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National Rum Day is August 16: Celebrate it at Tiki Oasis in San Diego

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National Rum Day is Saturday, August 16. As part of the National Rum Day celebration and the Tiki Oasis event taking place in San Diego this weekend, Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove SF, will be leading a symposium on rum, the favored island drink. This event, which has grown steadily over the years to the premiere event in Tiki culture, will feature live music, writers, clothing contests, photography, a car show and many more shows and symosiums. Seminars on Tiki food and drinks will give everyone an insight into what helped to form some of the most popular foods and drink in the world. Of course, there will be several events featuring rum at the Tiki Oasis 2014 event taking place in San Diego from Thursday, August 14t to Sunday, August 17.

Rum has been a big part of several cultures for many years. Starting in the 1600's, rum was a regular part of any sailor's ration in both Navy and merchant vessels. By the 1900's, songs had been written about rum, while pleasure sailors adopted rum as their favorite drink. In 1934, a man by the name of Donn Beach (changed legally to that from a much less colorful name) arrived in Hollywood, where he settled after extensively sailing through the South Pacific. Taking a love of Cantonese cuisine, Polynesian culture and rum, he created his restaurant, Don the Beachcomber. The tiki culture was born. Rum Runners, Mai Tais, Beachcomers and Bahama Mamas joined us at cocktail hour. Hurricanes and Scorpions invaded our shores, while Painkillers, Navy Grog and Blue Hawaiians made us feel much better. On National Rum Day, we can reflect on all the delicious drinks rum has made possible.

Martin Cate is a perfect example of the modern-day spirit of Donn Beach. Martin owns Smuggler's Cove, a premier San Francisco bar specializing in rum and cocktails. Martin has created many original rum cocktails, is a member of the prestigious United States Bartenders Guild and is a certified IBA Spirits Professional. He has been a judge at many rum tasting competitions and has conducted many seminars at events throughout the United States and Europe. He will be the perfect person to speak about rum on National Rum Day.

Martin will be giving attendees an insight into many of the world's newest and best rums at his seminar, 'Join the Rum Revolution!'. He will lead a tasting of several new rums and lead a discussion on how you can take a part in rum's renaissance. Besides Martin's seminar, various events will spotlight the rum drink's place in Tiki culture. Thursday night, a Meet and Mingle will be held at the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island. The restaurant, built during the Golden Age of Tiki culture, features Polynesian décor, tiki drinks,South Pacific and Southeast Asian cuisine. The Bali Hai is perhaps the most perfect example of a place that typified the Tiki Culture's style.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel, normally a non-smoking hotel, will be the site of several special events. Lost Spirit Rum, Denizen Rum and Zacapa Rum have each joined Muneca Cigars to host a special paired tasting of premium rum and hand-rolled cigars. These limited seating events will give participants a chance to see what an excellent pairing with a sipping rum and a premium cigar can be.

Several symposiums will cover different aspects of tiki drinks. 'The Bitter Side of Tiki' will explore the uses of bitters and tinctures in various cocktails. The 'Frozen Cocktail' delves into the history of many of the most popular blended tropical drinks. A contemporary culture to the Tiki Culture, the Beat Culture is explored through “Literary Drink', about the Beat authors and the cocktails they consumed.

As everyone enjoys their Mai Tai, Rum and Coke or other favorite rum concoction on National Rum Day, just remember that Rum has played an important part in the history of America. Rum importing was a big business in the colonies. At George Washington's Inauguration, he brought in his favorite beverage, six barrels of rum from Barbados. Our Founding Father certainly had found a spirit he enjoyed. Make sure you lift a glass of rum on National Rum Day and toast to a delicious spirit!

The TikiOasis 2014 will be held at several San Diego venues from August 14th through 17th. Information and tickets can be obtained through their website, www.tikioasis.com. Addition updates and info can be found on the TikiOasis Facebook page.

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