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Go Back   Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum > Cocktails and Food > Bars that appreciate RUM
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Bars that appreciate RUM

A growing number of bars appreciate rum, and and we appreciate them.


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Old 08-14-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
RumBarPhilly
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Default Philadelphia

If you're ever on the east coast in Philadelphia, there are two rum bars of note. There is Cuba Libre. They actually struck a deal with a major distributor to have their very own line of rums, with their Cuba Libre 21 year being magnificent!

More worthy of note is Rum Bar. Of course, it is my bar so Id have to say it's well worth the trip. Unfortunately due to the Pennsylvania LCB, we're only able to get a limited amount of rums, we do have 90 though. Most notably, we have a variety of infused rums like cucumber, vanilla bean, and red chili pepper being our biggest 3 sellers. We do sell the Mount Gay Tricenentennial as well, which I have yet to see (at least in Philadelphia)
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:01 PM   #2
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I've wanted to go there for some time. They have two people whose full time job is to make Mojitos! They even press their own sugar cane for the juice I'm told.

We need more places like this in the US.

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Old 08-17-2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RumBarPhilly View Post
There is Cuba Libre. They actually struck a deal with a major distributor to have their very own line of rums, with their Cuba Libre 21 year being magnificent!
Cuba Libre label rums are made by El Dorado so their 21 should be good. When I visited Cuba Libre, I was disappointed that the mojitos were mass produced with no muddling, "It takes too long." The mint was infused in the simple syrup for production and though the idea of crushing fresh sugar cane sounds good, I've only been in one bar where they actually did it. One of the problems which is generally overlooked is that you can't prep the bar by pressing the cane in advance. Fresh sugar cane juice turns brown in less than 20 minutes, much like fresh apple slices. The other problem is that once cut, sugar cane stalks begin deteriorating and actually fermenting due to the sugar content and natural yeast.

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More worthy of note is Rum Bar.
I look forward to getting to Rum Bar.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:09 AM   #4
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Ed,

I look forward to your visit if you ever make it around our neck of the woods. What do you think about doing a tasting at Rum Bar? Id be honored to have you, as well as many others Ive spoken to on your site as well as other blogs. We have a growing populous of rum fans in Philadelphia so its a good spot to stop by!
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:10 AM   #5
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I spent some time at Rum Fest talking with Adam and Ben from Rum Bar, and these guys know their rums and are passionate about them. I'm certain that rum lovers will certainly enjoy this place.
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Old 11-10-2007, 12:08 PM   #6
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I've been looking for an excuse to come back to Philly, and doing a rum tasting is a good one. I've often heard that the LCBO is a real pain, but in their defense, the fact that you have 90 rums on your shelf is proof that the LCBO isn't as bad as you might think. I know you can get a lot of products in your bar as special orders, it just takes some doing. At least you aren't stuck with dealing with one or two major distributors and can't special order even if you want.
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Old 11-10-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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The PLCB has got its ups and its downs. The SLO program is pretty good. If I can get a distributor to want to carry a certain product, than I can get it. Getting an item listed in stores is the hard part. The only sipping rums on the shelves here are pyrat, zaya, brugal anejo. You can also get clement white, leblon, and 10Cane. Thats about it! Thats why a lot of my guests and employees use me as a rum runner since im in NJ. I am the source for Zacapa since my local liquor store stocks it. My bartenders usually buy a bottle a week. Can you believe not 1 distributor ive spoken with has picked up Ron Zacapa or Botran?

Also, we are up to 104 rums and growing. Im starting to get a lot of obscure rums now like Chauff Coeur, Hudson, and the Murray McDavids
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:27 AM   #8
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Default A review of rum bar

I initially posted this in another thread, but a copy (slightly edited) belongs here:

After a big dinner of ceviche, lechon asado, a generous side of maduros, and a couple of caipirhinas for me and a pina colada for the Mrs. at Alma de Cuba, my wife finally assented to a visit to Rum Bar at 20th and Walnut in Philadelphia. First, the menu looked great. We were too full from dinner to order desert at the restaurant, so we didn't order any food, but the selection looked great and we'll be back to try it sometime soon.

More importantly, the rum...

The selection is as as vast and varied as you can get in Pennsylvania and stay legal. (This means you will not have any Ron Zacapa Centenario because the Pennsy state liquor system won't sell it. What is wrong with them!) The prices are generally reasonable. The best part: Rum Bar offers rum flights, either vertical or horizontal. The rum flights consist of three equal samples of rum, served in appropriate glasses (like small snifter thingamabobs, don't know whatcha call 'em) totalling, by my guess (and subject to being wrong), between 2 and 3 oz., maybe a bit more. The vertical rum flights allow you to sample three tiers of a distiller's brands. The horizontal flights allow you to sample three "peer" rums, based on various similarities (e.g., high-end rums, US distilled rums, etc.) The flights are a fantastic value -- even the super high end "El Presidente" flight, which includes both Mt. Gay Tricentential and Pyrat Cask 23 (I cannot remember the 3d rum for the life of me), is reasonably priced at $130, considering its constituents.

The better half and I ordered the vertical Appleton flight, which consisted of V/X, Extra and 21 for $30 (if I remember correctly). The Extra was out, so the Reserve was substituted (minor service quibble: the substitution wasn't mentioned until the rum was served ... no big deal to me, I was after the 21, but some folks might like to have been asked before hand.) As to these rums, the V/X is a fine rum -- I'd use it for mixing and would be happy if it replaced Mt. Gay Eclipse or Myers as the standard "dark rum" in most bars; the Extra was good enough but not particulary memorable (in fact, I have no memory of it probably because its older sister so outshined it); and the 21 was ABSOLUTELY AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC. The Appleton 21 is a rum of distinction and character, as good as any respectable Scotch and better than many. The Mrs. and I were bickering (ever so gently) over who got how much of it. I MUST acquire a bottle of it for my home collection, regardless of how many people I have to kill in order to do it.

In short, I, or we, will be back to sample a few more flights. The US-made flight has Prichard's Fine (which I am eager to try) and Captain Morgan Private Stock (which I am not eager to try but really ought to tho I don't want to buy a bottle of it). There is a Clement flight, with their premium rums on it, that I would love to try, if I could substitute the shrubb for the premiere. (I have got a liquid to-do list here, and these folks are helping me take care of it.)

If your companion should prefer to drink something other than rum, there seemed to be a full bar selection available (not that I was paying attention), so your companion can drink something else while you enjoy your rum and mull over whether or not you really want to spend time with someone who does not appreciate rum.

Of other aspects of the establishment that might be of importance to potential patrons, we came and went kind of early (9:15 ish to 9:50 ish) so I am not sure how accurate these impressions are. First, the bar is divided into a seating area near the front window, the bar itself, and an area with tables in the back. The bar can seem deceptively over-crowded from the street when it is not, so just go in. Second, the patrons all seemed well-groomed and behaved: no thugs in appearance. No reason why anyone of any race, sex, orientation or age from 21 to 121 would be uncomfortable. Third, the male-to-female ratio was tilted to the female, but mostly because there was a huge all female group seated in the front (they seemed too well behaved to be a bachelorette party). The table area was occupied by couples mostly. The bar itself had 3 or 4 groups of people there, the groups being either all male or all female. Fourth, the decor is kind of Caribbean inflected but not excessively so, if anyone cares. Fifth, it was well lit. Sixth, the music was not so lound that you could not carry on a conversation. I don't know if the music gets louder and lighting gets dimmer later in the evening or if the tables and chairs get put away to make room for some exuberant, sweaty, alcohol-fueled dancing to an Afro-Caribbean beat after the kitchen closes. I hope it does (not that I would be there) but the town fathers here might not approve.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:42 AM   #9
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In response to a few of your comments:

Alma de Cuba: Amazing food! (any Steven Starr restaurant kills!) Their rum list is decent, however a colleague of mine was upset when she ordered a mojito with Montecristo and was given a Mojito with the 12 Year Old and charged $18 for it!

El PResidente Flight: The third rum in the flight is Appleton 21 (you should know that one!). And actually, that was the El Superpresidente flight. The presidente flight has the appleton 21 (again), Angostura 1824, and Clement X.O.

Girls/Guys Ratio: We have become a "date bar" however we do a lot of bachelor parties and on Mondays, our Half priced mojito specials brings in all girls. Its the secretive girls' night out.

Also: Beginning this week, were starting a new promo. Every Wednesday nights at 6pm, Ill be having a tasting of two rums from my private selection (bottles I order in NJ or just have lying around at home) absolutely free. Im very excited to start this, as I think tasting notes from some of my regulars will enhance my palate as well.
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