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Rum Punch

White rum is the ultimate summer mixer—and maybe, now that new premium brands are hitting the market, a sipping drink, too. Which bottle is best?

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(Photo credit: Davies + Starr)

Bambu, $47.99
Rum for vodka drinkers. The bottle aims for premium-label chic, but the liquor is almost tasteless—the cotton-candy flavor dies instantly. At Astor Wines & Spirits (12 Astor Pl., at Lafayette St.; 212-674-7500).

10 Cane, $34.99
A sign that rum is the next premium liquor: LVMH’s new brand. Smoky, molasses-scented, and smooth enough to drink straight. At Union Square Wines & Spirits (33 Union Sq. W., nr. 16th St.; 212-675-8100).

Rogue, $29.95
A full-bodied rum with a bite to match, from Oregon, of all places. The clear scent belies a charcoal flavor and tingly aftertaste that serious drinkers will appreciate. At johnwalker.com.

Cane, $25
Top girly rum. Snobs might find it a little sweet, but ladies will love the sugary aroma and chocolaty finish. Mixes well with pineapple juice. At Crush Wine Co. (153 E. 57th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-980-9463).

Wray & Nephew, $23.99
The strongest rum tastes sweet but packs a powerful punch—a subtle scent of sulfur is the main hint it’s overproof. At Waverly Liquor Store (135 Waverly Pl., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-727-0483).

Appleton, $18.99
One of the strongest-smelling rums tested also has a tart grapefruit aftertaste that’s perfect for Jamaican rum punches. At Murray Hill Wines (516 Third Ave., nr. 34th St.; 212-532-2440).

Matusalem, $16.99
The slight taste of vanilla, gentle flavor, and slick texture make this rum easy to consume, if a little middle-of-the-road. At Beekman Liquors (500 Lexington Ave., nr. 47th St.; 212-759-5857).

Barbancourt, $14.99
Haitian import scores points for its cool, old-fashioned label, but smells slightly rubbery and has a thin consistency. At Kessler Liquors (23 E. 28th St., at Madison Ave.; 212-685-7651).

Bacardi Superior, $11.99
Firewater. Mixer rum for large parties, goes best with Coke. At Warehouse Wines & Spirits (735 Broadway, nr. Astor Pl.; 212-982-7770).


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