Why It’s Time to Warm Up to Aged Rum


This winter, appoint premium aged rum as your liquor cabinet’s main attraction — your whisky won’t mind. After all, the true spirit of the holidays is rum. A Boxing Day glass of spiked eggnog, a flask passed around at the skating rink, the chorus to “The Little Drummer Boy” — what would any of these things be without rum?

And yet, while long respected as the key ingredient in basically every cocktail synonymous with celebration (which is to say, boozy punches, refreshing daiquiris, and the entire menu at our favourite tiki bar), rum has another side — a mature, sophisticated side — that deserves more of your attention. See, aged rum maintains the trademark playfulness of the spirit, but also exhibits a complexity that earns it a spot among the world’s finest liquors. Which is why, when it comes to really savouring this festive season, there’s no beating the warm, Caribbean-kissed embrace of exceptional barrel-aged rum from Bacardí. Santa, you have our drinks order.

A Coming-Of-Age Story

How time, tradition, and a tropical climate carry premium aged rum to the very top shelf

Like so many of the world’s best spirits, rum benefits immensely from aging. The same warm sun that encourages the growth of sugarcane (rum’s sweet, foundational ingredient) also benefits the aging process. Barrels stored in a hot, humid climate breathe much more than those kept in cool conditions, meaning that barrel-aged rum matures and develops complexity at twice the rate of spirits like whisky and brandy. So when it comes to colour, flavour, and aromas, an 8-year-old rum more than holds its own against a 16-year-old Scotch.

Drawing on its 157 years of distinguished experience, Bacardí also utilizes a process called undisturbed aging, where rum is left untouched until the liquid is blended and bottled. Holding back on topping off the barrels might not be the most cost-effective way to age rum, given that some liquid is lost to evaporation, but it does create a more concentrated, developed product — a.k.a. True Aged rum.

How to Enjoy It:

For a Classic Sip:

Bacardí Reserva Ocho

A special selection of reserve rums all aged for a minimum of eight years in American white oak barrels is carefully blended to create lush butterscotch and marmalade flavours underpinned by a vanilla and nutmeg spiciness and carried to a smooth finish. 

The Cocktail: “The Fireplace Old-Fashioned”

Replacing the traditional whisky in an Old-Fashioned with Bacardí Reserva Ocho rum gives this classic cocktail a warming update that makes it the ideal companion to sipping around the hearth.

• 2 parts Bacardi Reserva Ocho
• 1 white sugar cube
• 3 dashes Angostura bitters
• 1 sprig rosemary

Pour the Ocho into a rocks glass. Add the sugar cube and angostura bitters before filling with ice. Stir the cocktail to combine and chill. Top with more ice and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

For Mixing It Up:

Bacardí Añejo Cuatro

Inspired by Bacardí founder Don Facundo’s original recipe, this rich, golden rum spends a minimum of four years maturing in barrels before bottling. The result is a mixing rum redolent of toasted oak, vanilla, and clove aromas — the perfect way to elevate any cocktail come holiday party time. 

The Cocktail: “The Coquito”

Eggnog can’t hold a candle to this Puerto Rican Christmas classic: a luscious combination of rich coconut cream, sweet condensed milk, and spices that complement Bacardí Añejo Cuatro’s inherent flavours.

• 1½ parts Bacardí Añejo Cuatro
• ¾ parts canned coconut milk
• ¾ parts canned cream of coconut
• 1½ parts canned condensed milk
• 2½ parts canned evaporated milk
• 1 part white sugar
• 1 bar spoon ground cinnamon
• 2 dashes vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass and serve on ice.

For Savouring:

Bacardí Gran Reserva Diez

A true master blend, this premium bottling is composed exclusively of rums that have seen at least 10 years of aging inside white oak barrels. The result is a sublime, velvety, dark amber rum bursting with banana, marzipan, and tamarind flavours. This is a rum that’s built to be treasured, created for true connoisseurs. 

And when a rum is this luxurious, adding anything to it only distracts from the drink’s inherent elegance. Best served neat or on the rocks.