Not yet ready to ring in the end of the summer with a Labor Day celebration? Luckily you don’t have to because today, on August 16, you can celebrate the cocktail-centric holiday National Rum Day. In the spirit of endless summer—and endless boozing—we give you six drinks you must mix up during these dog days of summer.
The BACARDI Cocktail
Recipe courtesy BACARDI Rum
According to lore, this cocktail recipe is the first in the mixology world to be protected by law. In the 1930s, bartenders across the U.S. were slinging this drink across the stick without its namesake ingredient, opting for “lesser” rums. One instance of boozy fraud at New York’s Barbizon-Plaza Hotel was discovered and brought to trial. In 1936, the New York Supreme Court ruled that “a Bacardi Cocktail must be made with Bacardi rum.”
2 ounces Bacardi Superior Rum
⅔ ounce lime juice
¼ ounce Pomegranate grenadine
Crushed and cubed ice
Preserved cherry, for garnish (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add equal parts cubed and crushed ice to the shaker and shake vigorously until the shaker feels cold. Double strain the drink into a chilled or frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a preserved cherry.
Recipe adapted from Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
Rum’s history can be traced back to Caribbean sugar farming in the 17th century, with a deep-rooted history in the Bahamas, which celebrates its 40 years of independence this year. Sip up this Bahamian classic, adapted from a secret family recipe, originating at the local favorite Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar on Green Turtle Cay.
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup coconut-flavored rum
2 tablespoons light rum
2 tablespoons gold rum
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 pineapple wedges, for garnish
2 orange slices, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except for garnishes. Shake vigorously and pour drink in a tall glass over ice. Garnish with the pineapple wedges and orange slices.
Recipe courtesy John Watling’s Distillery, Nassau, Bahamas
Named after a 17th century pirate, John Watling’s Distillery is the newest rum export out of Nassau. Housed on a historic estate founded in 1789, John Watling’s produces small-batch pale, amber and Buena Vista rums that are all coconut charcoal-filtered and aged for various lengths in oak barrels.
1¼ ounces John Watling’s Pale Rum
½ ounce John Watling’s Amber Rum
1 ounce egg white
1¼ ounce lemon juice
Splash of simple syrup or teaspoon of sugar
In a cocktail shaker, combine the pale rum, egg white, lemon juice and simple syrup (or sugar), and shake vigorously. Pour mixture into a short glass filled with ice and top with Amber rum. After floating the Amber rum on the surface of the drink, do not stir. You can better enjoy the layers of flavor.
Recipe courtesy The Red Coral Lounge, San Juan Marriott, Puerto Rico
At San Juan Marriott’s recently renovated lobby bar, The Red Coral Lounge, rum reigns supreme. Break away from the same old-same old mojito with the hot spot’s signature Dragonberry Mojito.
1½ ounces Bacardi Dragon Berry rum
3 fresh strawberries, diced
8 fresh mint leaves
3 fresh lime wedges
Cane sugar, to taste
Soda water, to top
Muddle all ingredients except the soda water at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake. Pour into a tall glass and top with soda water. Serve with a straw.
Recipe courtesy Kim Hassarud, author, 101 Tropical Drinks (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)
This gorgeously hued cocktail is as soothing as a whale song, with coconut cream and fresh juice rounding out the tropical flavors of rum and curaçao. And the flaming garnish adds perfect flair.
1½ ounces Cruzan silver rum
½ ounce blue curaçao
1 ounce pineapple juice
½ ounce lime juice from half a lime, reserving the squeezed lime for garnish
½ ounce simple syrup
¾ ounce Amoretti coconut cream
½ overproof rum
Combine all the ingredients except the overproof rum in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard and strain into a wide-mouthed glass. Fill the lime half with the overproof rum and float on top of the drink. Light on fire with a match. Drink up when the flame goes out.
Same Same but Different
Recipe courtesy Lebua Hotels & Resorts, Bangkok, Thailand
This cocktail is named after a popular Thai-English saying the means “they are similar in many ways but still different.” Sweet and relaxing, it’s served at Lebua’s rooftop Tower Club in Bangkok. Using pandan leaf, widely available in Asian markets, this cocktail is what its name implies: Similar to other drinks, but like nothing else.
½ ounce Havana Selection
½ ounce Havana Bianco
½ ounce Malibu Rum
2 ounces fresh coconut water
¼ ounce pandan-infused simple syrup
1 pandan leaf, for garnish
Sliced fresh coconut meat, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, pour all the ingredients except for the garnish. Stir and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with pandan ice cubes.
To make pandan ice:
1 piece pandan leaf, chopped
4 cups water
7 ounces sugar syrup infused with pandan leaf
¼ ounce green food coloring (optional)
Boil water with the pandan leaf for 3–5 minutes. Let the water cool and add the pandan-infused simple syrup, and if desired, green food coloring. Place in ice trays and freeze.