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Calaca Gringa at Picos Restaurant Koshi Le Photography

11 Rum Cocktails to Drink in Houston This Holiday Season

Your favorite summer spirit also warms the heart in the winter

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While rum can seem like a spirit best enjoyed on a hot summer day or at a tropical resort, it can be just as satisfying when shared with friends and family throughout the holiday season — and we don’t just mean in hot cocktails. The notes of warm baking spices, caramel, toffee, and vanilla you’ll find in BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho conjure up happy holiday memories, making it an ideal choice for this festive time of year. There are also plenty of spots around town to enjoy rum cocktails year-round, from swanky lounges and hidden speakeasies to Tex-Mex mainstays. We’ve broken down 11 of the best spots to enjoy rum cocktails with holiday flair.

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The Flat

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This unassuming Montrose hotspot is perfect if you’re looking for a hidden gem to enjoy a few cocktails with visiting friends for the holidays — you may even mistake it for someone’s house at first glance. Kick back and listen to the DJ spin classic hip hop from their large outdoor patio or one of the tables inside to be closer to the action. To help you get into the holiday spirit, try the frozen carajillo made with Santa Teresa 1796, Licor 43, coffee, and demerara sugar.

A frozen carajillo at The Flat Koshi Le Photography

Axelrad Beer Garden

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Axelrad is a Midtown beer garden that draws in crowds with its selection of craft beers on tap and live music, but it also has a full list of cocktails perfect for enjoying on a cool night outside on its expansive patio. The banana Old Fashioned will warm you on a chilly evening — you may not need a heat lamp once you try this blend of Santa Teresa 1796, banana oleo syrup, and orange bitters. 

Banana Old Fashioned at Axelrad Beer GArden Koshi Le Photography

Known as much for its drag show brunches as for its patio — previously voted as one of Houston’s best — Boheme sits on the edge of Montrose and Midtown and offers up an eclectic selection of beer, wines, and clever craft cocktails. Cozy up to the bar with friends during the holidays with a Horse Head Nebula — Santa Teresa 1796, sweet potato syrup, and angostura bitters — or warm up with a hot toddy made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho.

Hydrus Elixer at Boheme Koshi Le Photography

The Toasted Coconut

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Richmond Avenue’s Toasted Coconut has provided Houstonians a tropical escape since 2019. A palapa and tiki torches hint at the lively ambiance awaiting visitors inside. At the same time, the menu is full of tropical flavors, including Baja mussels, chickpea curry, and a whole fish paired with nuoc cham and papaya salad. If you want a warm and fuzzy feeling on a chilly holiday evening, we suggest trying the Apple Butter Daiquiri, a cocktail made with Santa Teresa 1796, housemade apple butter, fresh lime, and simple syrup.

The Apple Butter Daiquiri at the Toasted Coconut Koshi Le Photography

Wooster's Garden

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Located in Midtown, this industrial-chic bar might look like a warehouse from the outside, but inside, bartenders are serving up inventive cocktails and tempting small bites. The space and the drinks are photo-worthy, so make sure your phone battery is fully charged up before hitting this spot. Try the Aloha, Peaches, a drink made with roasted honey ham–washed BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, peach liqueur, cranberry, orange, and tiki bitters to get the holiday dinner vibes going. If roasted ham isn’t your go-to cocktail ingredient, meet the Velvet Visitor, made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, ube, coconut, absinthe, and lemon.

Aloha, Peaches at Wooster’s Garden Koshi Le Photography

This dispensary-meets-restaurant with locations in Montrose and the Heights may be best known for its high-end food options that can be infused with CBD or THC. Still, the cocktail list also deserves high marks for drinks that will keep you jolly this holiday season. Wild’s take on the espresso martini, the Cajeta, is made with Santa Teresa 1796, homemade cajeta (Mexican caramel) syrup, macadamia liqueur, black walnut bitters, and a shot of espresso. It’s sure to help you keep the celebrations going all night long.

the Cajeta at Wild Koshi Le Photography

Picos Restaurant

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The Houston mainstay has been going strong for almost four decades, featuring a menu that highlights all seven regions of Mexico. For the holiday season, Pico’s offers special treats like a pumpkin spice churro with vanilla whipped cream and dulce de leche dips and a pumpkin cheesecake topped with bourbon sour cream. Wash these down with a Calaca Gringa, made with BACARDĺ Cuatro, Licor 43, salted caramel, pumpkin creme, and agave nectar.

Calaca Gringa at Picos Restaurant Koshi Le Photography

Trash Panda Drinking Club

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This late-night bar is known for its strong drinks and friendly staff, with a menu full of classic bar favorites like wings, pizza, burgers, and a few different grilled cheese options — making it an ideal spot to meet up with friends during the holiday season for some merrymaking. If you’re looking for something other than beer to keep you warm during a chilly evening, order the Dr. Collin, made with Santa Teresa 1796, creme de banane, fey anme (a type of foraged bitters), Aztec chocolate, and vanilla cherry bark bitters.

Dr. Collin at Trash Panda Drinking Club Koshi Le Photography

Lei Low

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True to its name, Lei Low is hidden away in a strip mall in the Heights, but once inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of tiki drinks in a dimly lit Polyneasian-themed space. While most of the deceptively strong drinks served here will put you in a festive mood, we recommend the Secret Swizzle, made with Santa Teresa 1796, lime, grapefruit, vanilla, hibiscus, clove, cardamom, and a few other secret spices.

Secret Swizzle at Lei Low Koshi Le Photography

The Original Ninfa's

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For nearly five decades, this iconic Mexican restaurant has tantalized taste buds with its signature fajitas, homemade tortillas, and salsa verde. The Original Ninfa’s is so beloved that tourists from around the world visit to experience this culinary mainstay’s flavors. The bar at Ninfa’s also continues to serve top-notch drinks, so it’s a lovely place to have a feliz navidad. To get into the spirit, the Crush City is a must. Ninfas take on eggnog features BACARDĺ Superior, Mexican eggnog, and a double citrus blast of orange juice and orange soda.

The Crush City at the Original Ninfa’s Koshi Le Photography

Blood Bros. BBQ

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Some of Houston’s best barbecue can be found at this Bellaire smokehouse. Renowned for its brisket fried rice, Blood Bros. has other specialties, such as the beef rib banh mi, a massive sandwich that defies logic — and gravity. Blood Bros. also has an extensive drink menu to pair with its equally large cuts of meat, and even offers a few holiday-appropriate selections if you’re coming with a large group of family or friends. Match the richness of the brisket here with frozen coquito, made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, condensed milk, and cream of coconut. 

Frozen coquito at Blood Bros. BBQ Koshi Le Photography
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

The Flat

This unassuming Montrose hotspot is perfect if you’re looking for a hidden gem to enjoy a few cocktails with visiting friends for the holidays — you may even mistake it for someone’s house at first glance. Kick back and listen to the DJ spin classic hip hop from their large outdoor patio or one of the tables inside to be closer to the action. To help you get into the holiday spirit, try the frozen carajillo made with Santa Teresa 1796, Licor 43, coffee, and demerara sugar.

A frozen carajillo at The Flat Koshi Le Photography

Axelrad Beer Garden

Axelrad is a Midtown beer garden that draws in crowds with its selection of craft beers on tap and live music, but it also has a full list of cocktails perfect for enjoying on a cool night outside on its expansive patio. The banana Old Fashioned will warm you on a chilly evening — you may not need a heat lamp once you try this blend of Santa Teresa 1796, banana oleo syrup, and orange bitters. 

Banana Old Fashioned at Axelrad Beer GArden Koshi Le Photography

Boheme

Known as much for its drag show brunches as for its patio — previously voted as one of Houston’s best — Boheme sits on the edge of Montrose and Midtown and offers up an eclectic selection of beer, wines, and clever craft cocktails. Cozy up to the bar with friends during the holidays with a Horse Head Nebula — Santa Teresa 1796, sweet potato syrup, and angostura bitters — or warm up with a hot toddy made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho.

Hydrus Elixer at Boheme Koshi Le Photography

The Toasted Coconut

Richmond Avenue’s Toasted Coconut has provided Houstonians a tropical escape since 2019. A palapa and tiki torches hint at the lively ambiance awaiting visitors inside. At the same time, the menu is full of tropical flavors, including Baja mussels, chickpea curry, and a whole fish paired with nuoc cham and papaya salad. If you want a warm and fuzzy feeling on a chilly holiday evening, we suggest trying the Apple Butter Daiquiri, a cocktail made with Santa Teresa 1796, housemade apple butter, fresh lime, and simple syrup.

The Apple Butter Daiquiri at the Toasted Coconut Koshi Le Photography

Wooster's Garden

Located in Midtown, this industrial-chic bar might look like a warehouse from the outside, but inside, bartenders are serving up inventive cocktails and tempting small bites. The space and the drinks are photo-worthy, so make sure your phone battery is fully charged up before hitting this spot. Try the Aloha, Peaches, a drink made with roasted honey ham–washed BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, peach liqueur, cranberry, orange, and tiki bitters to get the holiday dinner vibes going. If roasted ham isn’t your go-to cocktail ingredient, meet the Velvet Visitor, made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, ube, coconut, absinthe, and lemon.

Aloha, Peaches at Wooster’s Garden Koshi Le Photography

Wild

This dispensary-meets-restaurant with locations in Montrose and the Heights may be best known for its high-end food options that can be infused with CBD or THC. Still, the cocktail list also deserves high marks for drinks that will keep you jolly this holiday season. Wild’s take on the espresso martini, the Cajeta, is made with Santa Teresa 1796, homemade cajeta (Mexican caramel) syrup, macadamia liqueur, black walnut bitters, and a shot of espresso. It’s sure to help you keep the celebrations going all night long.

the Cajeta at Wild Koshi Le Photography

Picos Restaurant

The Houston mainstay has been going strong for almost four decades, featuring a menu that highlights all seven regions of Mexico. For the holiday season, Pico’s offers special treats like a pumpkin spice churro with vanilla whipped cream and dulce de leche dips and a pumpkin cheesecake topped with bourbon sour cream. Wash these down with a Calaca Gringa, made with BACARDĺ Cuatro, Licor 43, salted caramel, pumpkin creme, and agave nectar.

Calaca Gringa at Picos Restaurant Koshi Le Photography

Trash Panda Drinking Club

This late-night bar is known for its strong drinks and friendly staff, with a menu full of classic bar favorites like wings, pizza, burgers, and a few different grilled cheese options — making it an ideal spot to meet up with friends during the holiday season for some merrymaking. If you’re looking for something other than beer to keep you warm during a chilly evening, order the Dr. Collin, made with Santa Teresa 1796, creme de banane, fey anme (a type of foraged bitters), Aztec chocolate, and vanilla cherry bark bitters.

Dr. Collin at Trash Panda Drinking Club Koshi Le Photography

Lei Low

True to its name, Lei Low is hidden away in a strip mall in the Heights, but once inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of tiki drinks in a dimly lit Polyneasian-themed space. While most of the deceptively strong drinks served here will put you in a festive mood, we recommend the Secret Swizzle, made with Santa Teresa 1796, lime, grapefruit, vanilla, hibiscus, clove, cardamom, and a few other secret spices.

Secret Swizzle at Lei Low Koshi Le Photography

The Original Ninfa's

For nearly five decades, this iconic Mexican restaurant has tantalized taste buds with its signature fajitas, homemade tortillas, and salsa verde. The Original Ninfa’s is so beloved that tourists from around the world visit to experience this culinary mainstay’s flavors. The bar at Ninfa’s also continues to serve top-notch drinks, so it’s a lovely place to have a feliz navidad. To get into the spirit, the Crush City is a must. Ninfas take on eggnog features BACARDĺ Superior, Mexican eggnog, and a double citrus blast of orange juice and orange soda.

The Crush City at the Original Ninfa’s Koshi Le Photography

Blood Bros. BBQ

Some of Houston’s best barbecue can be found at this Bellaire smokehouse. Renowned for its brisket fried rice, Blood Bros. has other specialties, such as the beef rib banh mi, a massive sandwich that defies logic — and gravity. Blood Bros. also has an extensive drink menu to pair with its equally large cuts of meat, and even offers a few holiday-appropriate selections if you’re coming with a large group of family or friends. Match the richness of the brisket here with frozen coquito, made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, condensed milk, and cream of coconut. 

Frozen coquito at Blood Bros. BBQ Koshi Le Photography

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