Just FYI: National Rum Day is tomorrow, not that you need an excuse to drink rum, especially on a balmy August day in Los Angeles. But what’s your preference? Tiki? Classic? Aromatic? Shaken? Really, there is no wrong answer. There’s something for every kind of drinker out there. And just to make things easier here are a few of the tastiest and newest rum libations around town, categorized by the type of drinker.
For the Rum Connoisseur
Honestly, if you decide to hole up for the alcoholiday at Caña Rum Bar downtown, then you’ve chosen wisely, my friend. Not only does the bar have a damn fine selection of rum but it will be giving out lifetime memberships (regularly $20 a year) all weekend to anyone who yells, “I love rum!” (OK, maybe you don’t have to yell.) Either enjoy a high-end rum neat while chilling on the patio with a cigar, or grab your buddies and go in on a group-friendly Caña Colada ($50) made with the house’s Papa’s Pilar blend, housemade coconut cream, and fresh pineapple.
For the Day Drinker
Day drink at Big Bar in Los Feliz where they’ll be featuring the rum cocktail Drake’s Tariff for brunch. Named after the mighty tariff exacted by privateer Sir Francis Drake, this cocktail is made up of Bacardi 8, Smith & Cross rum, Angostura bitters, Cherry Heering, and lime.
For the Cocktail Umbrella Collector
At The Raymond’s 1886 Bar in Pasadena, check out the new Nine Pieces of Eight cocktail using fig-infused black rum, 100-proof rye, bonded apple brandy, Cio Ciaro amaro, velvet falernum, honey, pineapple, lime, and white grapefruit juice served in a goblet. “This cocktail invigoration of fig-infused Jamaican rum tastes great and helps this cocktail stand out amongst other classics in the molasses rum cocktail category,” said 1886 head bartender Brady Weise.
For the Tropical Vacationer
Currently on Republique’s cocktail menu is a delicious tropical cocktail by barman Erik Lund. Originally the drink was made with mezcal but customers just weren’t going for it, so Lund simply switched the mezcal with rum and lo and behold it became a favorite. It’s vacation in a glass with a mix of rum, coconut, pineapple, pandan, milk, and cassia.
For the Chocolate ‘Tini Lover
And now for something completely different: Melrose Umbrella Co.’s Frauds and Swindlers with Stolen rum, Selvarey cacao, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, and mint. This refreshing and aromatic rum cocktail is a serious version of a chocolate mint ‘tini. No extraneous chocolate syrup or mint liqueur here.
For the Tiki Fan
Acabar’s Demerara Rum Swizzle, off the restaurant’s new cocktail menu, “is like a Zombie for the summer time,” said mixologist Josh Goldman. Made with El Dorado 8-year, Lemon Hart 151, lime, grapefruit, falernum, and pomegranate “it’s got lighter fruit and sweeteners in it than a Zombie but still has that nice punch of rum.” Best enjoyed when sitting by the fire pit under the open sky in the central courtyard.
For the Thinking Drinker
When thinking up his Mosquito Coast rum cocktail AOC’s Christiaan Rollich first obsessed over its main component, Flor de Cana 7-year rum. “I looked at the rum, tried it and I put it aside.Then an idea starts lingering around in my head. And once it lingers, I cannot let it go. I become obsessed,” he said. Finally he decided to build on the Nicaraguan rum’s baking spices scent and warm flavor with housemade pistachio syrup, Chile de Arbol Tincture, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters.