There is a general sense that rum is a spirit best suited for summer. While no one will deny that a sparkling mojito or freshly shaken daiquiri hits all the right notes on a sweltering day, we are selling ourselves short if we turn only to the warm kiss of whiskey when winter rolls in. Indeed, the sweet and cozy embrace of a well-aged rum can provide the same unique and sophisticated flavor experience as whiskey and bourbon.
The wide world of rum—more of a universe, really—is arguably much more expansive than that of any other spirit. The range of styles, regions, fermentation, distillation, and aging methods lead to a formidable factorial of types of products on the market, and navigating the rum section of your favorite liquor store can quickly lead to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
With so many options, the value of a versatile “go-to” rum is hard to overstate. Santa Teresa 1796 is a sophisticated workhorse of a pot still rum from Venezuela that is aged with the Solera technique—a method which blends rums of different ages, a portion of which has spent up to 35 years in oak barrels previously used for aging bourbon. With notes of vanilla, cinnamon, leather, pepper, honey and dark chocolate, this rum is rich, bold and complex enough to savor neat or on the rocks, but it's also accessible enough to add layers of depth and nuance to your favorite shaken or tiki classics.
Take note because the cocktails below will wow at any holiday gathering, but the bottle itself may also be the answer you need for those who are just plain hard to shop for—its immaculate presentation (and ability to be customized with their name) will tell the recipient that it's something special. If you’re someone who enjoys the finer things in life and delight in sharing with your friends and family, Santa Teresa 1796 can be a great addition to any collection.
And if you're an invited guest to a gathering, show up and show out by bringing a batched Old Fashioned—just multiply the ingredients below by the desired quantity (also considering the capacity of your vessel) and pick up a few oranges for twists.
3 Aged Rum
Cocktails to Try
The Party Pleaser