The intelligent investor's guide to spirits

Money asked top connoisseurs to identify their favorite undervalued spirits. These hidden gems will set you back less than the standard labels and impress your friends more. Bottoms up!

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You probably think of rum as the lowbrow liquor your college kid pours into a soda. That's white rum. There's another rum more fit for grown-ups, and that's the dark variety. Aged in wood casks, dark rum can be sipped straight; it also works well in cocktails. Few people realize how similar in flavor it is to whiskey and cognac; thus many great bottles sell for less than $35. Spirits companies are just now beginning to market this message - which means prices are likely to rise a lot in the next few years, says Wayne Curtis, author of "And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails." Stock up now on the bottles below.

Our picks:

Santa Teresa 1796, $35: A favorite of Curtis, this was Malt Advocate's 2005 spirit of the year.

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate, $35: This includes rums up to 12 years old and tastes more like a cognac or a single-malt whisky because of its aging.

Flor de Caña seven-year-old Grand Reserve, $23: Big in flavor, this won silver from the Beverage Testing Institute.

NEXT: Whiskey
Last updated December 19 2008: 10:43 AM ET
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