Miami's Best Eats and Drinks This Weekend: Global Rum, Italian Happy Hour, and a Bark Crawl

Hang with Jack Sparrow.EXPAND
Hang with Jack Sparrow.
Courtesy of Rum Renaissance Festival

It's April 15 , Tax Day. For you procrastinators out there, you actually have until Monday to file so put your feet up and relax. 

This weekend you can sample rum from exotic locales, enjoy a light and bubbly happy hour, get your bark on with a beer crawl to benefit pups, or help save a life by supporting organ donation.

Weekend starts now!

Ralph Pagano's Naked LunchEXPAND
Ralph Pagano's Naked Lunch
Courtesy of Ralph Pagano

National Donate Life Blue and Green Day at Naked Lunch
Not to be a downer, but after you've passed on to that great food hall in the sky, your corneas and heart are of no use to you anymore — but they're the difference between life and death to the thousands of people waiting for a life-saving organ. Just the other day, a good friend got a text that her friend had finally received a kidney and was rushing to the hospital in an Uber for the transplant. "She could barely speak," said my buddy. This is the reality of the many who die waiting for a match. 

Today, April 15, is National Blue and Green Day. These are the colors of the Donate Life campaign to raise awareness of the need for local Miami residents to become registered organ, eye, tissue, and brain donors. You're urged to wear these colors in support of this cause. In addition, the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park (1951 NW Seventh Ave.) is hosting an event, starting at 10 a.m. today. Ralph Pagano of Naked Lunch, located in the building, will be cooking up some special items for lunch. Join the chef, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, University of Miami faculty and staff, and South Florida first responders for this important lunch event. Most of all, pledge to have your organs donated — and tell your family and doctor of your wishes.

The Rum Renaissance Festival features rare rums.
The Rum Renaissance Festival features rare rums.
Courtesy of Rum Renaissance Festival

Rum Renaissance Festival
Sure you've had rum from Puerto Rica and Jamaica, but have you ever sampled the spirit from Thailand or India? Enhance your spirited education at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival at the DoubleTree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center this weekend. The largest rum festival in the world features hundreds of rums to sample, along with seminars, live entertainment, and even a pop-up liquor shop so you can take your favorites home with you. The festival runs from Friday, April 15, through Saturday, April 17. Friday is open to trade only from 1 to 6 p.m., though consumers who purchase a three-day pass can attend. The festival is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $75 for one day and $125 for all three days. Tickets must be purchased in advance at miamirumfest.com or by phone at 877-855-3378. Parking at the DoubleTree costs $5.

Cristiano Vezzoli makes orancello at Via Verdi
Cristiano Vezzoli makes orancello at Via Verdi
Courtesy of Via Verdi

Aperol Spritz Happy Hour at Via Verdi
Italians live by la dolce vita — the beautiful life. And nothing is more beautiful (or refreshing) than an Aperol spritz. This low-alcohol cocktail mixes bittersweet Aperol and prosecco and is guaranteed to make you bubbly all over. Come out to Via Verdi for its Aperol spritz party this Friday, April 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. with live music by Lola Lavoy, complimentary Aperol spritz samples, giveaways, and happy hour drink specials. To get you started, happy hour officially starts at 4 p.m. with drink specials. 

Drink beer, help dogs.
Drink beer, help dogs.
Photo by Laine Doss

Bark Crawl
Coconut Grove goes to the dogs on Saturday, April 16, for the first annual Bark Crawl benefitting Paws 4 You Rescue. At 3 p.m., meet on the second floor of Cocowalk, then crawl to several Grove spots including 
Barracuda, Taurus, Fat Tuesday, and Sandbar. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through Eventbrite. The event is 21 and over and please leave your pups at home. Email andrew@howlinpet.com with any questions or for additional information.

Persian pomegranate chicken
Persian pomegranate chicken

Fooq's and Friends
On Sunday, April 17, Fooq's Miami continues it's Fooq's and Friends dinner series. This time, DJ Tennis is the guest star. The dinner, which starts at 7 p.m. will feature a three-course, European-inspired meal for $50 (there's also a five-course option for $75). A wine pairing is an additional $45. For tickets, email david@fooqsmiami.com.

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Via Verdi Cucina Rustica

6900 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33138

786-615-2870

viaverdimiami.com

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Fooq's Miami

1035 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33136

786-536-2749

fooqsmiami.com

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Naked Lunch

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