Ahoy Matey! It's National Rum Day

There's no better day to discover the hottest spirit out there: rum. It's great up, on the rocks and in these spirited cocktails.

During a trip to the annual cocktail convention Tales of the Cocktail, held each July in New Orleans, I learned a thing or two about cocktail trends: Tiki cocktails are big, classic cocktails are hot and hospitality is in, so don’t take any guff from that attitudinal “mixologist” when he asks if you want to pay extra for artisanal ice in your cocktail. The bartenders I spoke to at Tales were adamant that bartending needs to recapture the spirit of hospitality that has sometimes been lost as craft cocktail culture has ascended.

Spicy Daiquiri

Spicy Daiquiri

Spicy Daiquiri cocktail.

Photo by: Flor de Cana

Flor de Cana

And another big trend at Tales of the Cocktail? Rum!

People are enjoying its delicious, subtle flavors neat, or serving it on ice, and innovative bartenders are moving beyond pina coladas and rum-and-cokes, or just offering up creative twists on those classics. In anticipation of National Rum Day August 16 I tried the below Pina Colada recipe this past weekend, the perfect frothy, sweet sip for the dwindling days of summer. I substituted some of the coconut cream with coconut/pineapple water for a less sweet, high-calorie cocktail: one thing Tales of the Cocktail taught me is to experiment and have fun and see what you like.

Rum tastings at Tales from brands like Diplomatico and Montanya opened my eyes to the subtlety, variety and flavor profile of this brown liquor to mix up my bourbon routine. Some of my favorite "cocktails" at Tales of the Cocktail weren't cocktails at all, but delicious white and dark rums served neat.

Celebrate National Rum Day with these cocktails from some of the best bartenders and brands in the spirits world who brought their A-game to Tales of the Cocktail.

The Hemingway Cocktail

The Hemingway Cocktail

A Hemingway cocktail made with rum, lime and grapefruit juice.

Photo by: Papa's Pilar

Papa's Pilar

A Hemingway cocktail made with rum, lime and grapefruit juice.

THE HEMINGWAY 

Courtesy of Papa’s Pilar

  • 1.5 ounce Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum
  • .5 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • .75 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Maraschino liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients & shake then strain.

Serve in a coupe glass.

OLD CUBAN  

An Old Cuban cocktail.

An Old Cuban cocktail.

Courtesy of Papa’s Pilar

  • 2 ounces Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
  • .75 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .75 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 6-8 mint leaves gently muddled

Shake and fine strain. Top with 2 ounces champagne.

Serve in a coupe glass.

Old-Fashioned  Cocktail

Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Diplomatico Old-Fashioned cocktail.

Photo by: Diplomatico

Diplomatico

Diplomatico Old-Fashioned cocktail.

DIPLOMATICO OLD-FASHIONED

Courtesy of Diplomatico

  • 2 ounces Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 
  • .25 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange zest 

Combine Reserva Exclusiva, sugar syrup, Angostura bitters and orange zest in a mixing glass with large ice. Stir vigorously and strain into an old fashioned glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with orange zest twist or a Maraschino cherry. 

Savoy Daisy Cocktail

Savoy Daisy Cocktail

The Savory Daisy cocktail.

Photo by: Diplomatico

Diplomatico

The Savory Daisy cocktail.

SAVOY DAISY 

Courtesy of Diplomatico

  • 1 ounce Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 
  • .25 ounce Diplomático Reserva
  • 2 ounces Ruby Port
  • .75 ounce lemon juice 
  • .25 ounce muscovado sugar syrup
  • .25 ounce drenadine
  • Orange zest

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange zest. 

Spicy Daiquiri

Spicy Daiquiri

A Spicy Daiquiri.

Photo by: Flor de Cana

Flor de Cana

A Spicy Daiquiri.

SPICY DAIQUIRI

Courtesy of Flor de Cana

  • 1 small pinch of salt 
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce Ancho Reyes Ancho  Chile Liquor
  • 1 ounce Flor de Cana 7

Best shaken and served up.

Manhattan Cocktail

Manhattan Cocktail

A Manhattan cocktail.

Photo by: Flor de Cana

Flor de Cana

A Manhattan cocktail.

FLOR DE CANA MANHATTAN

Courtesy of Flor de Cana

  • 2 parts Flor de Cana 7 rum
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1/6 parts Maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Pina Colada Cocktail

Pina Colada Cocktail

A classic Pina Colada cocktail.

Photo by: Flor de Cana

Flor de Cana

A classic Pina Colada cocktail.

FLOR DE CANA PINA COLADA

Courtesy of Flor de Cana

  • 2.5 parts Flor de Cana 7 rum
  • 3 parts pineapple juice
  • 1 part coconut cream

Combine the FDC7, pineapple juice and coconut cream in a blender. Add cup of crushed ice and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Pineapple Cocktail

Pineapple Cocktail

The Stiggins' Swizzle.

Photo by: Gabi Porter/Plantation Pineapple

Gabi Porter/Plantation Pineapple

The Stiggins' Swizzle.

STIGGINS' SWIZZLE

Courtesy of Plantation Pineapple Rum

Cocktail by Michael Goldman, Maison Ferrand

  • 2 ounces Plantation Pineapple Rum Stiggins’ Fancy
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .5 ounce ginger peppercorn syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
  • Angostura bitters
  • Peychaud bitters

Swizzle all ingredients with crushed ice. Top with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig, Angostura bitters and Peychaud bitters.

*Ginger Peppercorn Syrup

  • 2 cups pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Simmer all ingredients for 10-20 minutes. Strain and cool.

Rum Cocktail

Rum Cocktail

The C.A.P Carre cocktail.

Photo by: Gabi Porter/Plantation Pineapple

Gabi Porter/Plantation Pineapple

The C.A.P Carre cocktail.

THE C.A.P. CARRE

Courtesy of Plantation Pineapple Rum

Cocktail by Brittany Chadbourne, Maison Ferrand

  • 1.5 ounces Plantation Pineapple Rum Stiggins’ Fancy
  • 0.5 ounce Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
  • 0.5 ounce Amaro Montenegro
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • Dash Peychaud bitters
  • 1 teaspoon Benedictine

Combine all ingredients except for Benedictine over ice and stir. Rinse rocks glass with Benedictine. Add ice. Strain into rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Berry Jive Cocktail

Berry Jive Cocktail

A Berry Jive cocktail.

Photo by: Montanya

Montanya

A Berry Jive cocktail.

BERRY JIVE

Courtesy of Montanya

Glass: Belgian beer

In a cocktail shaker with ice combine:

  • 3 fresh strawberries (option: 2 fresh strawberries and 4 raspberries)
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 2 basil leaves

Muddle above ingredients together.

Add:

  • .75 ounce Triple Syrup*
  • 2.5 ounces Montanya Platino Rum
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

Strain and pour over glass filled with cocktail ice.

Garnish with a mint leaf and fresh berry.

*Triple Syrup

Bring a combination of natural sugar, light agave, and honey (1 part) to water (1 part) to a boil. Refrigerate. Keeps in fridge up to 30 days.

Salty Dog Cocktail

Salty Dog Cocktail

The Salty Dog cocktail.

Photo by: Montanya

Montanya

The Salty Dog cocktail.

SALTY DOG

Courtesy of Montanya

Glass: Rocks

In a shaker with ice combine:

  • 2.5 ounces Montanya Platino Rum
  • 1/2 ruby red grapefruit, juiced
  • .25 ounce simple syrup
  • Small branch of fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of salt

Shake and strain over ice.

Scarlett O'Hara Cocktail

Scarlett O'Hara Cocktail

The Scarlett O'Hara.

Photo by: Montanya

Montanya

The Scarlett O'Hara.

SCARLETT O'HARA

Courtesy of Montanya

Glass: Champagne coupe

In a cocktail shaker with ice combine:

  • 2.5 ounces Montanya Platino Rum
  • 1 teaspoon organic cranberry juice (use frozen concentrated form)
  • 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
  • .25 ounce simple syrup* (to taste, depending on the sweetness of the cranberry concentrate)

Shake and strain. Top with Champagne or Prosecco.

*Simple Syrup

Bring natural sugar and water to a boil at a ratio of 1:1. Refrigerate for up to 30 days.

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