Off to a bad start with rum.
I'd love some suggestions for an affordable (<$30) rum that can change my mind about the drink.
I'm an avid vodka/tequila/gin drinker, but my experiences with rum so far have been negative. I tried two types of Bacardi ("Superior" and "Select") mixed with different juices and sodas, and found them all to be unpalatable. The medicinal, cough-syrup flavor really got to me. I've had a few fru-fru drinks from bars over the years that used rum, but they were so heavily juice-enhanced that I never noticed or was able to develop an opinion. Preferably, I'd like something that's good with a single mixer.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Flor de Canas white rum is really nice and for around $20. It would be great with a sour mix as long as the sour mix was homemade or of good quality.
You stated that you wanted to spend less than thirty, but Appleton Estate Extra ($32 in oregon) is awesome! You could make a nice Rum old fashioned with it.
Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva is also nice.
Bacardi is serviceable in a mixed drink or cooking, but you can find better quality rum at the same price point.
El Dorado 5 year old Demerara is my first choice at around $17.
Appleton Estates is also good at around $20. The 12 year old at around $30.
Gosling's Black Seal is a good dark rum at around $20.
But, if you continue to find rum mixed with different juices and sodas "unpalatable." perhaps you should just admit that rum is just not your thing.
Rum and tonics, made with dark rum and extra lime to balance the sweetness of the rum?
Good rum is nice sipped neat after dinner or with dessert, when a little extra sweetness isn't objectionable. Older rums have a lot of character for the money.
A Daiquiri (rum, suger, lime) is classic and can be made as tart as desired.
re: Sam Fujisaka
I think I've seen you suggest this in the past, and Flor de Cana is my favorite rum. I'm wondering if it's the same one, as that seems like a name that could easily be used by more than one distiller. Do you mean the Nicaraguan rum of that name? Other than at specialty liquor stores in the US, I'd never really seen Flor de Cana outside of Nicaragua. Is it popular in South America?
Yes, I refer to the Nicarguan rum, and haven't seen any other rums of the same name. We bring in F de C in our annual duty free orders: South American countries protect their own rum industries with heavy tariffs on booze from elsewhere. people here in Colombia like F de C, but generally cannot afford it ove a local rum.
Lots of great suggestions to be found in this thread:
If you're getting a medicinal flavor it's probably because you're using low quality rum (most Bacardi falls into that category--the only one I personally use is the "8 year" version, which you can get for around $25). Don't be afraid of the brown rums, and if you want a white rum go for something of quality like Oronco, Matusalem, or Flor de Cana (or on the cheaper end, Cruzan Light, which is far better than Bacardi).
I suggest that you ditch the random pairings with juice and soda and try a few classic cocktails. A Daiquiri, as EvergreenDan suggested, can be a great drink. El Presidente is also quite nice. And a Mai Tai, when properly made, is an incredible drink, easily included in a list of the top five or 10 drinks ever created.
I'm not a Bacardi fan but the 8 and the Anejo are both drinkable on ice or for sipping neat. I'm very partial to El Dorado 12 and 15 for sipping. Flor de Cana I find on the dryer side. There are so many good rums for sipping. Appleton, Barbancourt, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva to name a few. There are so many really good rums out there. Too bad most bars and restaurants stock so few.