White rum, despite what many may think, is not only suited to settings of white sandy beaches in the summertime. When done right, it’s refreshing for frosty snow-covered evenings, too.
Brugal was founded in 1888 by Spaniard Don Andrés Brugal Montaner in the Dominican Republic, where production still remains. Today, the Brugal master blenders are his fourth- and fifth-generation descendants, and the brand commands 90 per cent of the Dominican rum market. Brugal’s distillation process removes the heavy alcohols that give other rums their sweetness, resulting in a clean, dry spirit. All flavours are, in fact, the result of aging in wood casks; since Brugal was acquired by Edrington in 2008, the company has access to some of the best American and Scottish whisky barrels in the world, and follows the same wood policy as the Macallan.
The Extra Dry is aged between two and five years in white American oak casks, then triple-filtered to remove all colour. The result is delicate—with hints of light vanilla and citrus—and versatile (during a blind tasting, many mistook it for gin or vodka). Don’t shelve this one for the winter: drink it neat or on the rocks, or pair it with lemon juice, honey, and Angostura bitters for a chilled, light winter sipper by the warmth of a fire.