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Celebrate National Rum Day the Right Way

Photo: bhofack2, Getty Images.

Oh, hooray, another drinking holiday is upon us! This time it’s National Rum Day on Wednesday, August 16. In case you were unaware, rum is made from sugarcane juice or its byproducts (read: molasses) and put through a fermentation and distillation process before its clear distillate is aged, traditionally in oak barrels. Honor this adored distilled alcoholic beverage with these tips from Rum Diplomático, then try your hand at some of the cocktail recipes below from Flor de Caña ambassador Ashela Richardson, South Hollow Spirits, and more!

Rum tips from Rum Diplomático:

1. Rum is a Year-Round Drink

Rum isn’t a summer-only spirit. Fruity Tiki drinks, tropical beach vacations, and pirates have all framed rum as a warm-weather drink, but rum is just as tasty on a blustery night. Deep, rich, and complex high-end rums work well in winter cocktails like hot buttered rum or simply on the rocks.

2. Request Your Rum by Name

“Two rum and cokes please,” is too vague a drink order. Ask for a specific brand instead. Premium brands eschew artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and low-cost, mass-market production methods in favor of natural sugarcane and careful craftsmanship, resulting in a purer product.

3. Sip It — No Exceptions

Rum is meant to be enjoyed as a sipping spirit. Premium rums are complex, with notes as diverse as chocolate, citrus, toffee, brown sugar, maple, and licorice. Sipping allows you to savor the spirit’s nuanced flavor profile and elegant finish.

Also: 6 Delicious Game of Thrones Cocktails

4. Age Matters

Rum can be aged for greater complexity and isn’t always clear. Darker rums, some of which have been aged for anywhere from two to 15 years in various types of casks, make for a very satisfying rum-drinking experience. Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, for example, is aged for up to 12 years in a small oak casks.

5. Keep it Fresh

Gone are the days of syrupy rum-and-cokes or sugar-saturated daiquiris. Instead, embrace the world of rum blending. Premium rum is best enjoyed with fresh fruits, juices, and products that match both the tasting notes and terroir.

Rum Cocktail Recipes:

Daiquiri al Marrasquino

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Shake vigorously and strain into coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Created by Flor de Caña ambassador Ashela Richardson.

Piña Colada Fresca

Photo: Flor de Caña.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine ingredients. Swizzle over crushed ice. Top with nutmeg and orange slice.

Created by Flor de Caña ambassador Ashela Richardson.

Agua Colada

Photo: Flor de Caña.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients. Serve over pebble ice. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Created by Flor de Caña ambassador Ashela Richardson.

America’s Cup

Photo: South Hollow Spirits.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine South Hollow Spirits Twenty Boat Spiced Rum, honey simple syrup, lime juice, and bitters over ice. Shake well. Garnish with a lime.

Cocktail created by South Hollow Spirits.

Lavender Daiquiri

Photo: South Hollow Spirits.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Shake up Twenty Boat Amber Rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime and lavender sprig.

Cocktail created by South Hollow Spirits.

Stormy Night

Photo: Jägermeister.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Build in Collins glass and top off with ginger ale or ginger beer.

Cocktail created by Nils Boese, Jägermeister global brand ambassador in Hildesheim, Germany.

The Salty Bird

Photo: Campari.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients, shake, and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a pinch of salt and dehydrated pineapple.

Cocktail created by Lauren Schell.

Mai Tai Unigroni

Photo: Campari.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Build ingredients in a shaker tin, and fill shaker with ice. Hard shake and double strain into a rocks glass over large butterfly pea tea/glitter ice cube. Float red wine and garnish with mint sprig.

Cocktail created by Josh Campbell.