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What makes spiced rum different?

Rum is a popular spirit made from sugarcane byproducts like molasses or sugarcane juice. While traditional rums are often enjoyed straight or in cocktails, spiced rums have added flavors from spices and other ingredients.

What is spiced rum?

Spiced rum is rum that has been infused with spices, fruits, nuts, herbs, or other flavors. Some common ingredients used to make spiced rum include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Peppercorn
  • Orange peel
  • Lime juice
  • Almond
  • Coconut

The spices and flavors are often steeped in the rum to allow the flavonoids to infuse into the spirit. The rum may be aged before or after the flavor infusion process.

What makes spiced rum different from regular rum?

Here are some of the key differences between regular rum and spiced rum:


The most noticeable difference is the flavor. While regular rum tastes predominantly of molasses or sugarcane, spiced rum has extra flavors from the added spices, fruits, herbs, nuts, or other ingredients.


Many spiced rums have added sugar or flavors that make them taste sweeter than regular rum. The extra sweetness helps balance out the spices.

Alcohol content

Spiced rums often have a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) compared to traditional rums. This is done to make the flavorful rums more palatable when sipped straight. Regular rums are often 40% ABV or higher, while spiced rums may be 35% ABV or less.


Some spiced rums are aged in oak barrels before bottling to smooth out the flavors and add complexity. The aging time can range from a few months to several years. Regular rums may be unaged or aged longer.


The spices and other ingredients used to make spiced rum can give it a darker color, ranging from warm golden to deep mahogany tones. Regular white or gold rums are often lighter.


Spiced rums are commonly enjoyed neat, on the rocks or used in mixed drinks. They pair especially well with cola or ginger beer. Regular rum is also very mixable, but may overpower more delicate ingredients.

Popular spiced rum brands

Some well-known brands of spiced rum include:

Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan makes various spiced rums, including their Original Spiced Rum with notes of vanilla, caramel and other spices.

Sailor Jerry

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum gets its flavors from a blend of Caribbean rum, cinnamon, ginger and other spices.

Kraken Black Spiced Rum

Kraken is known for its bold black color and flavors like cinnamon, clove and anise.

Bacardi Oakheart

Bacardi’s Oakheart balances vanilla, maple and spices in an amber colored rum.

Brand Notable Flavors
Captain Morgan Original Spiced Vanilla, caramel, spices
Sailor Jerry Cinnamon, ginger, spices
Kraken Black Spiced Cinnamon, clove, anise
Bacardi Oakheart Vanilla, maple, spices

Cruzan Rum 9 Spiced Rum

Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum features a blend of nine spices including allspice, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.

How is spiced rum made?

While the exact methods vary between brands, here is a general overview of how spiced rum is made:

Start with a base rum

The process starts with a regular or light rum as the base spirit. This provides the main rum flavor.

Choose spices and ingredients

Spices, fruits, herbs and other flavorings are selected based on the desired taste profile for the final spiced rum.

Prepare ingredients

The spices and ingredients may be toasted or processed to bring out optimal flavor.

Steep ingredients in rum

The ingredients are added to the rum and allowed to steep anywhere from several days to several weeks. This infuses the flavors into the rum.

Filter and adjust

Once flavors are extracted, the liquid is filtered. Sugar or honey may be added at this point to balance flavors and sweetness.

Age and finish

The spiced rum may be barrel-aged in charred oak barrels to smooth out the flavors. Bottling and finishing processes follow.

How to drink spiced rum

Here are some delicious ways to enjoy spiced rum:

On the rocks

Pour spiced rum over ice and enjoy it straight up to savor the flavors.

Mixed drinks

Combine with cola, ginger ale, fruit juices or other mixers for a tasty cocktail. Popular mixes include rum and coke or a Cuba libre.

Hot drinks

Add to coffee, hot cider or hot chocolate for a spicy warm-up drink.


Shoot spiced rum straight or in combination with other spirits.

In punches or sangria

Include in rum punches, hurricane cocktails or fruity sangria punches.

In desserts

Use spiced rum to flavor desserts like bread pudding, rum cake or bananas foster.

In marinades

Marinate meats in spiced rum to impart sweet and savory flavors.


Spiced rum expands on traditional rum with added flavors from spices, fruits, nuts and other ingredients. The result is a more complex, sweeter rum that makes an excellent sipping spirit or cocktail mixer. While spiced rum contains many of the same ingredients as regular rum, the flavor infusion process transforms it into a whole new tasting experience. With so many brands and flavors to choose from, spiced rum is a spirit to explore.