A Pirate's Life: Celebrate Rum at These Orlando Bars

  • Where to Find Rum in Orlando

    Rum's history is long and colorful. Its fire has fueled the adventure of pirates, the heroism of the American Revolution and the imagination of many a celebrated artist. So why not celebrate the beverage itself?
    August 16 marks National Rum Day, and taverns across the nation – Orlando included – gear up for a party infused with the colors, scents and flavors that track the paths of those aforementioned pirates: the Caribbean, Latin America and the South Pacific.
    But, really, these venues invite you to step on board any day and celebrate rum right!

    Photo courtesy of Cuba Libre Orlando

  • Cuba Libre Orlando

    With more than 90 rums on hand daily, it could be argued that every day is Rum Day at Pointe Orlando's Cuba Libre. For fans of rum and Coke, a flight honoring its namesake cocktail will be offered for $12. It features the classic Cuba Libre, a Bacardi Torched Cherry-infused version and the uber-Caribbean coconut version, featuring Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum.

    Photo courtesy of Cuba Libre Orlando

  • Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

    Patrons who choose to celebrate rum at Highball & Harvest will enjoy a bit of the American South infused into its offering, the High Noon, which employs Central Florida citrus in its construction.
    "We take it to the Caribbean paradise we all dream of, the heat of the high noon sun, by way of South Florida rum and Velvet Falernum, a tiki-style liqueur,"says Lead Bartender Blake Herndon.

    Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

  • SLATE Orlando

    SLATE bartender Paul Johnsen calls its offering – La Vida de Ron ("The Rum Life") – "a happy collision between a daiquiri and a mai tai that avoids being too sweet or fruity and keeps the focus on the rum.”
    A floater of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva may have something to do with it. 

    Photo courtesy of SLATE Orlando

  • Trader Sam's Grog Grotto at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

    "Rum is a very versatile spirit ... light, dark, spiced, gold and flavored," says Brad Ward, Beverage Sales and Standards Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "The possibilities for making great cocktails are endless. And a flight gives our guests a chance to taste some fantastic rums side by side: Bacardi 8, Pyrat XO Reserve and Ron Zacapa Centenario 23-year."

    Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

  • The Imperial Sanford

    Behold the Olden Times Daiquiri at The Imperial wine bar and beer garden melds Sugar Island's Spiced and Coconut Rums, egg whites, sugar, fresh lemon and a "whole bunch of elbow grease" (AKA shaking) says General Manager Mike Smith.
    "People are so accustomed to daiquiris involving synthetic juices and coloring," Smith says. "And [they're] completely blown away when they find out you can make your own with fresh ingredients."  

    Photo courtesy of The Imperial at Washburn Imports - Sanford

  • Aku Aku Tiki Bar

    Many people's early experience with rum comes while traveling, says Todd Ulmer, Operating Partner at Aku Aku.
    "That's what's so great about a place like Aku Aku. The decor, music and cocktails take you away to some memory of island life," Ulmer adds.
    Aku's classic Mai Tai recipe was made famous by Trader Vic's back in 1944. But sadly, it's made incorrectly in almost every bar around. "If it's red, it's wrong," Ulmer says.
    Taste it right at Aku Aku.

    Photo courtesy of Aku Aku

  • TR Fire Grill

    "Our Sunshine Punch is refreshing and uplifting – perfect for hot August days," says Chef Bob Gallagher, senior vice president of culinary and purchasing for Romacorp, Inc., TR Fire Grill's parent company. "The warmth and spice of the ginger beer mixed with the sweetness of the fruit and the strength of the rum is a tasty combination."
    The cute bottle doesn't hurt, either.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • The Courtesy

    At this downtown favorite, guests can partake of the Mahalo Karloff (Plantation rum, white rum, house-made pistachio syrup, fresh lime, Angostura, mint and pistachio crumbles, topped with a black strap rum floater).
    "This cocktail was created by Courtesy star Elise Cuingan," says proprietor Gene Zimmerman. "It's the perfect summer cocktail, with tropical aromatics; rich complexity of flavors; and a subtle, creamy texture."

    Photo courtesy of Blake Jones / The Courtesy

  • Hemingway's at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

    "From his time in Spain watching the matadors to patrolling Cuban waters aboard the Pilar, Ernest Hemingway found inspiration from his surroundings,” says Eduard Propst, E.A.M., F&B Division for Hyatt Regency. “The culture and cuisine of these areas are where we find ours.”
    Rum Day guests at Hemingway’s would do well to try the Papa Doble, a daiquiri variation known oft said to be the author’s favorite cocktail. 

    Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

  • The Ravenous Pig

    Hail to el Jefe with the Ravenous Pig's El Presidente. A daiquiri-influenced cocktail, it's often made with pineapple juice. But Chef/Owner James Petrakis and staff find that a tad too fruity.
    "We prefer to honor El Presidente with Cointreau. Our go-to rum for this one is from Flagler Spirits, a small distillery in Palm Coast, Fla. The result: a perfect antidote for summer."

    Photo courtesy of The Ravenous Pig