Best sugarcane spirits to try
Everyone loves a rum cocktail! But there are so many other sugarcane spirits to try, too. Here’s everything you need to know about rhum agricole, cachaça, clairin and more
Want to stock your drinks cabinet with the best sugarcane spirits? Read our guide below, then check out our favourite premium rums to try. Don't forget our easy rum cocktails recipe collection for cocktail lovers.
Best sugarcane spirits to try at a glance
What are sugarcane spirits?
Sugarcane is the base ingredient for an array of different spirits made across the globe. Rum is the most popular and widely known, but there's a rich world of other sugarcane spirits that are well worth trying, too.
When sugarcane juice is turned into sugar, a dark, gooey, sugary substance called molasses is produced as a by-product. A lot of rum is made by fermenting and distilling molasses into a spirit. Rhum agricole, however, is made from raw sugarcane juice. Originating from the French Caribbean islands, the resulting spirit carries a lot of the flavours of the sugarcane, with a grassy, funky character.
Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça, is also made from fresh sugarcane juice, but is treated as a separate spirit to rum. Popular in its home country, it’s one of the most widely produced spirits in the world. Try it in a caipirinha.
Produced in Haiti by predominantly small rural distillers, clairin is made from raw sugar cane juice. It’s usually rustic and characterful in nature.
There are many other sugarcane spirits to explore, including aguardiente (an umbrella term for other cane spirits in South America) and arrack from Southeast Asia and India.
Best sugarcane spirits to try 2023
Saint Benevolence Rum Clairin
Earthy and peppery with wasabi-like notes. Sales from each bottle directly fund charitable works in Haiti, from medical services to education.
Yaguara Organic Cachaça
An organic Brazilian cachaça that’s herbaceous and aromatic.
Damoiseau Rhum Gold
Best rhum agricole
Aged in oak barrels for 18 months, this rhum agricole from Guadeloupe has delicate woody and spicy notes.
Best rum blend
Mainbrace Rum is a hybrid affair, made using a blend of aged golden rums from three different stills in Guyana, and un-aged rhum agricole from Martinique. It’s the latter that really elevates the rum, lending it a grassy, earthy, subtly funky edge. Try mixed with ginger beer or in a cuba libre.
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