Friday, August 16 is National Rum Day here in the U.S. That's great news for yours truly because rum is on of my favorite spirits to order at a bar but you need the right ingredients to mix with as a cocktail or good enough rum to truly enjoy it.
Now I'm sure by now all of us have had a good mojito or two and who hasn't had a cuba libre (Rum and coke) but I would suggest going to a few of these places to really enjoy quality rum. Being that rum is fermented from Sugarcane tropical fruits pair with it fantastically. Also many people may not know that aged rum can have the complexities similar to whiskey. A good aged rum can have a lot of complexity of the oak of the barrel, hints of vanilla, cherry, etc.
Caracas Arepas (291 Grand St. between Havermeyer and Roebling; Williamsburg, Brooklyn) Arepas original location is a small loveable cafe in the East Village of Astor Pl. is named after the capital of Venezuela. The food is delectable but what I like even better is the Roneria Caracas, their rum bar. I found multiple aged rums from all over the Caribbean and a homemade sorrel infused rum which is a must try. The outdoor setting and garden this time of year makes this place a must go.
Mangoseed (757 Flatbush Ave. between Clarkson and Lenox; Flatbush, Brooklyn, ) : This is a local spot for yours truly. If you go there at their happy hour (4-7pm Tuesday-Friday and again from 10-close) they have a homemade mango and passion fruit spiced rum that man, in warm weather I can drink that concoction literally like water; its that good and smooth. The key is the homemade brewed tea that they use and ask for it with a darker flavor rum because it blends better than the lighter rum. . Some of the other cocktail specials they have are quite enjoyable also. They have a decent rum selection of 15-20 ranging from Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad is a good selection but not quite as extensive as Arepas, but you'll still be happy.
Cienfuegos (95 Avenue A between between 5th and 6th sts. East Village, Manhattan) : This East Village hot spot is named after a city that excelled in the late 1800's on two things Cubans know a lot about, tobacco and sugar cane production. Watch out for these huge punch bowls designed for 2,3 and up to 10 people. With rums ranging from most if not all the Caribbean Islands you're going to love this place. Make sure you try their specialty cocktails like the Isla Punch, (Barbancourt 4 year rum, guava, lychee, lime and a splash of soda.) After that even a wall flower can jump up and Mambo!!
The Rum House (228 W. 47th St. between broadway and 8th Ave.; Miidtown Manhattan) This used to be a theater district dive bar but new management came through and voila they've stepped up their game!! More than 30 plus rums are available and to create a great ambience they still have their old jazz piano and a heavy hand on pours. The great midtown location makes it an ideal spot for an after work cocktail.
Astor Room (34-12 36th St, Long Island City, Queens) Queens I ain't forget about you!!! This roaring 1920's style bar is located in the Kaufman Astoria studios as it was the commisary for old silent movie stars. Much different appeal and decor and ambience than the rest on the list but a good place to get a good rum drink or two.
Well everyone I hoped you enjoyed the list and remember that the great joy of this list is that you can enjoy rum on any day, not just National Rum day but hey there's no time like the present!