RON MATUSALEM PLATINO ($17)
In pre-revolutionary Cuba, immortalized by macho novelist and de facto spirits expert Ernest Hemingway, Matusalem was the island's bestselling rum. The brand was founded in Cuba in 1872 by Spanish brothers Eduardo and Benjamin Camp. The name, taken from the biblical Methuselah who lived 969 years, symbolized the time involved in crafting their rum. After the revolution, the Camps left Cuba and settled in the Dominican Republic, where they still produce Matusalem to the original recipe.
The Matusalem Platino is a smooth, lush, silver rum with creamy vanilla and spice tones and a rich, dense finish. It's perfect for one of today's hottest cocktails, the mojito, the unofficial national drink of Cuba. In a collins glass, dissolve 1 teaspoon superfine sugar in the juice of one lime. Add 3-4 mint leaves and muddle. Fill the glass with crushed ice, add 2 ounces silver rum, and top with club soda.
MYERS'S LEGEND ($40)
Myers's was founded in Jamaica in 1879. Myers's Legend, distilled in traditional pot stills and aged 10 years, is made very much in the style of the naval rums that limeys used to drink onboard British ships in the days when Britannia ruled the waves. It has a rich amber color. Clove, chocolate, and allspice abound in the nose, with hints of molasses, spice, prune, and toasty oak. The rope-wound bottle is a replica of the squat, tip-proof decanters used by naval officers.