Outside of the tropics, there’s no better locale to sip on rum drinks than the idyllic sunny weather of San Diego. With long sunshine days, and breezy coastal evenings, rum is a winning base for cocktails.
On Thursday, Aug. 16, tropical drink lovers around the country will celebrate National Rum Day with cocktail umbrellas held high. Whether heading to the tropics in your mind or exploring the racy side of rum, here’s where to get your rum fix around San Diego.
Cocktails fit for vacation
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant: Order a Tan Lines cocktail, with a mix of Malahat spiced rum, Banane du Brésil, absinthe and orange bitters, and you’ll be wishing you were working on becoming a bronzed beauty.
2202 Fourth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.231.0222, bankershillsd.com
Prohibition: Go tropical with the new Trip to Belize cocktail made with Brugal 1888 rum, lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon, Dimmi and R&D aromatic #7 bitters
548 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, prohibitionsd.com
Monkey King: Picture yourself in the rainforest with a Jungle Bird made with hibiscus-infused rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice and Demerara. Their Salt Collins, will have you singing Jimmy Buffet, sipping on salted plum-infused rum, fresh lemon juice and Demerara
467 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.359.8897, monkeykingsd.com
The Westgate Hotel: The Copacabana Mai Tai with have you channeling Barry Manilow and belting out Copacabana with a mix of avuá cachaça, local Malahat spiced rum, orgeat almond and citrus.
1055 Second Ave., downtown, 619.238.1818, westgatehotel.com
Curadero: Surf the waves with the K-38 cocktail, which is named after the famous Baja surf spot, that includes Caña Brava white rum, Mezcal Vago Elote, muddled tomatillo, fresh lemon and seltzer.
1047 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.515.3003, curadero.com
Barbusa: Image floating on crystal-clear waters with Paradiso — a mix of Brugal 1888 rum, white peach, rhubarb bitters, vanilla and lemon.
1917 India St., Little Italy, 619.238.1917, barbusa.com
Charles + Dinorah: Daydream away with the coconut fat-washed, pineapple-infused Plantation rum, lime, blood orange, orgeat, coconut milk cocktail aptly named Dreamsicle.
1410 Rosecrans St., Point Loma, 619.226.6100, thepearlsd.com/dining
Join the Dark Side
Cloak & Petal: Work on that grin with a Devil’s Advocate made with Caribbean rum, cashew milk, lime, high ester Jamaican rum and Peychaud’s bitters.
1953 India St., Little Italy, 619.501.5505, cloakandpetal.com
Grant Grill: Darker-hued rums take stage at this upscale locale with its Voodoo Cocktail Menu courtesy of the Chef de Bar Cory Alberto. For the holiday try a Voodoo Priestess with Appleton 12-year-old rum, Golden Moon Dry Curacao, Marie Laveau Bitters and strained local citrus or the The Haitian Gentleman with Rum Barbancourt 15-year-old Haitian rum, Creme de Cacao and R&D Smoked Bitters.
326 Broadway, 619.232.3121, grantgrill.com
Mister A’s: A tribute to the Sirens, who pulled sailors to shipwreck, The Siren’s Song cocktail is just as seductive with Zacapa Solera-aged rum, watermelon-mint shrub, Campari, fresh lime, agave nectar, mint falernum and pickled watermelon.
2550 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.239.1377, asrestaurant.com
JSix: Don’t let dark clouds spoil the mood, just sip on a Morning Thunder with Pisco Encanto, Malahat spiced rum, elderflower, Giffard Banana, Chareau Aloe, grapefruit, and Greek yogurt.
616 J St., downtown, 619.531.8744, jsixrestaurant.com
Sip on these deals
Havana 1920: Featuring more than 150 varietals hand-selected by Beverage Director Ryan Andrews, the Gaslamp hotspot will be offering half-priced rums and a Matusalem & Company rum flight that includes samples of three variations including Clasico, 15 Gran Reserva Solera Rum, and Gran Reserva 18.
Other selections at Havana 1920 include Diplomático, Neisson L’Esprit, Flor de Caña, Rhum Clément, and Foursquare Rum Distillery. While there, try the Hotel Nacional, made with Diplomatico 6-year rum, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, apricot liqueur and R&D aromatic #7 bitters.
548 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.369.1920, havana1920.com
The Grass Skirt: With “Half-off the Rum Wall,” sample various rums from a selection of 175+ rums available at special pricing on National Rum Day. While there, try a tiki cocktail from the large menu, where new selections were recently added.
910 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.412.5237, thegrassskirt.com
Bencotto + Monello: Snuggle up with your sweetheart on National Rum Day during “aperitivo hour,” (4-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday). Try the Bencozy cocktail crafted with spiced rum, Solerno blood orange, lemon, pineapple, orange, falernum and Fee Brothers bitters. Then stop next door to Monello, and munch on complimentary bites while sipping on the Qto e il Ferragosto, with white rum, Malibu rum, lime, solerno, honey and red pepper.
Rabbit Hole: Continue that plush tropical feeling with Bacardi rum, passion fruit, honey, lime and lemonade until you are Comfortably Rum.
3377 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, 619.255.4653, rabbitholesd.com
Make your own
Celebrating National Rum Day at home this year? Whip up this flavorful (and devilish) concoction from Shelby Atkinson at Sycamore Den:
Rummin’ with the Devil
.75 oz. fresh lime juice
.5 oz. coconut cream
.5 oz. banana liqueur
.25 oz. pimento dram
1.5 oz. housemade rum blend (theirs is made with Appleton Rum, Clement Rhum Agricole and Cruzan Light Rum)
2 dashes Pernod
Directions: Serve on crushed ice in a tiki glass, topped with Peychaud’s bitters, mint, nutmeg and edible flowers.
Sycamore Den: 3391 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, 619.563.9019, sycamoreden.com