Barman’s Tip: Don’t Buy Cheap Rum

flipflop rum is a big flopGoing out to the liquor store can be an expensive trip, especially if you need to stock up on more than one or two bottles while you’re there. Spirits range in price from just a few dollars to over a hundred dollars a bottle. Most of us stay in the mid-range, figuring that we won’t get something terrible and we won’t break the bank. But those cheap spirits can be pretty tempting when you are on a budget.

Just for the hell of it, I picked up a bottle of mindbogglingly cheap rum the other day when I was at Trader Joe’s. I initially thought that it was a bottle of cheap wine – and when I realized that it was a bottle of rum for less than $4, I figured that it was worth a shot. Trader Joe’s usually sells quality, right?

It was called “flipflop” and it was most definitely a huge FLOP.┬áTo be blunt, it was horrible. It smelled strongly like rubbing alcohol and tasted like it, too. I didn’t waste too much money on it, but I also couldn’t put it in a drink without completely ruining it. The lesson? It may be tempting to save a few dollars on your base alcohol, especially if you’re making mixed drinks, but sometimes cheap booze is cheap for a reason. Don’t waste your money and start with something decent (and you can make a reasonable guess based on the price).

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