With this year’s Notting Hill Carnival on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to try a selection of London’s best rum cocktails to get you in the mood for dancing and feasting. Oh, and did we mention that today (16 August) is also National Rum Day? See where’s best to get sugar-caned in the capital by reading below.
The Blind Pig, Soho
What to order: Jane of the Jungle
The lowdown: The destination lounge bar at Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred Social Eating House is causing a rumble with its Jane of the Jungle sip, which mixes Amaro di Angostura, rum, mango purée, bamboo milk, and tropical fruit juices.
What to order: All Things Nice
The lowdown: Part of the swanky Bloomberg Arcade, the latest Caravan site is getting in on the rum action with its All Things Nice cocktail. The tipple blends King’s Ginger liqueur, orange Cognac, overproof rum, chilli and lime to create a punchy, delicious drink.
Cottons Camden and Shoreditch
What to order: Queen’s Park Swizzle
The lowdown: Angostura has teamed up with Cottons at its Camden and Shoreditch sites to celebrate National Rum Day. From 13-19 August you can enjoy the Queen’s Park Swizzle, a tall and refreshing rum concoction with a kick, while tucking into to a rum-infused menu which includes the likes of cassava fries with a pineapple rum tartar sauce.
Crazy Bear, Fitzrovia
What to order: Zombie
The lowdown: This daring cocktail from Crazy Bear is just as unashamedly over the top as the rest of the place. The Zombie consists of three different kinds of rum, dry curaçao, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine and caramelised sugar, topped with a flaming passionfruit.
What to order: West Indian Tonic
The lowdown: From 13-19 August, imbibers at Hawksmoor Knightsbridge can enjoy the West Indian Tonic, which features Mount Gay XO, lime juice, honey and Campari, topped up with soda. The cocktail comes served in a coupette, with a grapefruit zest garnish.
May Fair Bar, Mayfair
What to order: Berkeley Punch
The lowdown: If you find yourself in Mayfair tonight, pop by the May Fair Bar to sip on the Berkeley Punch. The cocktail is a special blend of Chairman’s Reserve and Havana Club 3 rums, featuring notes of lime and guava, finished with fiery homemade ginger syrup.
Oxo Tower Bar, South Bank
What to order: Pleasure Boat or Rum ‘n’ Rock Steady
The lowdown: Oxo Tower is serving up two sips for Rum Day: Pleasure Boat comes served in a tiki glass and has a rum base with pineapple and passionfruit, while Rum’n Rocksteady comes served in a banana leaf and mixes rum with coconut water, pineapple and lime juice.
Rivington Grill, Greenwich
What to order: No Country for Old Fashioned
The lowdown: If your Rum Day experience involves a cinema trip, you might as well warm up with a No Country for Old Fashioned from Rivington Greenwich. The cocktail comes with salted butter and salted popcorn-infused Havana Club Especial, Angostura bitters and sugar.
Savage Garden, City
What to order: Horny Beast
The lowdown: Take your mind out of the gutter, as this sip is actually inspired by the story of Little Red Riding Hood (although we’re not entirely sure how). The drink comprises pink gin, coconut rum, lime, green strawberry, smoke and oak bitters.
Smith’s Bar & Grill, Paddington
What to order: Tropical Waters
The lowdown: Smith’s is in the middle of an entire Carnival Month, so it’s partnered with Barcadi to create a rum-based cocktail menu. We particularly like the look of the sea-blue Tropical Waters, which is available in a large, clear fish bowl as a sharer cocktail – drink up!
What to order: Sundew
The lowdown: Zuaya’s Sundew cocktail comes served in a tiki glass and is made with white rum, pink grapefruit, passionfruit syrup, strawberry and cinnamon spice, and is topped with a rosemary and passionfruit foam.
If you don’t discriminate when it comes to your base spirit, check out our list of London’s best cocktail bars, featuring more than just rum-based sips.