All rum comes from sugar. Making sugar from sugarcane is a simple but involved process. Large stalks of sugar cane are pressed, and the cane juice is collected, and subsequently boiled. As the sugar in the mixture crystallizes, the remaining liquid pours out the bottom. This thick, dark substance is called molasses and is what's used to make rum.
White rum has made its mark, being staples in cocktails like piña coladas and daiquiris. Dark rum is aged and has a much stronger flavor than light rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong caramel overtone. While dark aged rums are growing in popularity as “sipping” rums, or rums to drink on the rocks or straight, they can also be used in cocktails. Here are a couple of my current favorites.
Flaming Leprechaun Triple Distilled Silver Rum Ireland 80 Proof $23
Smooth, racy and bright; balanced, essence of honey and nice touch of spice. 92 Points
Zacapa 23 Aged Rum Guatemala 80 Proof $45
Dark amber color; bright orange rind nose; smooth caramel and toasted oak; lush, spicy and long with oak and deep spice with toasty flavors; solera-made, complex and intense; long and smooth. 94 Points