One of the better Reggae themed parties dance party in the greater NYC region is near the beach and its not at Fire Island, or far away Long Island it is in the Rockaways and you can get there by subway.
For every Friday in August, (and we only have two more remaining) Blackwell Rum sponsors a great Reggae Night at the Playland Motel (97-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Queens, NY 11693. Take the A train to beach 98st and walk two blocks.) The Playland Motel is a good beach party scene in itself, as it run by 4 people who have run restaurants and bars in ever popular Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So you get the relaxation of the nearby beach and the party scene.
Rockaway Beach is becoming a much sought after summer beach theme for the city, which Rockaway Beach was as a whole in the 1950's and 1960's also. Hey outside of those I can't leave Manhattan types many young New Yorkers have come go to at least Reis beach close by when it is extremely hot.
Playland Motel is around an hour away from Midtown Manhattan, and 30-40 minutes back to my people in Brooklyn and Queens. Okay enough on why going out to the Playland Motel is is fun, lets talk about what actually makes this party fun.
First things there is no admission, so how can you dislike that? There is a naturally ebullient atmosphere surrounding you in that "let's make fun happen and we came to have a good time" vibe. Add that to some of the slamming cocktails they serve and the very sexy people milling around and you have come up on something my friend.
What I do know about a good Reggae party? Glad you ask my friend, look I live in Flatbush so I know a thing or two about great Caribbean fete's and parties in the back yards in the 50's and 90's off Church Avenue for those of us in the real know. I've also been to Bembe on a Tuesday Night and Belmont Lounge on a Sunday. All those parties, "Are real Irie dread fuh ah mi tru headz in da spot," but this one also has a fun vibe and diverse clientele for those who can still enjoy the music but want to be near the beach.
The party is also hosted by Blackwell Rum, a true Jamaican Rum. Blackwell Rum was founded by Chris Blackwell of Island Records which is the label that Bob Marley was signed to.The rum is a personal Blackwell family recipe and is called "Black Gold" for its texture and flavor. If there is one thing that Jamaicans take as serious as Reggae, its their rum and perhaps their track and field.
So there all the good information people. A great Rum in Blackwell hosting a free great party at a happening spot while you have 2 more times to really enjoy the beach; What more can you want? well okay how about a great drink. may want more. So here is a rum recipe that you can make but it's better if you can't make it to Playland and need that island cocktail getaway during the week visit, The Leadbelly down on 14 Orchard Street near Canal St and ask for the Osaka 79. Leadbelly is a nice little bar lounge on that LES/Chinatown mix with a DJ at nights and refreshingly hip but chill spot. This drink will wisk you away to where you want to be because let us not forget National Rum Day was just earlier in the week on Monday, August 18th.
1/2 oz Blackwell Rum
1 oz Jasmine infused pierre ferrand 1840 cognac
3/4 oz Aragoshi unfiltered Umeshu
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Bunny Sparkling Sake
Named for the year of Bob Marley's first tour of Japan. This cocktail pairs Blackwell Rum with Jasmine tea infused Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac. Unfiltered Japanese Plum Wine lends a sweet stone fruit aspect that plays wonderfully with Blackwell's notes of Vanilla and the herbaceous Jasmine. Bunny Sparkling Sake's effervescence adds to the refreshing nature of the drink with out over diluting. To finish, the drink is garnished with a Shisho leaf to bring back the vivacious qualities back to the nose. To prepare, mix all ingredients save Sparkling Sake in shaker tin, shake to temperature, pour over fresh Ice in a rocks glass and top with Bunny Sparkling Sake.