3 ways to pair rum with food

3 Ways to Pair Rum with Food

Many reach for a bottle of their favorite wine to pair food with, but few consider food pairings with spirits. When they do, it’s often as a digestif coupled with dessert. So when the experts at Diplomático Rum stopped by earlier this month, we jumped at the opportunity to challenge our palates and explore food pairings in a guided tasting of three different rums.

Founded in 1959, Diplomático is internationally recognized for producing some of the finest rums in the world. Rum is filled with flavors of vanilla, molasses, citrus and even caramel. Their rums are aged in different casks, typically former bourbon and malt whiskey barrels. This ageing, along with different blending and distillation processes, gives each rum its distinct color and flavor. Through our guided tasting, we learned that rum is filled with flavors of vanilla, molasses, citrus and even caramel.

Below, check out how ICC Culinary Events Coordinator, Chef Natalia Pozzi balanced these flavors in her food pairings with Diplomático Rum!


Planas rum is perfectly paired with seafood. Aged for up to 6 years, it has notes of coconut and ground coffee, which compliment the salinity in the seafood. For the tasting, Chef Natalia prepared a red snapper ceviche with jicama, mango and avocado. The citrus notes in both the ceviche and rum made for a delicious and balanced pairing!


Mantuano is a dark, golden rum that is aged for up to 8 years in white oak casks. They use casks which previously aged bourbon and malt-whiskey, giving this rum all of the spices and flavors — like cinnamon, apple and nutmeg — commonly associated with those spirits. Chef Natalia prepared a molasses glazed pork tenderloin with grilled pineapple and chili for this pairing, demonstrating that smoky flavors of the meat compliment the Mantuano well.


Reserva Exclusiva is an amber colored rum with a complex taste. It has bright, orange citrus flavors combined with the flavors of cocoa. The cocoa adds bitter notes to the palate, while the citrus adds freshness and sweetness. To end the tasting, Chef Natalia paired the Reserva Exclusiva with — what else? — an orange infused chocolate truffle.


This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.

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