We may be far from the beach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious cocktail with an umbrella. Cleveland is host to several hotspots where you can try out this classic Latin American spirit either straight up or as part of an original cocktail. Some well-known rum mixes include refreshing mojitos, Cuba Libres and daiquiris.
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar
28601 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 900
Woodmere, OH 44122
Price: $1.95 tastes, $5.95 – $29.95 cocktails
Hours: Sun to Thurs 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fri to Sat 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
You may get overwhelmed by the almost 50 varieties of rum, but the staff at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar will be happy to walk you through each and every one. Have a few tastes and then order a glass or cocktail with the rum you like best. Be sure to have one of the specialty drinks, such as the Spiked Mango Tamarind Lemonade, made with two types of rum and house-made lemonade. Before you go, be sure to check out Rum 101 on the website for a full tutorial on the making and variations of rum.
Johnny Mango World Café & Bar
3120 Bridge Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44133
Price: $6 per glass, $25 per pitcher
Hours: Mon to Fri 11 a.m. – 1 a.m., Sat to Sun 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Although it’s better known for the juice bar, Johnny Mango also knows how to make delicious rum-infused mixed drinks. Add your choice of eight different flavors to your Cuban mojito or try the Caipirinha made with lime, sugar and cachaca (also known as Brazilian rum). Enjoy a drink before dinner or pair one up with a Central American dish like the Jamaican jerk chicken or Gaucho-style flank steak.
The Blonde Martini & Wine Establishment
6901 Rockside Road
Independence, OH 44131
Price: $9 and up
Hours: Tues to Thurs 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Fri 4 p.m. – 1 a.m., Sat 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Don’t let its strip mall location dissuade you; the Blonde Martini (formerly the Budapest Blonde) is one of Cleveland’s best places to go for happy hour ($5 per drink) and has a unique, European atmosphere. Interesting drink mixtures abound for lovers of rum, such as Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut (coconut rum, chocolate liquor, Irish cream, amaretto) and the popular Dark & Stormy made with dark rum, ginger beer and lime. Register via the website to win a happy hour party with reserved seating and free appetizers for up to 10 of your friends.
The Velvet Tango Room
2095 Columbus Road
Cleveland, OH 44113
Hours: Mon to Fri 4:30 p.m. – 1 a.m., Sat 6 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Take your first step inside the Velvet Tango Room and you’ll wonder why you’ve never been here before. Have a seat at the bar, listen to the live jazz and be taken back to the most relaxing memories of your life. Watch as the bartenders skillfully make your craft cocktail using house-brewed flavorings to add to the extensive liquor collection, which includes 11 different types of rum.
The Fairmount Martini & Wine Bar
2448 Fairmount Blvd.
Cleveland Heights OH 44106
Price: Cocktails $7 – $8
Hours: Mon to Fri 4 p.m. – 2:30 a.m., Sat 5 p.m. – 2:30 a.m., Sun 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Boasting more than 100 brands of liquor, it’s no wonder the Fairmount has a great selection of rum. Favorites include the Hemingway Daiquiri with fresh pink grapefruit juice and the Caipirinha De Uva with cachaca, brown sugar syrup, limes and grapes. The Fairmount is great any time of year, but is especially nice in the summer when you can enjoy its great pizzas with your drinks on the patio.
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Beau Livengood is a writer and avid traveler from Cleveland. With a true passion for authentic food and great beer, he knows the best places to go for any type of cuisine. His work can be found at Examiner.com.