Rum is said to have originated in the Caribbean island of Barbados in the 17th Century. Since then, it has made its way around the world, becoming one of the most versatile and beloved spirits. South Florida knows all about celebrating and drinking, so National Rum Day, August 16, is practically a no-brainer. You've got the sun, you've got the sand, and now here's where to get the specials:
Beaker & Gray. Wynwood's hip drinking hole will celebrate the holiday with a wide selection of rum cocktails. Try the exclusive, one-night-only Velvet Slipper ($7), featuring Plantation Three Star, Velvet Falernum, banana, coconut cream, and pineapple, or go for the Zacapa old-fashioned ($14), made with Ron Zacapa 23 rum, Demerara, and chocolate bitters. The Black Orchid ($14) — Diplomático Reserva, Amaro Lucano, vanilla smoke-infused Kronan, and scorched orange — is another sultry option. Of course, you can't say rum without saying daiquiri, and Beaker & Gray has you covered with daiquiris for only $5 all summer long. 2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-699-2637; beakerandgray.com.
Charcoal Garden Bar & Grill at the Wynwood Yard. Chef Ken Lyon's Josper-centric newcomer has a festive outdoor bar built with refurbished shipping containers. During National Rum Day, take a load off while sipping the La Marigot ($15), made with Haitian Rhum Barbancourt and Jamaican Smith & Cross rum, along with hibiscus syrup, fresh lime juice, and milled allspice. 82 NW 29th St., Miami; 786-646-2998; charcoalmiami.com.
DB Bistro Moderne. Daniel Boulud's classy downtown restaurant will serve the Old Cuban ($14), mixing the best of both worlds — champagne and rum. The drink is shaken, strained, and then topped off with fresh mint. You can sit at the elegant bar and lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows or enjoy your drink with the award-winning French-American fare. 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-421-8800; dbbistro.com/miami.
Doa. The restaurant will offer the Bright Lights, Big City ($16), containing Ron Barceló platinum, lime juice, pineapple, simple syrup, and passionfruit purée; as well as the Aye Caliente ($16), made with Añejo Barceló, passionfruit purée, lime juice, cinnamon, and Peruvian pepper. 2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-587-2000; doacantina.com.
Kiki on the River. This riverside restaurant that channels a romantic island garden in Greece has partnered with Bacardi for National Rum Day to offer Kiki's Kiss ($7), made with Facundo Bacardi rum with house-made strawberry and rhubarb yogurt, lemon, and strawberry and topped with cocoa powder. Or try Lured to Mykonos ($8), made with Bacardi 8 with Aperol falernum, pineapple and coconut juices, and Creole bitters and garnished with toasted coconut shavings and dried pineapple. 450 NW North River Dr., Miami; 786-502-3243; kikiontheriver.com.
Kyu. Wynwood's Asian barbecue hot spot dives into the rum celebration with its Mojito Posh Nosh ($14), made with rum, shiso and mint leaves, fresh lime, and lychee juice. 251 NW 25th St., Miami; 786-577-0150; kyumiami.com.
Lightkeepers. Named in honor of the lighthouse keepers who watched over the Cape Florida Lighthouse in the 1800s, this seafood spot will serve the John W.B. Thompson smoked old-fashioned, made with Ron Cartavio 12-year rum, LaPhroaig Islay Scotch, Santa Teresa Rhum orange liqueur, and orange bitters. 455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne; 305-365-4156; ritzcarlton.com.
Living Room. Cocktails featuring exotic herbs, house-made spices, and essential oils are popular at this swank spot on Collins Avenue. For National Rum Day, settle into one of the plush couches and order a Rum With Me ($16), containing aged dark rum, fresh-squeezed lime juice, coconut crème, pineapple, basil, and granulated brown sugar, or the Buccaneer ($16), made with aged dark rum, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, guava, simple syrup, and ginger. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-938-3000; wsouthbeach.com.
Meat Market. If you like your rum with steak, head to this Lincoln Road spot for the MM mai tai ($15), made with Ron Zacapa rum, Don Q Cristal rum, citrus orgeat, curaçao, and Cruzan dark rum. Or try the 915 Manhattan ($16), made with Four Square rum, cynar, crème de cacao, Dolin sweet vermouth, and bitters. Fruitier palates will enjoy the Strawberry Fields ($15), made with Havana Club Blanco rum, strawberry shrub honey, bitter lemon soda, and hibiscus rum. 915 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-532-0088; meatmarket.net.
MO Bar + Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental. Enjoy panoramic views of the skyline and water at Mandarin Oriental's elegant bar and lounge. For National Rum Day, MO Bar + Lounge will offer a cigar-smoked rum Manhattan ($18), made with Diplomático rum, vermouth, Angostura bitters, Peychaud's bitters, and Averna Amaro. Add $5 for a cigar-smoked version. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8358; mandarinoriental.com.
Monty's Coconut Grove. The bayside hangout will serve its signature Pain Removers, which come in three potencies; tropical fruit mojitos; and frozen favorites for $6 during happy hour, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m. 2550 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove; 305-856-3992; montysrawbar.com.
Pisco y Nazca. For the holiday, enjoy a Proper Rum & Coke ($11), containing Ron Zacapa 23 rum, Coca-Cola, cherry and chocolate bitters, and a cinnamon stick. The drink will be half off during happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. 8551 NW 53rd St., #A101, Doral; piscoynazca.com.
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Rusty Pelican. Enjoy the view of Miami's skyline while you sip a Floridita ($15), made with Bacardi 8, fresh lime juice, sugarcane syrup, egg white, mint, and edible flowers. Or sip the Agua de Coco ($15), containing Bacardi Coconut, coconut water, coconut-lime syrup, and fresh mint. 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne; 305-361-3818; therustypelican.com.
Stripsteak by Michael Mina. This restaurant inside the Fontainebleau will serve the Perfect Hemingway ($15), made with Diplomático Exclusiva and Blanco, Luxardo Maraschino, and grapefruit. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 877-326-7412; miciaelmina.net.