Friday, August 16, marks National Rum Day, a time to celebrate the rich flavor of the spirit that infamously lubricated pirates and sailors in the 1600s. The main player in many favorite tropical cocktails, such as the piña colada and daiquiri, rum has a long history in South Florida dating to the days of rumrunners trafficking illegal liquor over the open seas. Plus, the region's rich Caribbean culture has made rum the unofficial spirit via the mojito and the Cuba libre. Let's face it: Rum is quintessential Miami.
Local bartenders are honoring the Magic City's favorite spirit with National Rum Day concoctions, from classic zombies to creamy mai tais. All cocktails and specials will be available this Friday.
Nancy2007 SW Eighth St., Miami
Drink like a swashbuckler at Little Havana’s nautical-themed bar with $10 rum day specials. The evening's signature drink is the Anchors Aweigh, made with rum by local distiller Ziami, pineapple, apricot liqueur, and fresh lemon juice.
Beaker & Gray2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Beaker & Gray has partnered with Papa’s Pilar and Miami Rum Club to pay homage to the spirit. Specialty rum libations include How Mama Met Papa ($11), containing Papa’s Pilar Blonde, pear brandy, Fos Greek Mastiha, cinnamon, lime, grapefruit, and soda; and the Discotheque ($11), shaken with Miami Club rum, Montenegro, cinnamon, ginger, pineapple, lemon, and cherry bark vanilla bitters. In addition, a classic daiquiri will be available during happy hour for $7.
The CommodoreRitz-Carlton Coconut Grove
3300 SW 27th Ave., Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove's swanky outpost for craft cocktails boasts a menu of sophisticated rum tipples such as the El Presidente ($15), made with Don Q rum, orange curaçao, dry vermouth, and grenadine. Other Rum Day drinks are the Ralph’s Choice — containing Santa Teresa añejo, lime, and pineapple shrub — which will be half off all day. In addition, the bar will serve select rum flights from 5 to 11 p.m.
Ember151 NE 41 St., Miami
Chef Brad Kilgore's new Design District restaurant, Ember, is shaking up the perfect after-dinner drink with its rum cake mai tai ($15). The drink marries rum, lemon, vanilla, and maple with a house-made pecan and vanilla orgeat.
Esotico Miami1600 NE First Ave., Miami
This tiki bar is set to debut its rum-shaking digs this Thursday, just in time for the holiday. The tropical outpost will offer an array of rum-based concoctions, such as the Club Bali ($15), with Cachaça Yaguara and Banks Five Island rum. Other options include a classic zombie, made using the original recipe created in 1930 ($15). Patrons can take home souvenir tiki glassware for an up-charge.
Jet Pilot Pop-Up at Minnow Bar660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
This Friday, Minnow Bar will premiere its tiki-inspired pop-up, Jet Pilot, with Rum Day drinks such as the Painkilla. Served in a tall ceramic bamboo-shaped glass festooned with a crown of tropical flowers and a citrus peel, the drink blends Banks Seven rum, fresh orange, pineapple, coconut, and mango ($13).
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The Lincoln Eatery723 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better duo than coconut and rum, and Lincoln Eatery will offer Rum Day revelers just that with its Morning After ($11). A corn-flake-infused rum base is shaken with pineapple and coconut, poured into a coconut-shaped cermac glass, and blanketed with shaved coconut.
RumbarRitz-Carlton Key Biscayne
455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne
Exclusive deals at the Cuban-inspired cocktail lounge inside the Ritz in Key Biscayne include a $5 rum punch from 3 p.m. till late. Another recommendation is the El Floridita, made with Ron Cartavio 12-year rum, orange-infused flower water, guava nectar, and bitters ($15). Plus, from 7 p.m. to close, enjoy half off cigars, $10 rum-and-cafecito cocktails from the bar's cocktail cart, a game of dominoes, and live music.