Today is National Rum Day. You know what to do.

Celebrate! Back in the day, when I started at Salt Lake magazine, we did an online segment we called The Questing Beast in which I looked for authentic versions of classic dishes. Or drinks. One of the first ones featured me going to bars around town and ordering a daiquiri. The responses? “What kind?” “Sorry, we don’t have a machine.”

I finally found one at Market Street Oyster Bar downtown—perfect with cold shrimp. But obviously, back then most bartenders did not understood what a real daiquiri is, and had probably never tasted one. What a long strange trip it’s been since then.

These days, I might be asked if I wanted it on the rocks, but most bartenders know exactly what I mean when I say daiquiri: rum, lime, a dash of simple, shaken and cold.

It’s the perfect summer drink—my favorite of the tiki types. And now we have local rum, too. Dented Brick Distillery makes rum, so do Distillery 36, Sugar House Distillery and Outlaw Distillery. By law, rum must be distilled from sugar cane or a cane byproduct, like molasses or cane juice. Like tequila, it can be silver or white (un-aged,) golden or dark.

Places to drink rum today:

My favorite daiquiris are at Water Witch.The straightforward one is great, but the one I like is made with orgeat and Naval Strength rum—not always available. There’s a rotating daiquiri menu and the guys also make a “snackquiri,” a Wray & Nephew daiquiri split into small portions for sharing.

Other great rum drinks around town: Whiskey Street’s The Rotisserie Inn Punch: Named after the restaurant that used to be here, it’s made with  Bacardi Superior, raspberry, lemon, simple syrup and Prosecco.

Undercurrent‘s Huevos Flamingos is a mix of pisco, aged rum, Aperol, Cappalletti (the next Italian bitter aperitif you haven’t heard of) lime, tiki bitters and a little egg white for froth.

Lake Effect‘s Mermaid Tears: tequila, Kalani rum, pineapple and luster dust. Makes me cry just to think about this early in the morning.

Then again, if you want to stay home for National Rum Day, lounge outside and enjoy the cooler evenings, freeze some fresh pineapple cubes and put them in the food processor with a slug of good golden rum. Put on some flipflops and tune up Jimmy Buffet or the Beach Boys. Or don’t. Just sip. By the way, you can get your paper drink umbrellas at Michael’s or Party City. Makes any good rum drink even better.

See all of our food and drink coverage here.

Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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