Ah, rum. It has a colorful history with the British Navy – not to mention their rogue pirate nemeses – and was often swilled with a ration of scurvy-fighting lime. But Americans gave the yo-ho the heave-ho post independence, abandoning rum for homespun hooch like bourbon and rye until its resurgence during WWII and the subsequent tiki-bar culture of the ‘50s. Got a fondness for the demon water? August 16 is National Rum Day. Presenting a few ideas for celebrating in Orlando:
Courtesy mixologists give the classic Negroni cocktail a rum spin with Brugal 1888 — Photo courtesy of Bron Moyi
Owners at downtown haunt, The Courtesy, feel fondly for high-end rum. So much so that they’ve extended the celebration into a weekend event with featured craft cocktails each evening. Rum is also the focus of Saturday’s mixology class. History and varieties will be discussed, created and (best part!) sampled. “Zombie Hour” goes from 7-9 pm and, if the dead are still shambling, again from midnight to 2 am. Fine rums will be the focus of Sunday’s signature libations, as well.
Salud! Cuba Libre's coconut mojito, acai caipirinisima and passion fruit mojito — Photo courtesy of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
The Andrews Sisters sang about rum and Coca-Cola, a drink commonly known as the Cuba Libre – these days also a beautiful Pointe Orlando restaurant dedicated to Cuban heritage, music, cuisine and yes, cocktails. Rum Day brings half-priced DonQ libations at the bar during “Caippy Hour,” from 5-7 pm. Drinks of the day: the passion fruit mojito, coconut mojito and acai caipirinisima.
Local venues including Cask & Larder craft cockails with WP Distilling's rum, but you can easily create your own versions at home — Photo courtesy of Winter Park Distilling Company
The “Your Name Here” Tavern
Locals looking to stay home and celebrate may do so while keeping Orlando’s rum in Orlando. Pick up a bottle of Winter Park Distilling Company’s Dog Island Rum, a small-batch, artisanal white that will mix beautifully in any of your favorite libations while supporting a local small business. It’s available at any Publix Liquors for $21.99. Send them a picture of your pooch and he may end up on the next label.