It's time to bring rum back to the table when we talk about high-end spirits and sippable substances. Rum, after all, is an important part of American history.
You've probably forgotten that it was rum the U.S. was producing, drinking, selling, and enjoying in the years and decades before whiskey became the nation's go-to aged spirit. Staten Island and Boston had rum distilleries as far back as the 1600s to deal with the British demand for booze – and our own. Some historians will argue it's partly to thank for the Revolution, and partly to blame for the slave trade. A big impact to say the least.
Nowadays most people think in simple terms: Rum is cheap booze, and whiskey can be a complicated masterpiece. You enjoy rum at a house party, mixed with Coke, and whiskey in high-back leather chairs, with artisanal ice, spring water, or nothing at all. But rum isn't anyone's black-sheep brother. It can do the same things whiskey and cognac can, like pair well with a cigar. Sometimes it can do them better.
We've assembled a list of rums that would make pirates proud – and some that should be right alongside those precious whiskeys you can't get enough of.