It’s finally spring and sunny weather is on the way. Your mind has wandered to warm breezes, tropical flavors and island delights. Nothing speaks of relaxation like rum. Made from sugarcane juice or molasses, rum is mainly produced in the Caribbean and Latin America and mixes well with fruit juices to make light, sweet cocktails perfect for a warm evening. If warm weather is calling your name, get into the spirit of the season at these bars with some of Pittsburgh’s best rum drinks.
1224 E Carson St
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Hours: Mon to Wed, Sat – 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thurs, Sun – 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fri – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Rumshakers is a fun bar located in Pittsburgh’s South Side where summer is celebrated all year long. Its namesake drink, the Rumshaker, contains seven varieties of rum, including traditional, spiced and flavored. To add a little more, it is topped off with Blue Curacao, Red Fuel and a decorative lemon and cherry. Not sure what Red Fuel is? No help here. It’s a secret. The Rumshaker is an extreme rum drink and should be consumed in moderation. In addition to a wide selection of rum and rum drinks, Rumshakers also offers a selection of spirits and beer with daily specials and a happy hour seven days a week that runs from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
200 Shiloh St
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Hours: Tues to Sat – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun and Mon – Closed
Located in Mt. Washington, Havana is a small, upscale lounge with an intimate atmosphere. Though it serves a select menu of unique foods, Havana is most known for its tropical drinks. Delve into one of the popular mojitos made with spiced rum, mint, sugar, lime juice and soda. Flavors include classic, mango and passion fruit. “Havana is so out of place on its little street in Mt. Washington, once you set foot inside, you suddenly feel as if you’re hanging out at South Beach Miami,” says Leah Surmacz, co-owner of Havana along with Paul Martinez. Havana has the best fruity rum drinks in town, making it well worth the hunt.
Related: Best Pittsburgh Hot Spots
930 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Fri and Sat – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sun – Closed
Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Seviche embodies the spirit of Brazil in its food, atmosphere and drinks. Lively, yet relaxed in spirit, Seviche is a great place to while away the evening enjoying tapas and a wide variety of drinks. Seviche features a series of eight mojitos, ranging from the classic to unique flavors like mango or guava. What makes these mojitos so good? The muddling. Seviche doesn’t skimp on mint, yet the final product never tastes overwhelming. The bartenders have truly mastered the perfect amount for all rum drinks delivered to grateful hands. If you ever feel like skipping your workout and enjoying a little activity, be sure to go to Seviche for Salsa Night on Mondays, where you can dance the night away with lessons starting at 9:30 p.m. Stay hydrated with one of the house favorites.
2000 Smalman St
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hours: Mon to Wed – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Located in the Strip District, Kaya brings the Caribbean, South America and Pacific to Pittsburgh with its intimate restaurant and bar. Most known for its unique take on traditional dishes like paella and pulled pork, Kaya also has an extensive menu of rum and rum cocktails. Cocktails range from the traditional rum runner and mojito to the Lava Lover, which has Malibu rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice and grenadine. The Mango Mai Tai is also another unique spirit, with Don Q Rum, Myers’s Dark Rum, mango puree, orgeat syrup and lime. Traditional, spiced and flavored rums like Bacardi Silver, Don Q and Myers are also available. Try out signature cocktails during happy hour Monday to Friday, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., when all single-serving drinks and draft beers are half off.
Related: Restaurant Review: Kaya
2003 E Carson St
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Hours: Mon to Sat – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
If looking for traditional, quality rum drinks, head back to the South Side to Tiki Lounge. This amazing bar is a retro version of upscale Tiki bars popular in the 1950s and 1960s, complete with waterfalls and unique tiki statues. Tiki Lounge offers retro rum drinks like the Fog Cutter, Zombie, Volcano and Tropical Passion, each served in a uniquely themed mug that can be added to your home collection after finishing. This lounge is a nice retreat for slow sipping with regulars during the week, and a high-energy club packed with DJs and dancing on the weekend.
Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.