National Rum Day seems pretty simple for bartenders: Just knock a dollar off rum drinks and expect a few more customers than your average Tuesday.
But like shaking or stirring a delicious rum cocktail, doing National Rum Day right is a little more complicated. That’s why some of the country’s best bartenders and spirits professionals raise their rum and treat the day like a true holiday—and a big opportunity.
“The whole idea of National Rum Day is to discover something new about rum,” says Ian Burrell, a nominee for Wine Enthusiast’s Brand Ambassador/Mixologist of the Year. The way to do this is straightforward, but requires a bit of brainpower. “Create a National Rum Day cocktail to serve on the day itself. Better still, create a National Rum Day menu to showcase a variety of different rums.”
Creating a brand new menu—for one day—may seem daunting. But luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch. Take a cue and some inspiration from world-renowned bartenders like Boston’s Ran Duan, who’s serving his signature Pineapple Daiquiri #3, a delicious update on the classic rum cocktail.
Ran Duan’s Pineapple Daiquiri #3 with BACARDÍ GRAN RESERVA MAESTRO DE RON® rum.
Reinterpreting classic cocktails—traditionally made with other spirits—with rum is another great way to celebrate National Rum Day. It’s something Ran Duan emphasizes on his menu. “One of my favorite twists on the Manhattan or Old Fashioned uses BACARDÍ® 8.”
You guessed it: The Ocho Old Fashioned uses BACARDÍ 8 as its rum base.
But you can’t mix in any rum. “All cocktails are improved by premium spirits,” Duan says, which explains why the sought-after Ocho Old Fashioned uses BACARDÍ 8, a deep and mellow rum that’s been aged 8 years. It’s the reason the Maestro Collins, a popular take on the Tom Collins, uses the warm and smooth white rum, BACARDÍ GRAN RESERVA MAESTRO DE RON®.
In the words of Ian Burrell, premium rum is necessary for “any cocktail where rum is the star of the show.” And on National Rum Day, it should star in every cocktail.