In India, people are in love with rum, from the mountains in the north to the lush green region in the South, rum is something that is a favorite of people living everywhere in the country. Rum is basically a spirit that is deserved or made from sugarcane juice. It is strong and has a distinct bitter flavor profile. And since rum is quite affordable, there is always a high demand for it in India. Over the last century or so, there have been many brands that offer the best quality rum to the Indian audience.
And if you were to buy rum in India right now, you’ll come to realize how many brands have entered the Indian market. But worry not, we are here to make that a whole lot easier or should we say “less confusing” for you. That’s because here we will be introducing the top 10 best rum brands in India for 2023. So if you are here for just that, you may wanna stick with us a little longer. Here we go.
List Of Top Rum Brands In India
|Brand Name||Established Year||Head Office|
|Old Monk||1954||Himachal Pradesh|
|McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration||1991||Chennai|
|Havana Club 7||1934||Delhi|
1. Old Monk
Old Monk Rum isn’t just a drink; for many, it’s a slice of Indian history. Born in 1954, this rich, dark Indian rum tells a story that began almost a century before its launch. It all started in 1855 when a Scottish businessman, Edward Abraham Dyer, saw an opportunity in the hill station of Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. He began by brewing beer for the British who were seeking affordable options. This brewery gradually transformed into what we know today as Mohan Meakin Pvt. Ltd. And then in the 1960s, inspired by the calm and spiritual lives of Benedictine monks and their brewing traditions, Old Monk was introduced. Interestingly, before Old Monk made its mark, the Hercules rum was the go-to drink, but it was reserved for the armed forces. And the drink itself? Well, that is a true delight. It’s dark with a touch of vanilla flavor and boasts an alcohol content of 42.8%. Made in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, this rum spends seven years maturing, which gives it its distinctive taste.
Bacardi, a name recognized worldwide, made its grand entry into India in 1998. Even though India had a reputation for loving its whiskey, Bacardi quickly found its footing. How? Well, they brought with them a premium feel and a catchy tune that captured the hearts of the Indian crowd. But what’s impressive about Bacardi’s journey in India is its adaptability. They’ve collaborated with local comedians, hosted trendy cocktail evenings, and even launched hip-hop dance festivals. They’ve understood the pulse of Indian pop culture, making their brand resonate with the youth. Even in a market that’s generally more affordable, Bacardi, a premium brand, has found its unique place.
3. McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration
The McDowell’s brand began its journey in the early 1960s, starting as a brandy. But it was in the 1990s that the Celebration Rum variant was introduced. Behind the name “McDowell” is a tribute to Scottish distiller Angus McDowell who set up shop in India in the late 1800s. Celebration Rum has an intriguing relationship with Old Monk. For a long time, Old Monk was a global leader in dark rum. However, as McDowell’s No.1 Celebration grew in popularity, it began to challenge this dominance. Its growth in the Indian spirits market is remarkable, given the fierce competition from well-established brands like Old Monk and Bacardi. The secret behind that is consistent taste, clever marketing, and an understanding of what the Indian audience seeks in their spirits.
4. Captain Morgan
The name of this rum comes from a real 17th-century pirate, Sir Henry Morgan, from Wales. Back in the 1940s, a Canadian company named Seagram’s made this rum and named it to honor this pirate. It was in 1983 that Americans first got a taste of it, and by 2001, a big British company called Diageo bought the brand. When Captain Morgan sailed into India, Diageo had big hopes. They wanted it to be a special choice for those who loved dark rum and were willing to pay a bit more for it. Most Indians knew Old Monk, but Diageo wanted Captain Morgan to be another top name. Even though Bacardi, a famous name for white rum, wasn’t a big hit in this category in India, Captain Morgan wanted to be. And that’s what it eventually became and we now know it as one of the best rum brands in the country.
5. Havana Club 7
If you think of Cuban rum, Havana Club will probably pop up in your mind. It’s been around for a long time and is a pure taste of Cuba. Since 1994, a Cuban company and another big one, Pernod Ricard, work together to sell it everywhere except the US. There’s a bit of drama too because Bacardi in Puerto Rico claims they have the original recipe and also sell rum with the same name! When Havana Club 7 came to India, they wanted it to feel like Cuba in a bottle. It’s not just any rum; it’s super special and pricier. Indians, who were getting curious about different kinds of spirits, seemed ready for this. Havana Club 7 brings the heart of Cuba, its flavors, and its authenticity.
Malibu Rum is like a Caribbean holiday in a bottle. It was born in Barbados in the 1980s and has a little bit of coconut flavor, making it taste like a beachy dream. People worldwide adore it in summery drinks. When Malibu first landed in India in the 2000s, it felt a bit too sweet for many Indians used to traditional rums. But Malibu didn’t give up. They teamed up with local bars and created drinks that Indians would love. Today, young Indians can’t get enough of its tropical flavor. Malibu keeps things fresh with different flavors to suit the Indian taste.
Hercules Rum is truly an Indian one. It started after India became free in the 1940s. The Khoday Group in Bangalore made it first only for soldiers but later sold it in shops too. Thanks to its taste and the fact it reminded many of the brave soldiers, it became a hit. In India, rum is the heart of many celebrations. And Hercules, with its strong Indian roots, has been at the center of many such moments. As more liquor shops and bars opened, Hercules kept growing. It’s not just the flavor but the story of the soldiers that makes Hercules special. For a good rum that doesn’t empty your wallet and reminds you of India’s brave hearts, many choose Hercules.
Contessa is a well-loved rum made by Radico Khaitan Ltd, a big name in India’s liquor world. It’s super popular among the country’s Defence teams, so much so that it’s their top rum pick! This kind of love from the Defence folks has made many others want to try it too. People in India really enjoy its deep and rich taste. There are basically two types: the dark Hercules XXX Rum and the light Hercules XXX White Rum. Fans love its deep, sweet smell and taste. What makes Contessa special? You ask. It’s a strong bond with the Defence community and is the top rum choice in that group. Plus, it tastes great and doesn’t hurt your pocket!
Camikara is changing the game in the Indian rum world. Why? It’s India’s first rum made entirely from cane juice. This rum is a blend of old-school methods and new-age techniques. It’s so good that it even bagged a gold medal at the respected IWSC Awards 2023, getting a whopping 95 points. Behind this rum is Piccadilly Distilleries, known for top-notch quality. The whole idea behind Camikara was to bring a premium feel to rum. They started in 2009, using sugarcane juice and aging it in special bourbon oak barrels. The name “Camikara” means “liquid gold” in Sanskrit, showing how valuable this drink is. It’s special because it’s 100% natural, has no added colors or flavors, and aged for 12 years in American oak barrels. But, they’ve only made a limited number of bottles, so it’s rare!
Brought to us by Boutique Spirit Brands, Gladius Rum is for those who enjoy the finer things in life. There are mainly three kinds. The first one is the Gladius Blended 10YO. This rum is a mix of flavors like citrus fruits, sweet vanilla, the scent of oak trees, and a dash of spicy nutmeg. What’s more? A smooth, buttery caramel taste that stays with you. The second one is Gladius Gold Reserva 13 Rum, which has been aged for 13 years, showing how serious Gladius is about quality. It’s made from the purest spirits, promising a rich and memorable flavor. Then there is Gladius Limoni, which brings you a zesty lemony punch. It’s perfect if you’re looking for something fresh and different.
There you have it. Now it shouldn’t be too hard for you to choose the best rum in India as per your taste and of course budget. These are by far the best brands in the country when it comes to rum or some other spirits. But yeah, pick any rum brand from this list and you’ll be good for the most part.