Mojito in a glass with blue wood background

Whether you are hanging out with friends, taking a summer vacation or just whiling your day in the pub, mojitos are a staple. From the citrusy taste to the misty effervescence, the drink is perfect in quenching your thirst at any given time. Getting the best out of this rum-based cocktail, however, depends on how it’s made; the different ingredients have to be blended just right.

The easiest way to ensure that your mojito is not ruined is choosing the best rum. You should go for rum that is well crafted with flavors that will complement the lime and mint taste. The drink can be strong or light as per your preference, with your choice of rum being the defining factor. To guide you in making the right kind of drink, here are 13 best rum brands for your mojito.

1. Bacardi Silver Rum 

Price: $13 (750ml) 

One of the best known brands in the world, Bacardi is Puerto Rican-made rum from a company which has had over one and a half centuries to perfect its recipes.  In the world of spirits, Bacardi takes the lead in providing the best known bases for any cocktail.  This rum comes in candied ginger flavor that couples nicely with a hint of mint for a lively mojito. 

The brand is easy to come by and is best for making an ice cold straight mojito. For the perfect summer drink; use sprig leaves for the minty flavor, 4 lime wedges, crushed ice and 2 shots of Bacardi Silver rum. A splash of soda will also come in handy in making the drink easy on your throat. 

2. Captain Morgan White Rum

Price: $17 (750ml)

From a brand that people have come to love, Captain Morgan White Rum is the flagship white rum from Diageo North America. The rum was launched to rival the leading products by Bacardi. All stops have been pulled in making this fairly light and well priced rum that promises to make your cocktails standout.

It’s ‘5 times distilled’ with a light vanilla, citrus, molasses and black pepper aromas. The aromas are transferred to the mouth where the combination comes out as a bit spicy on the throat. There is also a touch of coconut, light char and slight feel of caramel which lights up your palate. Generally, the rum is sweeter than its competition with a medium length finish, adding a dry vanilla and slight peppery taste to your mojito.

3. Appleton White Rum

Price: $22 (750ml)

The makers of Appleton White pride themselves in giving you the best rum to add body to your cocktails. The brand comes from Jamaica where it’s aged for 2 years in casks made of oak. It’s produced from distillation of molasses with carbon activation being used to expel color. This leaves you with clear, rich and strong rum, which is quintessential for your mojito.

The rum is quite strong when taken on its own but its smooth when used in making a cocktail. It’s one of the best rums in the market with its price being fair in comparison to its alcohol content and versatility. Your mojito will come out as a bit oily with an extra candy-like sweetness that complements the citrusy taste. The finishing is a spicy heat that is smoothened by minty like sensation in your mouth.

4. Cruzan Aged Light Rum

Price: $13 (750ml) 

Make your mojito from a blend of rums that has been aged for up to 4 years in American oak barrels. The result is light colored liquor that resembles chardonnay’s. The long aging time gives the rum a distinctive smooth taste that is really pleasant on your throat.

The rum is light enough to be taken neat but it goes well as a base for a mojito. It adds a clean taste of vanilla undertones to the citrusy finish. This molasses-based drink can be complemented with a teaspoonful of unrefined sugar syrup for the ultimate smooth taste. 

5. Ron Matusalem Platino

Price: $16 (750ml)

This is a product from the Dominican Republic, the result of triple distillation, aging and filtration. This craftsmanship removes the bitter taste that is associated with most white rums. The final product is a smooth drink with a clean taste and a strong base for a cocktail. Its flavor profile includes faint aroma of butter, caramel, mint and a swipe of vanilla. 

On hitting the glass, most of the aromas become faint to the untrained nose but the buttery feel remain. Adding a sprig of mint, lime and some crushed ice does well in subduing the strong alcohol content and giving your cocktail a smooth and a gentle finish.

Apart from adding a deep rummy-taste to your mojito, Platino is favorable on price for rum of its strength.

6. Havana Club Blanco Rum

Price: $17 (750ml)

The product is distilled from molasses and aged for at least one year in oak barrels. Although Havana Club is produced in Puerto Rico, it remains a good interpretation of the original brand from Havana, Cuba. The brand is sold under the Bacardi distillery and imported to the country by the Miami-Based importer. 

The drink is sparkling clear without any sediments or hazy separations. When poured in a glass, it has an oily appearance and the slight aftershave-like aroma. On the mouth it’s sweetish with a hint of molasses, vanilla and wood. This mix of flavors blends well with minty leaves, lime juice, crushed ice and some coca cola for a wholesome mojito. 

7. Selvarey Rum

Price: About $22 (750ml)

Selvarey rum is handcrafted in the Panama jungles with the involvement of musician Bruno Mars. Apart from riding on Bruno’s fame, the brand stands on its own merit; being the work of Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, the master distiller behind the sensational Caña Brava Rum. Selvarey is a product of 3 and 5-year-old rums that have been distilled in old copper stills followed by aging in bourbon barrels.

The drink is smooth and complex at the same time. It has a slight yellow color which is a testament to the aging and filtration process that leaves strong hints of flavors. Vanilla custards and citrusy taste completes the spicy note that accompanies this mojito base. It’s also slightly creamy with an extended sweetness that lingers long after you are done taking it.

8. Rhum Barbancourt White

Price: $17 (750ml)

Barbancourt White is a product of Societe du Rhum Barbancour, a distillery based in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Its production began in 1862 and utilizes the same procedures that go to distillation of the famed French cognacs. The result is a slightly brownish yellow drink that resembles young whiskey.

Rhum is the French word for rum, but the difference between this Haitian rum goes deeper than just the naming; the rum is distilled from sugarcane rather than molasses, as it’s common in the greater Caribbean. The cane gives your mojito a brown sugar taste; this together with banana-like and vanilla flavors makes your cocktail soft on the palate and sweet on your nose. 

9. 10 Cane Rum

Price: $30 (750ml)

10 Cane Rum is another brand that deviates from the traditional rums in that it’s made from fermentation of sugarcane rather than molasses’. It’s a product from Trinidad from where distilleries use sugar cane grown specifically to make the drink. 

After fresh cane is pressed to expel the juice, the spirit undergoes triple distillation followed by aging in small batches; making each batch to have a degree of uniqueness. This is done sing French casks made of oak for durations of 6 months.

The end product is clean and velvety rum that is rich enough to make your mojito perfect. Its tasting notes include hints of vanilla, caramel, pear and apple. There is also an underlying honey and citrus taste which gives your drink a long finish with a sweet perfection. 

10. Caña Brava Rum

Price: $31 (750ml)

Cana Brava is among the few high-profile rums made in Panama. It follows in the roots of other flagship rums made by the master Cuban distiller “Don Pancho”. The drink is imported to the US by The 86 Co. but the bottle retains the powerful name that has become a favorite to the likes of Death & Co, leading cocktail enthusiasts and experts. 

The product is a hybrid type of rum which gives the fine finish of long aging while completely filtering out the color. This leaves your cocktail with a crystal and neat appearance. Its flavor profile has a hint of chocolate, vanilla, citrus, and a slight feel of wood; from the aging process. 

The rum adds an oily butter taste to your mojito, the taste has also been described as mineral or coconut-like; it all depends on your palate.

11. Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum

Price: $18 (750ml)

Blend you mojito from a brand with a little mysticism behind its production: Mount Gay, the plantation behind this rum got their inspiration from the total eclipse that occurred in 1910, following the appearance of comet Haley. This rum from Barbados will leave your mouth bursting with aromatic flavors that will refresh your body.

The rum is matured in charred oak casks and the color is filtered off to leave a clear drink, which is perfect for any mojito recipe. The product adds an array of flavors to your summer cocktail including butterscotch, banana, citrus, and a slight hint of mint. The combination of flavors leaves a spicy taste in your mouth which can be withered down by adding a small splash of cola to your recipe.

12. Cacique 500 Ron Extra Añejo

Price: $26 (700ml)

The product is molasses based and produced in Venezuela by Destilerias Licoreras Unidas S.A. it was launched in 1992 as a commemoration of 500 since the New World was discovered. True to the immense symbolism that it represents, the rum continues to be prominent in liquor cabinets especially in Spanish owned establishments.  

The rum is distilled in copper stills and left in oak barrels where it ages for up to 8 years. Cacique 500 is the way to go if you are a fan of colored rum. It is dark brown and also comes in a similarly colored bottle. On the nose you can’t miss the sweet breeze of toffee and chocolate. 

On hitting the mouth, there is a minor tequila taste coupled with brown sugar and slight taste of oak. The rum adds a pleasant sweetness to mojito which lingers long after it has left your mouth.

13. Bayou Silver Rum

Price: $25 (750ml)

Bayou Silver is a product of Bayou Rum Distillery of Lacassine, Louisiana US. It’s made from locally produced molasses and unrefined sugar. The product even comes in a gator labeled bottled, a true Louisiana identity. It’s brought to the industry standard 40% alcohol volume by distillation followed by triple fresh water filtration. 

The craftsmanship behind this rum has seen it win Best American White Rum category in some local craft spirit awards. The product is made with cocktail mixing as the driving factor but it’s also good when taken neat, with butterscotch and vanilla undertones making it soft on the throat.

This crystal clear rum has the aroma of tropical fruits and a slight hint of sugar syrup. The flavors are still present when it touches your palate with the sweetness which intensifies as you sip it: If you have a sweet tooth; Bayou Silver Rum is the right base for your mojito. 

The Takeaway

Your choice of rum can perfect or ruin your cocktail; be it a mojito, a daiquiri, a Cuba Libre or any other cocktail out there. To get the best base for your blend, go a brand that will bring out the aromas or flavors that you find enjoyable. The above list is a comprehensive list of brands that take top places whether you are looking for aged, spiced, dark, white, export or even local craft rum. Sampling all of them would be impractical but having the highlights of each gives you an idea of what you can expect from any.