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National Rum Day Is This Sunday

Apparently, National Rum Day is this Sunday, August 16. National Day Calendar explains the origin story of the distilled spirit: “Rum conjures up sailors and pirates. The reason for that is how rum came to be. In the West Indies during the 1600s, large plantations grew sugar cane. When they extracted the sugar, they created a byproduct called molasses. For years, the molasses was a waste product until it was discovered it could be distilled — into rum. Then rum became not only a commodity for trade but also a ration on the ships delivering the product. Even in the modern Royal Navy, British sailors received an allotment of rum until 1970.”

Pina Coladas
Dockside piña coladas made in a blender with white rum, fresh pineapple and freshly harvested coconut. Yum!
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Sailors also associate rum with refreshing summer boat drinks. Even when San Francisco’s summer chill returns, sipping a rum cocktail will conjure images of swinging in a hammock in a tropical anchorage. So, what are your favorite boat drinks? Recipes and rum-related tall tales are welcome in the Comments section below.


  1. Capt. Bob 4 years ago

    Cruzan rum aged barrel with tonic and an orange slice. Three fingers rum-two fingers regular tonic, lots of ice! Refreshingly good!

  2. John Sutton 4 years ago

    At age 18, our boat (Sydney 18-foot skiff, San Jose) qualified for the World Championship in Auckland. I was taught to drink down the top of a Coke (in the old, glass, knobby bottle) and top it up with Captain Morgan Rum. No not the “Spicy” variety they sell here in the US, the real black stuff. Navy Rum. Whenever I go through Duty Free in Sydney, I still buy a bottle, going and coming. 57 years later, it’s still the way I like to drink rum. Captain Morgan “Under Proof” is sometimes hard to find, but “Bundaberg” is a good second.

  3. John james 4 years ago

    I love a Trader Vic’s drink called a Gun Club Punch. One shot Puerto Rican rum, one shot Jamaica rum, juice of 1 lime, 1 1/2 ounces Pineapple juice, Dash Grenadine, dash Orange Curaçao. Shaved ice, shaken (my way) but TV likes to blend it. They still make it at Trader Vic’s Emeryville. One of my favorite places on Earth! It is the “Official” drink of my sailboat – No Problem –

  4. Kevin Butterbaugh 4 years ago

    We call ours the Rum Drink, similar to a Mai Tai, but kinda just made with what you have on hand (which is often the case wile on a sailboat): Big glass full of ice, 1.5 oz. Bacardi Light, 1.5 oz. Bacardi Dark, pineapple juice and orange juice (3/4 | 1/4 ratio), float of Myers Rum, big wedge of lime. Mango, guava, or passion fruit juice are good replacements for OJ, if desired.

  5. Mark Howe 4 years ago

    Trader Vic had the best rum drinks, and when I was at the old Oaknoll Naval Hospital [’67-’68] Vic couldn’t do enough for my wounded Marines, often in person himself. We loved the guy! Somehow it seemed like rum tasted better back then. In particular Myers’s had a richer molasses flavor. I recall crossing over from Canada where I could get Navy Rum, also good. I’ve tried adding a little molasses to modern rums but not the same. Or maybe it’s just me.

  6. Brian Forster 4 years ago

    What’s the best rum drink…umm…that’s like asking what’s your favorite Ferrari (or Porsche or Corvette or…)! Don’t know; it’s hard to beat a painkiller with your feet in the water at White Bay, Jost Van Dyke…

  7. Gordon Hanson 4 years ago

    Our “go to” rum drink had been Planters Punch. Cruising in Mexico it was hard to get/keep the ingredients, especially fresh orange juice. We discovered a great substitute: canned or boxed Guyaba (Guava) juice, rum (kept in the freezer to preserve ice), and limones (the Key Limes) that are plentiful and cheap.

  8. Lauren 4 years ago

    I learned to love a Dark and Stormy made with dark rum, ginger beer, lime over ice, maybe some bitters.

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