The Informed Drinker: Know Your Rum

ron-zacapa-23-soleraBy Steve Mullaney

Are you a friend of Ron? Ron of course being ron of course being rum. (Follow that? Good. That syllogism will totally be on your GRE.) Once you’ve figured out that the bar’s menu features many different types of rum instead of many different male prostitutes named Ron (no wonder Ron XL is so popular with Spanish students) you’ll probably want to know the run-down on each one.

Like alcohol anywhere there’s a price/taste correlation. If you’re paying Q10 for a bottle then you should expect to go blind whereas if you’re paying Q1,000 a bottle then you’re drinking the distilled tears from virgin princesses. What falls in between? Well…

QUETZALTECO is the local “rum”. If you are drinking Quetzalteco, it is probably on accident or because you are the victim of a cruel hoax. Quetzalteco was originally invented to clean floors, but then some guy realized you can get messed up on it. Not really, but it tastes that way. Avoid this. Price Range: Cheap, not counting cirrhosis.

RON XL is the best cheap rum on the market. You’ve probably seen it in bars where eight 19-year olds with Q12 each have just bought an enormous bottle and are getting shit-faced. There’s a reason for that. You plus seven of your friends can pay Q12 a bottle and get shit-faced. Perfect for mixers, but avoid drinking it straight up. Price Range: Affordable.

RON BOTRAN comes with the number of years old the rum supposedly is on the bottle. You’ve got your 5, 8, 12 and 20 year varieties. Obviously older = tastier. The ways that these years get picked is beyond me (“Julio, the rum is eleven years old. Can we drink it?” “You Philistine! It must ferment either one or nine more years”) but them’s the breaks kid. This is good enough to drink with ice and very little Coke. Price Range: Mid-range, but worth it.

ZACAPA is the holy grail of rum. In fact it is the best rum in the world. Those are not my words, those are the words of the people who have competitions to decide the best rum in the world. If you mix this with Coke children will cry, old ladies will faint, and men with outrageous moustaches will challenge you to duels. Treat yourself to a bottle when you get the chance. Price Range: $$$…er, I mean QQQ.

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