is as full-bodied as possible.
Now, this is a rum that absolutely can be sipped neat. However, it really stands out when added to a rum cocktail. I particularly liked its slightly oakish scent (thanks to the barrel aging process) and a hint of vanilla. It’s a simple finish, and I find that it’s not overwhelming for cocktails.
Whether you’re preparing rum and cokes for a house party, a work event, or the family, finding the best rum is the key to making the best cocktail you can. Choose one with flavors that compliment your choice of citrus and bitters, or a bottle that can stand alone with some cola.
Depending on your preference and budget, it should be easy to find a rum on this list that will go perfectly with your take on the classic cocktail.
Looking for another combination? Check out our list of the best rum cocktails.
Did we leave your favorite rum off this list? Let us know in the comments below!