World's 50 Best Bars Brands Report: Rum

In the second installment of the Brands Report, a spin-off survey from The World's 50 Best Bars, we take a look at the rums that have been in favour in the world's best bars.

cardi worked super-hard in 2012 to spread the message of its 150th anniversary. That it tops the trend tables in bars that, frankly, often make a point of seeking more obscure products, is testament to Bacardi’s efforts. 

The brand has used its Cuban roots to realign itself with classic Cuban cocktails such as the Mojito and the Daiquiri and it looks to be paying off. 

But, like a well-balanced cocktail, there is a bitter element to the sweetness of this success: its old rival Havana Club is the best-seller and number two in the trending stakes. The two brands have been battling trademark disputes longer than any drinks journalist around today cares to remember. But let’s not dwell on that. 

The great thing about both of these lists is the diversity of countries from which the rums hail. Zacapa is from Guatemala, Appleton from Jamaica, Santa Teresa, Pampero and Diplomatico are all from Venezuela, Chairman’s Reserve from St Lucia, El Dorado from Guyana, Angostura from Trinidad & Tobago, Mount Gay from Barbados and Flor de Cana is from Nicaragua. The others are blended from several different places. 

In recent years, rum has lodged itself in the hearts and minds of both consumers and bartenders as the party spirit

with a more serious side. It’s interesting to note that there are no spiced variants cited on this list – that was certainly not the case before we changed the bars we surveyed. There are also no navy-style rums. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the golden age. 

Appleton had a big year in 2012 with the launch of a 50-year old rum – the oldest rum ever bottled, so we believe. The brand also got new parents in 2012 and we predict a bit of shake up once new owner Campari gets its feet under the table. 

In the Diageo camp, it’s the mighty Zacapa that makes a splash. The Guatemalan tipple is half-owned by the global drinks giant and makes up the rum component of the Reserve portfolio. 

How we did it

Since we relaunched the World’s 50 Best Bars, we think we’ve built up a pretty fantastic list of top bars and phenomenal bartenders from all over the world. It’s still growing, make no mistake – and we feel really quite excited about it. So excited in fact, that this year we decided to reinvent the way we conduct the artist formerly known as Hot Bar Brands by polling our very own top 50. 

To create an even better global picture, we also polled 100 of the top 200 bars. When I say ‘we’, it was actually an independent research company called Leslie Henry Marketing & Research.