Just last year, import restrictions on Cuban rum and cigars were finally lifted. This, along with the fact that American Airlines now regularly fly to Cuba, means it’s a great time to finally plan your Cuba vacation getaway. But before you pack your bags, why don’t you ask yourself these two very important questions. The first question: How much empty room do I leave in my luggage for that incredible tasting Cuban rum? (The easy answer: Bring another bag). The second, and harder to answer question is, “What are the best quality rums in Cuba?” Picking out the right rum will depend entirely on your budget and taste. To help you out, we have a shopping guide, arranged from inexpensive to what will be very precious cargo on your return flight.
Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
Very cheap and quintessentially Cuban. You can bring back a few bottles of these for not a lot of money and cover yourself for a summer’s worth of mixed drinks.
Legendario Ron Dorado
Another excellent mixer (meaning, great tasting and quite cheap), this golden rum offers a brighter flavor with tropical fruit accented notes that stand in contrast to the tobacco and vanilla flavors of Havana Club. A great way to add some variety to your haul.
Havana Club Añejo 7 Años
If you want to bring back one excellent, not exorbitantly priced, and distinctly Cuban rum, this is the bottle to go for. It’s a great value (it’s certainly not going to empty your wallet like the 15 year Havana Club, which, see below), offering greater complexity than the classic 3 year. Basically, this is a sippable rum that won’t break the bank.
Ron Santiago de Cuba 11 Años Añejo Superior Rum
Definitely on the pricier side at around 50 dollars (though you can spend a lot more on rum in Cuba), this rum famously pairs well with Cuban cigars–so maybe bring some of those back with you too if that’s your thing. This 11-year is definitely a sipper, adding depth to the non-aged Ron Santiago’s notes of orange and vanilla (the non-aged is also a good, and much cheaper buy–perfect for cocktails).
Havana Club Añejo 15 Años
You’ve probably noticed a trend here: No matter what you plan on paying, there’s a bottle of Havana Club to match your price. While the 3 year makes for a dizzying night of mojitos, and the 7 year is an occasional after dinner treat, you may want to save the 15 year for special occasions. Costing around $200, this limited edition bottle–which is actually a blend of rum and aguardientes (a rum precursor that is also very popular on the island)–is aged in oak for a smooth finish.
Whether or not price is a factor, the best part is exploring the island as you search for the rum of your choice. And even long after, you can enjoy one of the Cuba’s finest spirits while reminiscing about your tour of this exotic location.