Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! August 16 is National Rum Day.
From its tropical origins in Barbados and the West Indies, rum has found its way into glasses of delicious concoctions—from rum swizzles to mojitos, pina coladas, and daiquiris. Rum is made from sugarcane or a sugarcane byproduct, like molasses, and is used in cooking, baking, and, of course, cocktails.
Between Robert Louis Stevenson’s sea shanty lyrics in Treasure Island, Ernest Hemingway’s weakness for rum (daiquiris and mojitos were his drinks of choice), and Captain Jack Sparrow’s eternal search for rum, the Caribbean creation has played a part in literature, music, pop culture, and the lives of pirates everywhere.
Whether it’s National Rum Day, a special occasion, or Wednesday, check out some of our favorite places to enjoy the drink of pirates everywhere.
11 Orleans Street / Richmond, Virginia 23231
The Conch Republic is one of the best places in Richmond to enjoy waterside dining and sunset views. Mix in a painkiller (made with rum, pineapple juice, orange, juice, and cream of coconut and aptly named the “killer conch”) and you’re all set for a virtual trip to the tropics. Located at Rocketts Landing along the James River, it’s open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
16 N. 17th Street / Richmond, Virginia 23219
Follow Hemingway to Cuba with a coconut, pear, or Hennessey black mojito at Havana 59 in Shockoe Bottom. With the current pandemic and social distancing restrictions in place, outdoor seating just might bring to mind the streets of Havana. Choose from paella, poultry, and roasted pork dishes to go with your dark-n-stormy or fresh fruit daiquiri.
Irie Ting Jamaican Grill
100 E. Cary Street / Richmond, Virginia 23219
Irie Ting Jamaican Grill practices the thought of “Irie,” which means to be at peace with everything. In essence, Hakuna Matata, if you will. We can’t think of anything more peaceful than sipping a fresh and fruity Bahama Mama, Blue Hawaiian, or Mai Tai Sangria.
Enjoy an Irie Ting Rum Swizzle, which features dark rum, lime juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, nutmeg, and mint leaves. The Irie Ting Rum Punch is made with dark rum, fruit punch, simple syrup, orange, pineapple, and lemon juice. If you want to take it up a couple of notches, try a Long Island Iced Tea (gin, tequila, vodka, and rum).
Menu choices include traditional Jamaican dishes such as oxtail, jerk chicken and pork, curry goat and shrimp, jerk salmon burger, and Rasta pasta as well as vegetarian selections. Choose ackee and saltfish, liver and onions, or croissants with bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast.
1727 Rhoadmiller Street / Richmond, Virginia 23220
Virago Spirits, located near The Diamond in Scott’s Addition, is a rum distillery with a tasting room, curbside pickup, and online ordering. It’s also carried in some Virginia ABC stores for those who might want to host their own Rum Day event.
Virago’s flagship rum, Four Port Rum, is a blend of pot and column-distilled rums from four ports: Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Panama. On a side note, Havana 59 serves a Virago mojito with this local blend. Virago has been voted Best Rum in Virginia by Virginia Living readers. Let us know what you think.
What’s your favorite rum drink? Let us know in the comments.