We know. With Cinco de Mayo, this tequila-est of days upon us, all drinks writing should be focused on agave. Failing that, we are often obliged to spin out another treatise on the mint julep, what with this Saturday being Kentucky Derby day. What are the odds of both tequila and bourbon marketers’ busiest event of the year falling on the same day? Well, one in seven, actually.
Anyhow, we got special dispensation from both Sauza and Maker’s Mark to buck both trend and tradition and write about rum instead. Specifically, Ron Zacapa 23-year-old, which, after many years of cross-border coveting and smuggling, is finally available here in Ontario, and has been on the shelves for about a month now. Some of you may have noticed it and wondered if a rum can possibly be worth $79.95. In truth, we really can’t answer that, since we’ve never paid anything close. We’ve generally preferred getting our Zacapa at Premier Liquor in Buffalo, where it sets us back about $40. At that price, it is well worth it. We’ve also heard it can be had at an even better price ($20) at the duty-free in Cancun. At that price, it’s easily the best rum in the world.
Actually, serious rum folks have already called the Guatemalan Zacapa the best rum in the world—at any price. The purists will also tell you it used to be better—back when it came in a great bottle covered in woven palm leaves and was still an independent distillery (it’s now owned by Diageo). Regardless, it’s still awesome—liable to convert even those who say they despise rum. Whether or not it’s worth $79.95, we’ll leave to you.
P.S. Cherry Heering, which we’ve written about before on these pages, is running low at the LCBO. And we spotted Harbord Room owner Dave Mitton buying six bottles at Queen’s Quay last week, so the hoarding has officially begun.