5 New Cocktails for National Rum Day

By Lesley Balla  |  August 16, 2013
Credit: Hinoki & the Bird

The thought of rum drinks usually leads us to sunny tropical beaches, but truth is, rum is almost as American as apple pie and deserves its own holiday, which happens to be today. The sugar cane spirit practically fueled the building of the country - George Washington even had a barrel of Barbados rum for his inauguration - and it was one of the first to be distilled here. It's made quite a resurgence over the last few years, and we're not talking about the coconut-flavored stuff. You can find top-notch sipping rums at places like La Descarga and Caña Rum Bar, as well as a perfect daiquiri. If you're really gunning for something fruity and tropical, Tiki Ti has it in spades. For something fancier, check out these five new restaurants and bars slinging some delicious rum-based drinks.

  • Credit: Noe Montes

    You already know that the seafood is top-notch at Michael Cimarusti's new Connie and Ted's in West Hollywood, but you can just as easily go in for a Down East Punch as a lobster roll. Made with cognac, rum, housemade LAMILL coffee syrup and whole milk, it goes down pretty easy. The Catalina Eddy (two kinds of rum, banana cordial, honey and lime) is a perfect summer sipper (8171 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-848-2722).

  • Credit: Ryan Tanaka

    Downtown LA's Coco Laurent not only has a new wine bar, but also a new cocktail program to boot. One of the new drinks to hit this summer is the Insane Bolt made with Smith & Cross rum, lime, bitters, Maraschino liqueur and orgeat. It's so good, it was featured at one of the competitions at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (707 S. Grand Ave.; 213-623-0008).

  • You'll get swept away in the beauty of the new Acabár, which recently opened in the former Dar Magreb space in West Hollywood. Now that there's a bar to sidle up to, Julian Cox and Josh Goldman have put together a fantastic cocktail program with classics from the late 1700s and early 1800s, plus modern-day drinks. They put their version of the tiki classic Zombie on tap, and it comes topped with a flaming lime. Four rums go into this thing - you're only allowed two per person due to potency. You'll want more than one due to the deliciousness (1510 N. Stanley Ave.; 323-876-1400).

  • We love the cocktail program at David Myers' Hinoki & the Bird almost as much as we love the sambal skate wing and matcha donuts. The Kingston Negroni fits in with the Spice Route-inspired menu quite well, made with Smith + Cross Jamaican Rum, Gran Classico, sweet vermouth and an orange twist (10 Century Dr.; 310-552-1200).

  • At Downtown's sexy new Ebanos Crossing, rum is a major part of the repertoire, where hot-shot mixologist Phil Ward (NYC's Mayahuel) created easy-drinking rum cocktails, like the Jet Scream, made with Jamaican rum, Crema de Mezcal, ginger, grapefruit, lemon and Trader Tiki's Don's Mix (200. S. Hill St.; 213-935-8829).