Whether you're after the freakiness of tiki or just wanna get that feeling of the tropics, these awesome bars are bringing the rum party to London. Make sure ya don't miss it.
Unpack your beach towel and leave that inflatable flamingo at home. You don’t need a holiday when you can transport yourself to the exotic islands of the Caribbean at this vibrant, colourful shack of a venue in Brixton. With rums from across the archipelago and beyond, the cocktail menu has everything but an ocean to paddle your toes in. The Jamaican Iced Tea really floats our lilo with its potent mix of Appleton Reserve with Aperol and bergamot liqueur, chai and peppermint tea mix, and a top up of Orchard Pig Cider.
437 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LN
Get ready to step into paradise, people. Palm prints, carved wooden tables, steel drum serenades and cocktails in coconuts. Expect all the frivolity of tiki with seriously visual drinks, show-stealing seafood platters and even a rum distillery upstairs. Pow! The epic cocktails are made with house-distilled rum and homemade artisanal syrups created with all-natural ingredients - it's said to be the first bar in the world to serve each cocktail completely void of refined sugars.
144-145 Upper Street, London, N1 1QY
Think you know your rums? Test your knowledge with the stellar variety at this tropical Mayfair bar. The collection’s made up of 200 rums from around the world. When it comes to flavour combinations, we’re quoting 2 Unlimited and declaring there really is "No Limit". They’re all available mixed in Daiquiri form or neat (go get ‘em, tiger), or you can crack on with another of their killer cocktails. The Gone Fishin’ is so extra it’s big enough for two, and it's served in a copper pineapple - 'cos life’s more fun with rum.
31 Duke St, London W1U 1LG
One of the OGs of London’s rum scene, and where bartenders come to let loose (so you know it's good). Trailer Happiness offers tropical tidings from a basement in Notting Hill, with a cocktail menu that has big industry names always coming back for another hit. There’s more than a feel of '70s kitsch about the place; we liken it to stepping into the Thunderbirds’ living room. Prepare for orange and yellow-patterned wallpaper, brown leathers and comfortable banquettes, all with a tropical filter. The same goes for the drinks, where rum is king and the presentation is more than worthy of your insta-feed. The Super Sonic Tiki Tonic is a turnt-up mouth-watering rum twist on a classic G&T and is always our go-to to get the night started.
177 Portobello Rd, London W11 2DY
Source: Instagram @abvlondon
Set among the shipping containers of always-buzzing Pop Brixton, this rum den is the sister site of south London resto Wood & Water, which used to be the rum haven Three Little Birds - talk about a spirited legacy. Kick off your visit with a Kmu + Fmu - a super-charged riff on the Espresso Martini, with Banks 7 Rum, espresso, chocolate and vanilla, then work your way through the rest of the menu before melting into the rowdy crowds of Brixton's party scene.
Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ
Sometimes size does matter. Especially when we’re talking about the size of your collection - rum collection, that is. Cottons in Camden has the largest in the UK, and boy do they know what to do with it. Limber up, 'cos you’ll be shaking your hips to the steel drums before we can say "it’s carnival time". Only the wildest should try the Killer Doppi - made with four different rums, apricot liqueur, blue curacao, orange, pineapple and lime juice. "Doppi" is Jamaican for "ghost", so prepare to step over to the dark side with this extreme cocktail.
55 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AN
Source: Instagram @southbank.limin
Limin ain't a crime, baby - but with rum drinks this good, it certainly does feel a little naughty. This breezy Caribbean oasis from Trinidadian chef Sham Mahabir doesn't mess around when it comes to cocktails, and the Rum Punch is the must-order here - with rum, mango, guava juice, passionfruit, lime, bitters and grenadine, plus a few secret ingredients, this stuff is just what you need to get the party started. Even better? It comes in a bottle, so you and your mates can keep the good vibes flowin'.
Gabriel's Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PP
The Shaftsbury Avenue site of this famous cocktail group is a pirate’s playground. Old school British Navy style pin-ups, skull and crossbones adorning the walls, and bespoke tattoo artwork created by the awesome Rose Whittaker. This basement bar is a place to let yourself get loose, so if you want to sing along to those reggae jams, then you do you. Rum is the name of the game here, and nothing epitomises it more than a booze-soaked Zombie. Wave goodbye to the next few hours...
224a Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EB