Having missed National Tequila Day, National Piña Colada Day and National Scotch Day, I feel morally obligated to report that today is National Rum Day.
Or maybe it's just because I like mojitos in August.
Anyway, the "rumifications" of the holiday are many, and a very good one is Brugal 1888. This elegant, amber-shaded, aged rum from the Dominican Republic could go into a refined cocktail, but it's best enjoyed straight for a subtle floral note, vanilla, a hint of spice.
The rum was finished in Sherry casks. About $50.
For cocktails, try the Brugal Rum Añejo, a well-made blend of rums 3 to 5 years old. It contributes to a satisfying rum highball or old fashioned. The crisp Brugal Especial Extra Dry rum similarly is fine in a mojito. These rums are about $20 each.
Ron Abuelo 12 Años from Panama is a dark, lush rum, excellent solo and right for a high-end daiquiri. The smooth, expressive production has a bronze tint and puts forward sweet, nutty qualities. About $33.
Denizen Rum comes in at about $16. This white number is made with rums from Trinidad and Jamaica that are blended in Amsterdam. Bright, smooth, ready for a daiquiri.
Returning to more intense rum: Zacapa Rum 23, a rich, Guatemalan sipper to be savored on its own or with a cube or two of ice. It's made with "first-crush virgin sugar cane," and delivers a sweet, toasty, balanced drink, with vanilla and spice. About $45.