With no guarantee of sunshine this month, we’re getting into the holiday spirit by swapping wintery whisky and dullsville vodka-tonics for tiki cocktails and zingy Cuba Libres. August 16th is National Rum Day – a great excuse to get some friends together and check out some of our favourite rum bars in London.
Bringing a little Caribbean sunshine to Soho and Notting Hill, The Rum Kitchen is one of our favourite places to kick back with a cocktail. Try their jerk chicken burger with Scotch Bonnet mayo or some sticky ribs, washed down with a fruity Rattleskull rum punch. Drop in after work for £5 Happy Hour cocktails from 5-7pm at their Carnaby Street shack and 6-8pm in Notting Hill.
A Camden institution since 1985, Cottons stocks over 250 varieties of rum – perfect for the rum connoisseurs out there. They serve some great cocktails too, from rum punches to sparkling tipples like the Martinique 75. Soak up the rum with an Island Mezze Platter or Caribbean classics like curried mutton and jerk pork. North London no good? Check out Cottons Rhum Shack at Boxpark in Shoreditch.
This Polynesian paradise beneath the Park Lane Hilton has been mixing up tiki cocktails in a beach bar setting for over 50 years. All of their drinks are served in oversized quirky glassware, from the Samoan Fog Cutter to the Scorpion Bowl for four to share. Their crispy duck and pink pepper tuna are delicious but if you only order one thing, make it a Mai Tai – Vic “The Trader” Bergeron invented it!
The tiki vibes are strong at this Notting Hill cocktail bar – think palm trees, Hawaiian shirts and punchy tropical drinks. Share a retro Trailer Colada with someone special and then stroll (or stumble) up Portobello Road for dinner at Electric Diner or Pizza East. Date night, sorted.
After a successful Hackney pop-up, the PortSide Parlour is now permanently docked on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. The dimly lit drinking den has a New York feel and the nautical theme is subtle – no pirate accessories required. There are 80+ rums to sample, plus seasonally rotating cocktails and some excellent whiskies. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, top restaurants like The Jones Family Project, Tramshed and Merchants Tavern are all close by.