Today is National Rum Day – no, seriously, it is – and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. If you’d like to celebrate, here are six of our favorite places to imbibe Caribbean cocktails.
Tiki drinks feature prominently on the Old Town Alexandria bar’s cocktail menu, including the Wisdom of Pele, which mixes three different kinds of rums, spices and fruit juice in a large ceramic bowl for $19.50. Two or three people can easily share while sipping through long straws – but watch out for the reservoir of flaming booze in the middle of the bowl.
Boasting one of the best rum selections in the city, the Passenger’s bartenders know how to make a killer tropical drink. (They get plenty of practice at the weekly Tiki Tuesday happy hour.) Case in point: When I stopped in briefly last week and asked for something new and cool, I received a delicious yet simple rum punch made with a new dark spiced rum that had just come in. Falernum, bitters, lime and tonic.
U Street’s top Caribbean restaurant pours the some of the best rum drinks in Washington. The potent rum punch will sneak up on you – especially between 4 and 7 p.m., when glasses are half-price – but the real star is the Dark and Stormy. Trinidadian chef Addie Green makes her own rich and spicy ginger beer, which is mixed with dark rum for an out-of-this-world flavor.
This waterfront bar licenses its name from the famous Virgin Islands rum, and dark rum features prominently on the tropical drink menu. The showpiece is the Painkiller, a deceptively fruity mix of rum, juice and coconut liqueur, topped with freshly grated nutmeg. You can order a Painkiller #2, Painkiller #3 or Painkiller #4 – the higher the number, the more rum.
Named after the famous rum-and-cola cocktail, Cuba Libre has a selection of dozens of types of rum behind the bar and a lengthy list of mojitos and daiquiris. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today, all rum cocktails and rums by the glass will be half-price.
We know that the reggae DJs and spicy beef and jerk goat Jamaican patties are the reason for the lines out the door at Patty Boom Boom, but don’t overlook the bar. Three house rum punches – white, gold and dark, named after the style of rum used in each – will have you nodding your head to dancehall and rocksteady in no time.