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The Best Rums For A Daiquiri 2021

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

The Daiquiri at Gage & Tollner, Brooklyn NY

On May 24, 2021, over one hundred years following the prohibition, New York's premier cocktail exhibition and spirit showcase, the New York Cocktail Expo, brought together three Industry panelists for a historic blind tasting. They would decide the "Best Rum in the Daiquiri," one of the most iconic Rum cocktails of all time.

The contest...same recipe, only a different Rum in the cocktail each round. The recipe and cocktail for the tasting would be made and hosted by The Sunken Harbor Club at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn which was given the honor of this nomination for their highly respected Daiquiri (pictured above).

This occasion is part of the "Best Spirits in Cocktails Awards", a series of ongoing spirit competitions, live-streamed from nominated bars which are known for making the best versions of iconic cocktails. The recipe and award-winning rums from the landmark Daiquiri spirit competition are listed below. Cheers!

Gold Medal Winner

PROFILE: Soft, smooth, well-balanced, luxurious texture NOSE: Oak, dried fruit, brown sugar, earth notes, vanilla hints PALATE: Caramel, toasted almond, buttery cinnamon, bourbon-aged oak FINISH: Lingering with toasted coconut and hint of tobacco

Silver Medal Winner

Designed by and blended in conjunction with the folks from Hidden Harbor tiki bar in Squirrel Hills, this is a 100 proof white rum designed specifically for use in daiquiris and other tropical drinks. It's made blending Maggie's Farm's own unaged "Queen's Share" rum with white rums from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana, and Martinique. The unique characters from each of these regions combine to make a truly complex rum.

Bronze Medal Winner

An enticing unaged blend of column still rum from the Dominican Republic, with high ester pot still rum from Jamaica, to yield a beautiful extra-proof expression. 45% ABV

Tasting Notes:

Jasmine, honeysuckle, white pepper and lemongrass paired with a smooth and clean finish, it unleashes new possibilities for your next cocktail.

Runner Up

With only a 1 point difference for 3rd place in the Daiquiri spirit competition, unlike many light rums, barrel aging gives the Platino a unique smoothness and complex flavors. Platino is aged for one year (and often longer) in American White Oak barrels that previously held Laws Colorado Whiskey and Montanya Oro. At bottling time, the tiniest touch of Colorado honey brings out the rum’s natural flavors, while a coconut husk carbon filter removes color. Free of the cloying sweetness of added sugar and flavorings, the flavors prominent in the Platino include biscotti, cream soda, cardamom, coffee, vanilla and pepper.

Additional Featured Rums!

With Xaymaca Special Dry, Plantation revives the quintessential Jamaican-style, 100% pot still rums of the 19th century with an expression of intense flavors that reveal the traditional, legendary « Rum Funk » : aromas and flavors of black banana and flambéed pineapple, locally called "Hogo," an Anglicization of the French term "Haut Goût" (high taste).

The barks of Victoria pineapples are infused in Plantation 3 Stars rum, which is then further distilled. Separately, the pineapple fruit is infused in Plantation Original Dark rum. Both distillate and fruit infusion are finally blended together, creating a rich and delicious pineapple bouquet, accented by smoky and clove notes.

"Daiquiri" Cocktail Recipe

(Recipe spec from Gage & Tollner)


2 oz Rum 0.75 oz Fresh Lime 0.75 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)


Shake, strain. Coupe. No garnish.

About Gage & Tollner

Originally founded in 1879, Gage & Tollner is an historic oyster and chop house

which served Downtown Brooklyn for 125 years before closing its doors in 2004.

For the following 16 years the landmarked space played host to a TGI Fridays, an

Arby’s and a discount clothing retailer, but thanks to three longtime friends and

celebrated Brooklyn restaurateurs – St. John Frizell (Fort Defiance), chef Sohui

Kim and her husband/business partner Ben Schneider (Insa, The Good Fork) –

Gage & Tollner’s legacy as the finest restaurant in Brooklyn will finally be

restored. The partners successfully Wefunder campaign to raise the funds

necessary to secure the lease in 2018, spent the following two years building their

team and rebuilding the space, and were set to open Gage & Tollner on March 15,

2020 when COVID hit. After 13 more months in limbo, Gage & Tollner finally began welcoming guests into its iconic dining room on April

15, 2021.

Bar & Dining Room at Gage & Tollner (Photo: Lizzie Munro)

2021 "Best Rum in the Daiquiri" Panelists. L-R Shannon Mustipher (Author "TIKI Modern Tropical Cocktails") Garret Richard (Creator "Exotica" Pop Up Series) Antoine Hodge (Former Bar & Spirits Manager Baccarat Hotel).

St. John Frizell (Co-Founder: Gage & Tollner)

(Photo: Lizzie Munro)

Listen in to the fun and educational Blind Tasting podcast below for some incredible insight from the Panelists that is sure to enhance your Daiquiri game!

For more, follow @nycocktailexpo on Instagram

For information on submitting your spirit brand in competitions email

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