Ok, so first off, what even IS National Rum Day? And why and how do we need to celebrate it?
National Rum Day is an annual event that takes place every August 16 where rum fans around the world finally have their big day in the sun (yeah, that's right, move over whiskey and vodka people). It's time to raise a chilled glass of your favorite rum cocktail while chilling on a patio or deck, overlooking a lake or a cityscape.
This year, National Rum Day falls on a Tuesday, which we think gives you the perfect reason to take off some “personal” time from work and celebrate in style. #Sorrynotsorry, Boss.
The slogan for this alcohol-infused holiday is “Make any day rum day,” which — let's be honest — we can all get behind. But it's important to make the holiday personal, too. Sure, you could go order a rum cocktail from your local mixologist at your favorite speakeasy. But we want you to think even MORE personal and take this challenge into your home. Be the master of your own bar domain.
Again, let's remind you that this involves taking that personal day, as work is the worst mixer you could possibly find for rum.
So with this challenge in mind, let's talk about how you should celebrate National Rum Day at home with your squad.
1. Start with a great rum, obviously.
Rum has a long and glamorous history, traveling through time and spanning the globe. Evidence of distilled liquor from sugarcane (what rum is made of) has been found in ancient India and China.
But the real story begins in the Caribbean in the 17th century. Trade developed between sailors and the thirsty colonies in what are today America and Canada. Rum became a form of currency alongside gold.
Bacardi rum, one of the most recognizable brands, dates back further than you may have realized. Today the company is based in Hamilton, Barbados, but the Bacardi family's history dates back to founder Facundo Bacardi landing in Cuba in 1830. There he developed the first “white” rum, transforming the nasty stuff that was originally invented into the smooth and mellow drink we know and love today.
That Bacardi rum was used to make the original Cuba Libre and the daquiri, the same recipes we enjoy today with our own special twist.
2. Use the tools of the trade.
If you stock your bar using this checklist, then you'll be good to go (and impress your guests as a bonus):
Bacardi, check. Ice, check. Favorite juices — lime, lemon, orange — check. Shaker, check. Blender, check. Strainer, check. Stir stick, check.
3. Never be afraid to crank things up a notch.
Summer is the few, precious weeks of the year where you can find awesome local and seasonal fruit and produce. Make your rum cocktails exotic by using local goodies for mixing.
4. Take some pro tips.
There are a few things that will make you look and feel more professional when mixing cocktails.
The first is muddling. This is the secret to a magical National Rum Day mojito. Grinding fresh herbs such as mint against ice will release the aromas and flavors that transform a mere drink into a sophisticated cocktail.
The second important thing to remember is simple syrup. Making one is, indeed, simple. Just dissolve one part sugar with one part water, bring to boil and let cool. You can add anything you imagine to the mixture to add depth, character and flavor to the syrup — from elderflower water to orange peel to tea leaves.
Our third master-class tip is to always keep a towel and hammer around to crush up ice like a pro. Simply fold the towel over the ice, smash and voila!
5. Keep the cocktail choices classic, classy and summery.
We all know classic cocktails are back, so when you're thinking of the perfect recipes to serve, think 1950s glamour. Go for your Cuba Libres, your pina coladas, your daiquiris, your Moscow Mules. Serve up some dark and stormies, some mojitos or even the Classic Commodore (complete with egg white and raspberries).
If you want to be more on-trend, we understand. That's when you can turn to Bacardi Flavors, like limon, tangerine, mango and raspberry. It'll add a little zest to your rum quest.
When in doubt, you can even rely on the old punch bowl by serving the crowd-pleasing red rum punch, which we predict is going to go down as the legendary hit of Summer 2016.
6. Use one impressive recipe.
Because this is National Rum Day and you want to show off something really impressive for your guests, try this mango twist on the original Bacardi daiquiri:
CLASSIC HAND-SHAKEN MANGO DAIQUIRI
1 1⁄2 parts BACARDÍ Mango 1⁄2 part simple syrup
1⁄4 part mango syrup (Monin) 1 part fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake for at least 10 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.