The Best Rum To Pour In Your Piña Colada, According To A Mixologist

The piña colada stands as an iconic tropical concoction, renowned for its creamy melange of pineapple, coconut, and rum, conjuring images of sandy beaches and sun-soaked relaxation. Renowned mixologist Justin Lavenue, owner of The Roosevelt Room and The Eleanor in Austin, Texas, adds depth to the art of crafting the perfect piña colada by emphasizing the choice of rum. As Lavenue told Mashed, a dark and dry rum, preferably a fusion of two to four varieties, serves as the ideal base for elevating the piña colada experience.

Lavenue's appreciation for careful rum selection stems from the belief that blending dark rums allows for the creation of a dynamic flavor profile. By skillfully combining multiple rums into a single recipe, any cocktail enthusiast can achieve a synergy that surpasses the individual contributions of each rum. Within the realm of dark rums — which aren't necessarily the same as aged rums — Lavenue specifically recommends those with a drier character for piña coladas. While drier rums might not be among the best rums for sipping due to their lack of sweet notes, the choice of a dry dark rum introduces a subtle complexity that complements the sweetness of the pineapple and coconut components. Those elements strike a delicate balance that enhances the piña colada's beloved palate.

Dark rum is the key to a delectable piña colada

"Like a cocktail alchemist, you truly can create something greater than [the] sum of its parts when blending rums for your cocktails," Justin Lavenue shared. While Lavenue recommends rums like Appleton Estate 8-yr Reserve and Bacardí Gran Reserva 10-yr for the mixture, he goes a step further by incorporating a splash of hogo rum into piña coladas. "Hogo" refers to the distinctively funky flavor associated with Jamaican rums, characterized by a coalition of fruity and earthy notes. In the world of spirits, hogo is a spin on haut goût, a French term translating to "high taste." Essentially, hogo embodies the essence of the Jamaican rum terroir, contributing a uniquely vibrant element to the ever-classic piña colada.

This musty, brilliantly aromatic quality is derived from dunder, the fermented ingredient that makes Jamaican rum different than other styles. When judiciously poured into a piña colada, hogo rum elevates the beverage to new heights with its robust richness. Regardless of your go-to preparation method, the right rum — or synthesis of rums — has the power to transform a piña colada into an elegant, memorable libation.