Rum is an essential component of poolside libations and cocktails at Tiki bars, but in Las Vegas, the beach-y liquor is acceptable anytime. Rum can be dark, light, or clear as well as aged or un-aged. It can be warm and sweet or oaky and complex, making it a surprisingly versatile cocktail ingredient that goes beyond daiquiris and piña coladas.
Whether it’s dressed up as a part of an upscale cocktail or blended with fruit and topped with a tiny umbrella, rum is a surefire way to signal the start of a party — and in Las Vegas, there’s never a bad time for that.
A nautical hideaway
Tucked away in a darkened plaza off of Sahara Avenue, Starboard Tack is just far enough from the neon of the Strip to feel like an unexpected discovery. Here, patrons can sip on rum cocktails including classics such as Trade Wind Grog made with dark rum, grapefruit, lime, and cinnamon as well as frozen specials served in ceramic pandas. An accompanying kitchen menu features island-appropriate poke specials, raw oysters, and mussels.
Starboard Tack, 2601 Atlantic St.; 702-684-5769
Rum in the Arts District
Jammyland is proof that the burgeoning Arts District is getting cooler every day. The Jamaican bar and restaurant is the site of a sweeping patio where diners can enjoy an array of mainstay and seasonally inspired rum cocktails such as the Golden Knights-themed Golden Misfit, made with J. Wray Gold Jamaican rum, passionfruit, and bitters. Jammyland also serves a Mai Tai prepared with Appleton Estate 12 year, Rhum Clement VSOP, and housemade curacao.
Jammyland, 1121 S. Main St.; 702-800-9098
Rum on a palm-shaded patio
Maybe it’s the coconut smell that’s pumped through the air vents, but there’s something about the Mirage that makes rum feel like an especially great idea. Fortunately, the resort’s own Rhumbar is the perfect place to order mojitos, mai tais, zombies and Latin Manhattans. Whether one is sitting on the palm tree-lined patio or in the sleek, bright-white interior of the bar, Rhumbar satisfies. Note that Rhumbar is going through a makeover that adds dining and new drinking options, as well as live music, more rum-based cocktails, indoor and outdoor sports viewing, and more. The renovation should be done in early December.
Rhumbar, Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-791-7111
A rum-centric cocktail program
From its raw bar to its foie gras fried rice, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill is known for dishes that really amp up the umami flavor. The restaurant, located at the Venetian, is also heralded for its cocktail list, which is centered around rum-based drinks. There’s the beet mojito, which is made with beet-infused Havana Club Blanco rum; the Hemingway, which combines Mount Gay Eclipse rum, egg whites, lime, and Luxardo maraschino; and a barrel-aged rum Manhattan that’s a must-try for fans of smoky-flavored rum drinks.
Sugarcane, Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-414-2263
Tiki drink heaven
For those who prefer rum with Dole Whip and an umbrella, The Golden Tiki is the ultimate destination. The Chinatown Tiki bar features a treasure trove of pirate-themed artifacts and artwork. Patrons can explore the surreal space while sipping on Navy Grog, Painkillers, and Dole Whip floats with rum. For an extra tropical vibe, cocktails can be served in hollowed out pineapples or souvenir Tiki mugs.
The Golden Tiki, 3939 Spring Mountain Road; 702-222-3196