National Rum Day is on Sunday, but let's be honest—do you really need an excuse to drink a tropical libation in the dog days of summer? Didn't think so. As long as we're recognizing this boozy occasion, we've got three mixologist-approved recipes that are guaranteed to pack a punch at your next BBQ, girls' get together, or lazy night in with your S.O.—and a blender.
ZOMBIE FROM THE PROMONTORY
Cocktail creator Dustin Drankiewicz adds his own tropical twist to this tiki-bar classic inspired by famed Hollywood restaurant Don The Beachcomber, founded in 1932 by Don Beach himself.
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. Saigon Syrup
1 oz. Papaya Sour
Prep: Combine light rum, dark rum, and Velvet Falernum. Add in lime, Saigon Syrup, and Papaya Sour. Add to blender with 8-10 large ice cubes; let blend for 12-15 seconds. Pour and serve with lime slice and fresh mint.
TEMPEST FROM OLD TOWN SOCIAL
Inspiration for the Tempest was the gingery-lime Dark and Stormy, the national drink of Bermuda featuring Brugal Rum. Mixologist Sarah VonderHaar wanted to create a cocktail with a Caribbean flare that Chicagoans could enjoy during the sultry summer days.
1 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Run
5 drops Chesapeake Bay Bitters
Ginger Beer Top
1 oz. Goslings Dark Rum
Prep: Combine Brugal Extra Dry Rum and bitters in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball over ice. Add ginger beer and float with Goslings Dark Rum. Garnish with an orange peel.
OLD SALT NO. 2 FROM THE WHISTLER
Billy Helmkamp created his version of a smooth, slow-melting, salted-caramel Old Fashioned with the addition of overproof rum. It's on the drier side and quite aromatic due to the aggressive rums. Ahoy, matey!
1 oz. Lemon Hart 151 Rum
1 oz. Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
.25 oz. burnt sugar syrup (recipe here)
20 drops salt and granulated honey tincture
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Prep: Shake all ingredients and serve on the rocks, no garnish.