With the Summer of Rum Festival 2016 on the horizon and a Yo-Ho spirit in our hearts we headed out t' try some rum along the bounding main known as Tampa. Once Summer of Rum is in the bottle and behind us, we NEED to know where to go for those classic cocktails we crave! This be what our research turnt-up matey! Our picks for the Best Rum Cocktails in Tampa are: 
 

Datz

Datz makes food that is delicious, approachable, and fun, did you know they also concoct clever, hand-crafted cocktails guaranteed to bring a smile? Datz never disappoints, and when it comes to Rum they certainly add fun to the flavor with this colorful tiki cocktail affectionately known as the Painkiller.  They provide the measurements if you'd like to painlessly slide out of summer this Labor Day with one in hand on the sand.
   
Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum 
  • 1 oz of Coconut cream
  • .5 oz tangerine-mandarin purée
  • 4 oz Pineapple juice
  • Dash of Ground Nutmeg
2616 S. MacDill Ave, Tampa FL Phone 813-831-7000

The Bungalow

Florida style cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere with a rum cocktail in hand, I mean seriously, does it get better than this!  As one of my husband's favorite places to watch the game when dining, discovering The Bungalow Tropic made my Monday Night Football dinners all the more exciting!  Cool, crisp and juicy, this fruity new passion of mine is both refreshing, satisfying and one of the best Rum cocktails in Tampa! 

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple Rum
  • Banana Liquor
  • Strawberry Puree
  • Pineapple Juice
  • OJ
  • Garnished with a strawberry; orange, and cherry
2202 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa FL Phone 813-253-3663
 

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

Rise above the rest at the city's most popular hotel in Downtown Tampa with a locally distilled rum, Old St. Pete!  Having tippled an obscene amount of Tippler's Orange into Cosmo's, never in my wildest imagination would I have invented this one. (Thank goodness for the creative people behind the bars at Waterside!)  A huge fan of  their Craft Beer Happy Hour I stopped in to try St. Pete's Dragon. In a word, this drink is sinful, by the time I finished I needed to ask for forgiveness; I wanted to worship this cocktail. It's that good!  We recommend taking a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi , stopping in to relax Waterside where you can people watch the Riverwalk for a great time. 
 
Ingredients: 

  • Tippler’s
  • Dragon fruit and ginger syrup made with cinnamon, allspice, and brown sugar. Both the red and white dragon fruits are used in the making of the syrup.
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Fresh lemon and lime juice
  • Fresh guava puree
700 South Florida Avenue, Tampa FL Phone 813-221-4900 (Photo courtesy of Waterside Hotel)

Bizou Brasserie

This unique gathering spot located at the historic Le Méridien Tampa in downtown serves European-inspired foods with an American twist as well as expertly crafted cocktails. Known for their inventiveness with Absinthe, we stopped in to ask if they have a Rum drink featuring this bohemian spirit. To our delight they do!  Called Fruit of the Poisonous Tree  we assure you there is nothing poisonous about it, and absinthe, better known as 'the green fairy' , is legal these days! If you have never tried it you are in for a sensational treat! Let the expert mixologists at Bizou mix this mighty rum drink up for you!

Ingredients:

  • Mount Gay Rum
  • Absinthe
  •  Pama Liqueur
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Orange Juice
601 N. Florida Ave, Tampa FL Phone 813-227-9555

Pelagia Trattoria At Renaissance Tampa

Pelagia Trattoria features modern Italian cuisine starting with the freshest and most flavorful ingredients from steak to seafood, pasta to pizza and soup to salad. Their Friday Four Course Dinner for Two is an experience you do not want to miss! Be sure to stop at Gabriella's before or after this spectacular dinner for a Gab's Mojito. Unlike every Mojito we've had before, it's one of our favorite drinks of all time!  We love the hotel's generous Happy Hour too!

Ingredients:

  • Oak & Palm Coconut Rum
  • Fresh mint 
  • Muddled ripe pineapple
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Splash club soda
4200 Jim Walter Blvd. , Tampa FL Phone 813-313-3235

The Brass Tap | Centro Ybor

The Brass Tap is an upscale beer bar offering 60-80 different tapped craft beers, more than 300 bottled varieties of imports, domestics, and local craft beers AND a full bar with wine and cocktails!  They also boast a Rum cocktail we LOVE, ADORE and CRAVE! The Coconut Daq-a-tini!  I apologize for the slightly blurry photo, did I mention they pour a nice cocktail at Brass Tap Ybor! Cheers!  

Ingredients:
 
St.Pete Oak &
Palm Coconut Rum
Fresh lime juice 
Simple syrup 

1600 E 7th Ave, Tampa FL Phone 813-241-0000

Irish 31 - Westchase

A friend called to tell me I HAD to try this Twisted Caramel Apple Rum Martini. Willing to try most things once, some things twice I grabbed him and off we went...To my delight, he'd discovered a lush rum cocktail in a classic Irish Pub! Smooth and creamy, this Apple Rum Martini proves you should never judge a bar by its theme!  Irish 31 has a nice list of craft cocktails and most definitely some piratical thinkers! With locations in Hyde Park Village, and Westshore Plaza there is an Irish 31 near you.

Ingredients:

  • Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Butterscotch Schnapps
  • Sour Apple Schnapps
  • Blue Curacao
  • Melon Liqueur
  • Mix of fresh fruit juices
13910 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa FL Phone (813) 749-7192 (Photo courtesy of Irish 31 Westchase)

The Wine Exchange Bistro & Bar

Having enjoyed impeccable wines, amazing food, and indulgent drinks on the patio following flicks at CineBistro I felt led to The Wine Exchange for this article.  It was raining as I parked, scooting through the door and out from under my umbrella I grabbed a table to take a peek at the cocktail menu!  I knew they made cocktails but always ordered wine at WineEx; I was missing out!  Their drink menu is extensive and easy to read, drinks are categorized by the main spirit, Vodka, Gin, Rum etc...I ordered the perfect rum drink, a Dark and Stormy!  Intense and rich this National Drink of Bermuda puts Rum and Coke to shame with two savory ingredients and a lime! This is straight-up deliciousness you can't miss!

Ingredients:

  • Myer's Dark Rum
  • Gosling's Ginger Beer
1609 Snow Ave, Tampa FL Phone 813-254-9463

We can't wait for the Summer of Rum Festival 2016 in the Channelside District, September 3rd, in the meantime, we are headin' back to port to sample a few more Rum drinks in our continued search for the best Rum cocktails in Tampa. I encourage you to try something different, ask to see the cocktail menu everywhere you go.  Professional mixologists created an art form serving craft drinks in Speakeasy's, Taverns, Wine and Hotel Bars across Tampa, it's time to avail yourself and set sail towards one or all of these irresistible drinks.
  
Let us know in comments below where you feel our Rum seekin' sails should take us, we will stop by t' give them a try and hope t' add them t', Where to Find the Best Rum Cocktails in Tampa.  In the words of V. Corpkshetra, “Have
rum; I mean, have fun. Don't overdose and Cheers,”  we would add.....Please Drink Responsibly and register with 813area.com so you stay in the know for things to do in Tampa! Yo Ho!