Rumming Around Los Angeles 2018 - Bacardi National Rum Day Crawl

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Most folks just love a good holiday. People go crazy every year over coveting the perfect halloween costume or most adorable Christmas decorations, but in observance of any festive holiday, the celebration is what people really wait year- round for. In the case of National Rum Day, the party happens to coincide within the subject itself. In honor of one of the most diverse spirits in the world, August 16th is National Rum Day. Presented by Bacardi, this boozy holiday tends to spark a fire under the rear ends of crafty mixologists from coast to coast, painstakingly measuring, pouring and mixing away to come up with the perfect libation to commemorate the most popular sugarcane distillate. 

National Rum Day only comes but once a year, and this year, Los Angeles rejoiced with Rumming Around Los Angeles, an organized bar crawl including seven of the most beloved bars in the city. Each spot presented a special Rum Day cocktail featuring Bacardi, Havana Club, Santa Teresa, and Banks rums, as well as Leblon Cachaça. Let’s take a look shall we?

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Guerilla Tacos (2000 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021) :

Pop-up taco shop turned food truck Guerrilla Tacos recently opened their first brick and mortar one-stop taco haven complete with a full bar stocked with a selection of spirits that will have your cocktail bug buzzing. As the first stop of the crawl, several of us packed our bellies with perfectly-sized portions of hamachi tostadas and short rib tacos. The featured cocktail, which might I add, paired perfectly with these treats, went by the name of La Favela. La Favela was made with Leblon Cachaca, London Dry Gin, lime juice, pineapple juice, and salted agave syrup. As our group grew in size, we mingled, caught up, and sipped on our La Favelas.

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Dama (612 E 11th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015) :

Lush, Latin-inspired Dama in the fashion district was next on our journey. What was once a banana distribution warehouse was transformed into a chic oasis where beautifully plated delectable fare is their objective. Additionally, there’s a large focus on the cocktail program at Dama and their blended concoctions are a favorite among patrons. This notion tied into their featured Rum Day cocktail, the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri. Blended with coveted Bacardi Heritage 1909 Rum, lime juice, cane sugar, and fresh strawberries, this clean and refreshing classic was the epitome of refreshing summer repose. Not to mention, we may have indulged on the most picturesque banana split-style sundae made with buttered bananas, caramel, and hazelnuts, which definitely threw us into our comfort zone.

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Broken Shaker (416 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014) :

Up next was Broken Shaker. This world-famous rooftop favorite boasts an unmatched cocktail program amongst a backdrop of tropical pool-side vibes. Fresh air was the perfect accompaniment to our tiki-esque cocktails in hand. The featured cocktail at Broken Shaker was Tie Hard, made with their own Broken Shaker Rum blend, featuring Bacardi 8 and Bacardi Banana, lemon verbena, and a Tahitian vanilla elixir shaken with fresh lime juice and dusted with nutmeg. We touched our glasses for a cheers under the stars and soaked up all of what the summer breeze had to offer.

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Big Bar (1927 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027) :

At this point in the crawl we headed northwest to Big Bar in Los Feliz. Upon arrival, some of us flocked to the counter at adjacent Alcove for cookies and pastries before we sipped on another celebratory treat. The bar area itself was nearly packed wall to wall with smiling faces eager to sip and socialize while the featured cocktails of the night were presented. Passionfruit Pop!—an effervescent take on a daiquiri, was shaken with Banks 5 Island Rum, passion fruit, lime, champagne, and aromatic bitters. This happened to be a perfect middle ground between light and sweet, which sent us off into the rest of the evening with an extra pep in our steps.

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Bar Joe (959 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038) :

More than half-way through the evening, next we traveled to Hollywood to Bar Joe. As a relatively new joint, for many of us, it was our first time. Tucked within Spoonfed, the subtle “Wow” factor of Bar Joe is what captivated us immediately. Not only did we imbibe on their featured cocktail, but also rejoiced with an exquisite blended mojito that was the dreamiest emerald consistency, and the most glorious balance of flavor. Their specialty cocktail in observance of National Rum Day was the Matcha Mai Tai, made with Havana Club Anejo Blanco, lime juice, matcha orgeat, and Curaçao, served over crushed ice and garnished with a mint sprig.

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Lono (6207, 6611 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048) :

Lono, Hollywood’s favorite tiki bar, was second to last on our crawl. Friends, food, and tiki accoutrements galore, we were well into the party, but Lono’s alluring atmosphere only took us only deeper into our celebration. It may have been the punch bowl, it may have been the leis, but who are we to say? What we can confirm is that their featured cocktail, The Rum Saint had us damn near dancing in the moonlight. Made with Santa Teresa Rum, Genepy, pineapple juice, and lime juice, The Rum Saint was an easy sipper with a proper jolt of what we needed to push us onward to our last leg of our excursion.

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Spare Room (7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) :

Ah, Spare Room—the perfect night cap. If you’re not knocking down a few pins for industry league night, you’re belly-up to the bar watching some of the best mixologists in town dish out picture-perfect cocktails in the warm atmosphere of this award-winning speakeasy-style favorite. One more libation was all we needed to have properly gotten the most out of the crawl, and what a grand finale it was. Their featured Rum Day cocktail, Ibranca Trump, made with Bacardi Banana Rum, Branca Menta, coconut milk, and matcha colada took us on a rollercoaster ride of flavor. Served punch-style, we gathered around with a ladle in hand and got down to business.

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Although we have to wait a whole year for National Rum Day to come around again, we feel like we hailed our salute to the holiday in the best way possible. We’d like to thank Bacardi for first of all, curating such a holiday, and second for organizing this amazing event. Til’ next year, NRD, and in the meantime, make sure you #raiseyourrum!

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Words : Dakota Nates
Photos : Matthew Takes
Editor : Robiee Ziegler