When you throw out the phrase “rum drinks” some people picture nothing but neon-colored frozen cocktails with a barely detectable shot of Bacardi thrown in. While those certainly can be found on a lot of menus, a well-made rum cocktail need not look like a frosted glass full of Windex. When used correctly, the spirit makes for a wonderful base to many complex and sophisticated cocktails. Here are a few spots that are doing it justice.
1 Cuba Libre Located at The Quarter inside Tropicana Atlantic City Cuba Libre is easily the best rum-focused bar in Atlantic City, with more than 90 varieties of the good stuff just waiting on the shelf. They obviously know their way around a mojito — try the pomegranate version with Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum and pomegranate juice. But those looking to explore a bit deeper will be pleased to find tasty options such as the Stormy Pyrat — a blend of Pyrat XO Rum, lime juice and Barrow’s Intense Ginger liqueur or the guava caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with Licor Beirao and guava. Those longing for a purely “spiritual” experience can order up one of their rum flights, which feature three different 1-ounce pours. Tropicana is located at 2831 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to CubaLibreRestaurant.com.
2 Rhythm & Spirits The newest spot to open up shop on Tennessee Avenue, Rhythm & Spirits is a great spot to catch live music while enjoying a cocktail. The atmosphere is that of a mid-century tiki bar, and what could be better to sip in a tiki bar than a tasty rum drink? In this case the star of the show is the grog which features Pyrat Rum, fresh local blueberries, sage and lemon for a tart, yet tasty tiki treat. Rhythm & Spirits is located at 129 S. Tennessee Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to RhythmAndSpiritsAC.com.
3 Chelsea Five Gastropub Chelsea Five Gastropub offers guests sweeping views of the ocean through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, making for the perfect spot to relax with a well-made cocktail. Rum lovers will be pleased to find the Carribbean Kiss on the menu, a divine combination of aged rum, amaretto and Amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur that adds a touch of bitterness to perfectly round out the drink. Chelsea Five Gastropub is located on the fifth floor of the Chelsea Tower at Tropicana Atlantic City. Go to Tropicana.net for more info.