There’s something about the holidays that just welcomes rum. Maybe it’s because the spirit goes so well with baking spices like nutmeg and allspice, those staples of autumn’s slide into the winter solstice. Maybe it’s because the holidays are about traditions, and rum has been a fixture of American celebrations for even longer than there was an America. Maybe it’s just that rum is delicious. Regardless, there’s a long list of must-try holiday cocktails made with BACARDĺ Reserva Ocho at New York bars this holiday season. Why dream of sugarplums when rum cocktails with notes of vanilla, caramel, and toffee can fill your head instead?Read More
10 New York Bars Where You Can Drink Holiday Rum Cocktails
‘Tis the season to warm up with some festive rum drinks
If you’ve never been lucky enough to savor a Dante cocktail, you have absolutely no excuse not to go here right now to seek out the bar’s seasonal negroni. What could be a rather simple cocktail in other hands is elevated to a level that few can match at Dante. The bar’s Gingerbread Negroni — spiced and buttered BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, Cardamaro, red vermouth, Campari, and ginger bitters — feels tailor-made for the unbelievably charming space.
This West Village spot is possibly the only bar in the city that has its own fitness program, but that’s what happens when a professional swimmer and model team up to open their own venue. The laser-focused interior design is lines, lines everywhere, all pointing to a good time. While not quite beach-themed, Baby Brasa feels like the point where the sand meets the forest with relaxed style. The winter specialty cocktail — a ginger and cranberry mojito with BACARDÍ Superior — fits the vibe. It’s a little bit earthy and a little bit sweet simultaneously, thanks to the sharp bite of both main flavors. Like the interior design here, the drink uses clean and sharp delineations to make an original overall combination. And further proving that fused styles are a great thing, the Brazilian and Peruvian combo menu crosses the Pacific to particularly focus on Japanese dishes. So whether you prefer South American, east Asian, or an exciting combination, this is the right place to experiment in beautiful hybrids.
Also featured in:
This Boerum Hill bar has an entire section of the menu dedicated to one early aught’s movie best known for its clique-y high school girl gang, raunchy winter talent show performance, and obsession with the word “fetch.” (We know you know it.) Another memorable moment is a prank involving Kalteen bars, a high-calorie protein snack that causes a main character to unwittingly bulk up. Thankfully, you don’t have to down two dozen protein packets to experience the fictional snack: Grand Army has concocted an alcoholic version you can drink, minus the caloric overload. The Kalteen Box features oloroso sherry, Santa Teresa 1796, and even bourbon. That’s when things get really wild: Peanut butter and toasted oats come into play, because that’s what coach wants his players eating the bulk up before the big game. Just look at it like carbo-loading for all the fun you’re going to have. Grand Army is also a good spot to bring your sober friends, since the menu also includes a couple mocktails, one of which is called, of course, Cool Mom.
The Rum House
A long-running favorite of the Hell’s Kitchen crowd and Broadway-loving hotel guests alike, Rum House mixes the crowd with nightly live music events that tilt heavily towards jazz. You can still squeeze in here if you like your art deco aesthetic with a little more Hemingway than Fitzgerald, though. Order yourself the Rum Roy, which features Santa Teresa 1796 Speyside Whisky Cask rum, a Madagascar vanilla liqueur, oloroso sherry, and black walnut bitters. It tastes like a nutty and earthy trip around the world, plus the sweet and fruity flavors of the scotch and sherry. Go here if you want all the bustle and camaraderie of Times Square without any of the tourists blocking your way. It doesn’t hurt that this is an extremely cozy bar, despite its high volume.
Omar's Kitchen and Rum Bar
Chef Omar Walters draws on his Bronx upbringing and Jamaican heritage for a modern take on Caribbean flavors. (Think plantain gnocchi!) It’s going to be a real Jamaican holiday at this gorgeous space where the decor features vibrant colors and tropical plants. The menu is packed with intriguing options: Good luck resisting the coconut-crusted soursop-glazed salmon or fried catfish with red velvet waffles. Thankfully, you can drink your dessert with Omar’s Holiday Sorrel, which combines the tart and sweet hibiscus flavor of sorrel with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho and red label wine. This all-time banger sips seasonal thanks to its warming spices like cloves and allspice.
Also featured in:
Sanctuary Hotel New York
Simple doesn’t mean sparse. The Sanctuary Hotel offers a serene respite from the non-stop demand of your attention that is Times Square. Its elegance is refined only to the essentials, with just enough ornamentation to impress. So it is with the Ho-Ho-Hot Apple Cider, which mulls a classic combination of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, clove, apple cider, anise, cinnamon, and allspice in hot cider, intensified by sugars caramelizing while water content reduces. Suddenly you can’t think of any reason to complicate life by venturing outside back into the onrushing foot traffic frenzy of Times Square.
Wild Ivy is so brand-spanking new that it hasn’t even been open a week as of this writing, and yet those who attended the soft opening are already praising the extremely enticing appetizers, and the menu overall looks formidably savory. In good Manhattan tradition, buck-fifty oysters hit the rocks here at happy hour. Abstract expressionist art decks the lithely designed walls, though you may find more festive holiday decor when you go to raise a glass of the Scrooged: BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, rosemary-infused bourbon, a melange of “Christmas spices” (our money’s on nutmeg), and angostura bitters create this cocktail that keeps good time with the elaborate dishes on the menu. Attractive presentation makes Wild Ivy’s pours highly ’grammable if that’s your thing, but we just appreciate beauty for its own sake. Don’t do it for the likes; just like it for what it does.
The Cactus Shop
Hot tip: Come here on a gloomy overcast New York day and let the bright colors and beautiful lighting on this packed loteria tile–lined speakeasy fill you up with coziness and joy. Settle into the cozy, sheltered patio and test how deep into this Mexican menu you can dive before your appetite bottoms out, because every single dish demands a taste. The list of offerings is short but powerful and you might just get through most of it — especially if you bring a friend and share. The cocktail to order this holiday season is a cafe coquito made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, coconut, Mexican chocolate, and cafe de olla. It’s not traditional eggnog, but it certainly satisfies the same urge. If you want to keep fighting seasonal affective disorder, buy one of the plants for sale in the window before you go. Yes, it really is also a cactus shop. This is Williamsburg, after all.
Washington Heights has been home to an extensive Dominican community since the ’60s. In fact, the neighborhood is even home to the New York outpost of Santo Domingo’s Jalao restaurant, which not only features dishes like chicharron y casabe and mofongo, but even imports Dominican-made furniture and decor. It’s no surprise then that La Santica cocktail incorporates plenty of Dominican flavors through mamajuana-infused BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho with manzanilla tea, lemon, and oleo sacrum. Bachata and merengue live music is a common occurrence here, so wear your best dancing shoes.
Coastal Kitchen & Daiquiri Bar
This Long Island bar’s menu leans towards food from the Gulf of Mexico, but with additional influences from Caribbean, Americana, and Korean cuisine. The variety extends to the extensive cocktail list, which includes a rotating drink of the week, but your must-try this holiday season is the Limonada de Coco. Coastal Kitchen makes its own coconut cream in-house, then mixes it with vanilla liqueur to approximate condensed milk. This gets further blended in with BACARDĺ Añejo Cuatro, aguardiente, and fresh-squeezed lime juice to present a richer take on warmth of star anise in this Colombian classic.