It’s a dark ‘n stormy day when the rum runs out! Luckily, there’s plenty to go around on August 16, National Rum Day. Rum deliciously warms our insides and makes whatever you mix it with taste. so. good!
In the 17th century, hard-working slaves on Caribbean sugarcane plantations were the first to discover rum. They detected molasses as a byproduct of leftover sugar that transformed into alcohol after refining and fermenting. Eventually, distilleries caught on —turning rum production into a major global business. The Royal British Navy, as well as rogues and pirates, drank rum by the gallon. On National Rum Day, mix up a batch of your favorite rum-based cocktails, sing a sea shanty or two and crush the party!
National Rum Day timeline
Mount Gay Is born
Mount Gay, which is today the oldest-existing rum company in the world, is established in Barbados.
The first distillery debuts near New York
The first North American distillery is established in present-day Staten Island.
Caribbean slaves discover molasses
Caribbean sugarcane plantation slaves discover that molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining, can be fermented into alcohol.
National Rum Day Activities
Have a final summer bash
The days are getting shorter and soon the leaves will be falling. Why not have one last summer bash to celebrate the season? Take advantage of the many easy-to-make, tropical rum creations and impress your friends. After a while, they'll be feeling I-ree, mon!
Try a new style
If you’ve been a Cuba Libre fan your whole life, be bold! Try drinking the rum in unusual combinations. Traditionally, white rums were for mixing, while dark rums were for having on ice, or neat. Burning with the rum-inspired spirit of experimentation, find a rum-tasting to see how it feels to branch out from the run-of-the-mill to the extraordinary!
Go old school
Do you ever have a pirate-like thirst for rum? On National Rum Day, go naval with a “grogg”. This was the home-made drink of the British Royal Navy. Make yours by mixing your favorite rum with beer or water. For a slightly sweeter treat, make your rum pirate-style by mixing rum with water, sugar, nutmeg, citrus juice or grenadine to make a drink called, "Bumbo". Then, you’ll see why the pirates sang those rum-infused sea shanties!
Why We Love National Rum Day
An unending list of cocktail creations
There’s much more to rum than just mojitos and daiquiris. It’s the basis of the tropical punch, mai tai, and a party without Cuba Libre (rum and coke) is like a day without sunshine. Rum Swizzle, Blue Hawaii and Zombies are all drinks your local bartender should know how to serve up. So, if you like piña coladas, try branching out next time. You won’t be disappointed!
A drink for any season
While we typically think of rum as the perfect drink for summertime, it's a great drink for any time of the year. As fall arrives, grab some in-season pears to make a Pear Naked Sailor with spiced rum. For the coldest days, a Hot Buttered Rum will warm your spirits. Once spring rolls around again, welcome the warm weather with a tropical, Yellow Bird.
Rum culture is fun culture
The great English poet, Lord Byron, spoke of rum's power declaring, "there’s naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion.” Since it came on the scene in the 1600s, rum has been the inspiration for sailors' songs and pirates' codes, created booming economies and helped us party, island-style.