National Rum Day: 5 Best Rum Cocktails and Bars

It's National Rum Day today, and it's the perfect excuse to indulge in a Dark ’n’ Stormy, Piña Colada or to shake things up with a rum punch.

The spirit, which is made from sugar cane juice or produced as a byproduct of molasses, is enjoying a surge in popularity globally. While often associated with the Caribbean and its pirates, rum actually originated in Papua New Guinea, making its way to the Caribbean later. Did you know that the Philippines was the second largest producer of rum globally? We didn’t either.

To celebrate, we’re giving you 5 of our favourite rum cocktails from our 5 favourite rum brands (some of which are new to the game) and 5 of the best rum bars in London. So, in no particular order:

5 delicious rum cocktails to try on National Rum Day

Don Papa Rum

Don Papa Rum, AKA 'The Don', is a small batch premium Rum. It's distilled, aged and blended in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon, on the Island of Negros Occidental in the Philippines. This light amber coloured Rum has light, fruity aromas and a very smooth, rich flavour. It tastes of vanilla, honey and candied fruits. The bottle is also a work of art.

Darker Don – the Don’s homage to one of the classics.

4 parts Don Papa Rum
1 part fresh lime juice
Ginger beer
Mix over ice into a highball glass
Garnish – fresh bunch of mint

Don Papa Rum is available in Majestic stores nationwide and online at RRP: £31.75 (70cl) ABV: 40%


Aluna Coconut Rum

A new player in the spirits world, Aluna is a high altitude rum from Guatemala made with virgin sugar cane honey ('miel de caña') which results in a lighter, smoother and naturally sweeter rum with significantly less sugar than competitor brands. This is married with selected Caribbean rums for a little heat and structure.

Aluna Colada - a lighter non-frozen alternative to the classic Piña Colada. 

1 part Aluna Coconut
3 parts pineapple juice
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Shaken with cubed ice and strained into a tall glass
Garnish - wedge of pineapple or coconut and pineapple leaves

Aluna Coconut is available in Harvey Nichols stores nationwide and online at RRP: £24.95 (70cl) ABV: 35%


The Duppy Share

The Duppy Share is a blend of a 3-year-old Jamaican rum from the Worthy Park distillery and a 5-year-old Barbados rum from the Foursquare distillery. The Jamaican rum provides a big, bold and punchy flavour that is great at cutting through strong flavours such as lime and ginger. It’s smooth, soft and rounded.

The Duppy House Punch (serves 15) - the official rum punch at this year’s Notting HiIl Carnival.

700ml The Duppy Share
1.5L Old Jamaica Ginger Beer
1L Cawston Press Cloudy Apple Juice
Fresh Limes
Angostura Bitters

Mix the Rum, Apple and Ginger in a punch bowl, add in fresh limes with a squeeze and serve over plenty of ice. Add a dash of Angostura Bitters to finish.

Duppy Share is available in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide and online at RRP: £26.00 (70cl) ABV: 40%



FAIR Rum is produced using only Fair Trade Certified sugar cane from Belize, grown using organic and sustainable farming methods. It is then aged in American oak barrels, before being shipped to Cognac to be bottled. The rum is aromatic with spicy notes and a long finish.

The FAIR Mai Tai - the tropical and fruity original

3/4 oz FAIR
1 1/2 oz white rum
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz orange curacao
1/2 oz Orgeat syrup
Shake all the ingredients and pour into a rocks glass over crushed ice
Garnish – fresh berries and a sprig of mint

FAIR is available from The Whiskey Exchange at RRP: £35.25 (70cl) ABV: 35%


El Dorado 12 Year Old

El Dorado 12 Year Old Demerara Rum is a blend of three stills – two columns (including the world’s only wooden Coffey still) and a unique double wooden pot still. Rich amber in colour. A super attractive nose packed with aromas of sugar, honey, banana, toffee, raisin and sultanas.  Ripe, rich and balanced flavours attend with sweetness, after which the finish is delightful, elegant and dry.

El Dorado Old Fashioned a classic.

60ml El Dorado 12 Year Old
1 teaspoon of Demerara sugar
2 dashes of The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
Stir sugar and bitters into a tumbler or rocks glass and then add cubed ice, followed by the El Dorado 12 Year Old and stir until the sugar has dissolved
Garnish - a twist of orange zest and a few grates of nutmeg

El Dorado 12 Year Old is available in Marks and Spencer stores nationwide and online at RRP: £36.00 (70cl) ABV 40%



The Artesian

Artesian, at The Langham hotel, was crowned the winner of The World’s 50 Best Bars awards in 2016 for the fourth year in a row. Their dedication to rum is clear from a 50-strong list. Their new cocktail menu, based on the theme of ‘Perception’ features the earthy yet refreshing ‘Mind Your Step’, a rich and fruity mix of Ron Zacapa 23 Rum, Heron aged Pisco, tropical sour sop & orange blossom served in a broken glass, something you would not expect to find amidst the casual opulence of The Langham, garnished with edible shards. Sounds magnificent. 

1C Portland Place London, W1B 1JA; Artesian


Merchant House

Set within the winding lanes of London’s Bow Street, Merchant House has one of London’s most comprehensive premium rum collections, with over 350 different types of rum and gin on the menu. One of the most popular serves is their take on the Rum Old Fashioned and as this classic takes a few minutes to stir down, they offer a complimentary beer while you wait. Nice.

13 Well Court, The City, London EC4M 9DN; Merchant House


Cottons Rhum Shack

Their Notting Hill restaurant plays homage to all things Caribbean with its bright and colourful theme spreading through to its vibrant cocktails and is the current Guinnesss World Records Award winner with 372 different types of rums! Cottons Rhum Shack, in Camden, Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Vauxhall opening soon, serves up some of the capital’s most spectacular rum cocktails. Two of their most popular serves are the Killer Doppi and Cottons Rum Punch.

57-159 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3LF; Cottons Rhum Shack 


Trailer Happiness

Head down to this hidden tiki basement bar on Portobello Road — it's like walking into a 70s living room, with wood panel walls, patterned rugs and shabby curtains. Wear your flares. They’re back in season. The rum-heavy cocktail list is outrageous and flamboyantly tiki with lots of umbrellas and drinks served in coconuts. Their Old Fashioned is a knockout!

177 Portobello Rd. London W11 2DY; Trailer Happiness


Trader Vic’s

Victor J. Bergeron, otherwise known as Trader Vic, is said to have created the first ever Mai Tai cocktail at this bar back in 1944, so it’s the perfect place to stop for a drink on National Rum Day. You can still order the original Mai Tai on its menu today, but if you don't fancy that there are still plenty of rum punches, grogs and modern cocktails on the list. A truly original rum destination.

22 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1BE; Trader Vic's