It was the two vacations to Jamaica—and my sweet tooth—which guaranteed that I’d eschew all other spirits for a rum drink. After a long day, there’s little else I like better than sitting in my backyard with a cold rum cocktail in hand. Normally, I look a little closer to the equator for producers of the sugary stuff, until a friend told me about Crested Butte’s Montanya Distillers. And while the High Country may seem like an unlikely place for a rum bar, this growing business (it moved from Silverton in 2011 to grow, after just three years) is mastering the combination of sugar cane, water, yeast, and honey. It focuses on two kinds of rum: Platino (a light, clear variety) and Oro (a dark, smoky rum). Both are solid sipping spirits, but I prefer them mixed in one of the bar’s constantly evolving list of cocktails. Tip: Order one of the chile-inspired drinks. The pepper’s kick mellow out the sugary notes for a well-balanced drink that even a rum-hater can love. 130 Elk Ave., Crested Butte; 970-799-3206
Two to try:
1. Habanero Mango (pictured): Rum, agave, habanero, mango, and fresh lime
2. Caldera: Cucumber-infused rum, lavender, mint, honey, lime, and jalapeño.