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Best Cocktail Bars: The Rum House

May 12, 2011

Want to drink like your daddy did?

In this our second post on the Best Cocktail Bars, we try to save the world from bland, boring cocktails and bland, boring cocktail bars to introduce you to a classic reborn: The Rum House.

Best Cocktail Bar Rum House sign

Like the Camaro, Ray-Ban Wayfarers,  and Betty White, some classics are worth re-visiting. And that’s what the boys who brought you Ward III in Tribeca have done with The Rum House: a classic Esquire magazine named as one of the best bars in America.

Modern Betty White

But, just like Betty, they’ve done it in a way that salutes the golden era of cocktails while giving it a modern twist with the bar’s Atmosphere, Mixology and Events. The result is a new old bar that’s become the critic’s choice of both the New York Times and New York magazine.


Speaking of classics, the best way to get a picture of The Rum House’s vibe is to think of the bar in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. It’s a classic cocktail bar with a diverse crowd, great laughs and a cool, authentic vibe that gets raucous when the piano gets cranked up.

Best Cocktail Bar The Rum House

But you’re likely to hear a few tunes Clarence the Angel wouldn’t recognize as the repertoire ranges from cocktail classics to Nirvana and Guns ‘N Roses. The piano often gets augmented by customers singing or – for a little modern mixology in sound – a DJ: a touch the Ward III folks brought with them from Tribeca.


Want to experience Old Fashioned Manhattan?

With a name – and a past – like the Rum House the cocktails have a lot to live up to and New York’s newest old watering hole doesn’t disappoint with drinks that are classic and strong. They’ve brought their high standards of cocktail craftsmanship with them from Tribeca but here they’re focusing on doing the classics right so drinks like an Old Fashioned and the Manhattan are done to perfection. “The drinks are real” says one fan. Try the Rum Old Fashioned or their Mai Tai.

Rum Drink Idea Diego Rivera

But newer variations in mixology are also on the drink menu with the Murray, a take on the classic Grasshopper or the Tortuga, a popular concoction brought from Ward III.


Happy Hour from 5-7 is the best time to show up but, given it’s location just around the corner from Times Square, it’s a great place to people watch anytime.

This past Monday they kicked off a month of Rumdays with all that heaven will allow from the rum gods with tastings at 8pm with Benjamin Ickes on the ivories.

Rum House at Cocktail Hour

Free yourself from the new and bland and try out the old reborn.

You can find The Rum House in the also-very-cool Edison Hotel on West 47th Street between 8th and Broadway or on Facebook here.

You can also find Denizen on Facebook for a regular flow of great cocktail bars, drink ideas and events.

Denizen is a new, award-winning choice: a blend of three different styles of rum from Jamaica and Trinidad meticulously selected by master blenders in Amsterdam so that you can fully enjoy the new golden age of rum mixology.

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