“Given that the Daiquiri is only three ingredients, the base spirit really ought to have pretty sublime aromatics and texture,” says Washington, D.C.–based bartender Chantal Tseng. When building the drink, she looks for a rum with balanced richness, sweetness and acidity, with complexity and character, “without being too harsh or neutral.” Easy, right?
According to Ryan Lotz, beverage director for Boston’s Traveler Street Hospitality group, many of the white rums on the market today lean less flavorful, but there are some standouts that offer citrusy, tropical, funky notes that take Daiquiris to the next level. Luckily, many of these rums are affordable.
To find the very best ones to use, we asked Tseng, Lotz and other bartenders with an affinity for Daiquiris for their top picks. Here are their recommendations, at every price point.