Rum has come a long way from being synonymous with pirates.
Where are the best rum bars around Australia? Well, thanks to Australian Bartender, we’ve got the ten finalists for you. The list below was voted by the bar industry of Australia, with each bar housing their own level of rum-like uniqueness. So, without further ado, here they are:
Blue Kahunas, NSW
Located 100 metres from the Hunter River Foreshore is Blue Kahunas, Newcastle’s very own tiki bar. Inside you’ll find some inspirational bartenders who love putting on a good show and you’ll find plenty of rum to bring out those chest hairs. Pop by on a Tuesday for live Hawaiian jazz from 8pm or on Wednesday-Friday afternoons for their ‘Aperikiki Afternoons’ happy hour between 5pm and 7pm. Go wild and get a Nui Nui, with Flor De Cana 7yr rum and white, orange, Kahunas mix, lime and bitters, served in a tiki tumbler.
Burrow Bar, NSW
While most of the bars on this list prefer to focus on rum, Burrow Bar focuses on a variety of spirit delicacies. But their rum collection and concoction list have driven it up to be a finalist for best rum bar in Australia. As the name suggests, Burrow Bar is hidden away from prying eyes, deep inside a basement under a discerning alleyway – but don’t let that stop you. They’re so underground that even the menu is elusive to discerning tipplers. As we always say, if in doubt, ask the bar staff.
Flamingos Tiki Bar, QLD
Where better for a tiki bar to be than the tropics of Queensland? Welcome to Flamingos Tiki Bar in Cairns, where cruisy vibes meet flamboyant cocktails. And not only can you bask in the afternoon warmth while sipping on rum-inspired concoctions, but you can also learn how to make them at their popular masterclasses. They even have a YouTube channel sharing all their favourite mixes. We recommend the shared cocktail Fruits of Laka, featuring Bacardi Carta Blanca, Bacardi Oro, De Kurper Banana and Blackberry Liqueur, orange, pineapple, lime juice and grenadine.
Hains & Co., SA
What a great double whammy these guys are. Hains & Co. are finalists for both the best gin bar and rum bar on Australian Bartender. They aim to lift spirits with spirits. The guys scour the globe for great spirits, from gin to rum and even whisky. Bring out your inner pirate and please your tastebuds with a bespoke cocktail mixed with your favourite choice of rum, whether from Australia or abroad. Go for a neatly poured Compagnie Des Indes rum from Jamaica or have it mixed into a bespoke cocktail. Arrr, me hearties!
Jacoby’s Tiki Bar, NSW
The state of NSW is raking in the gold with the best rum bars, this time with Jacoby’s Tiki Bar in Enmore. They pride themselves as being a local oasis, wowing tipplers with exotic flavours, tropical garnishes and fiery lime husks. And the best part is the inner sanctum this place evokes; think ballooned pufferfish as light ornaments and tropical artwork that warms the soul. Be the life of the party and order a Neptune’s Punch with Tanqueray gin, Pampero Especial rum, Martell VS Cognac, blue curaçao, passionfruit, falernum, orgeat and lemon served to share four people. Chookers, darl!
Rude Boy, TAS
Tasmania may not be the ideal tropical destination, but the guys at Rude Boy will warm your loins with Carribean-worthy cocktails and quirky bar eats. Match your Pastrami Burger with one of their Rum Flights for a truly heartwarming degustation, whether it be a local collection of rum or something delightfully international. We recommend the Freed Rum flight that features four European rums from independent bottlers, including Berry Bros. & Rudd 13-year-old, Plantation Barbados 2001, Phantom Spirits Vanilla Shake Beer Geek and Compagnie de Indes Jamaican.
Rum Bar Airlie Beach, QLD
You’ll be spoilt for choice at this fabulous tropical establishment featuring over 560 different rums. The master of classics, Rum Bar in Airlie Beach pays tribute to all the popular mixes, including the devilish Long Island Iced Tea. But while you can sit at the bar with a friend or three and let the evening trundle on, it’s better to book yourself a Rum Journey instead. Take your tastebuds through a pre-booked itinerary around the lovely world of rum by booking yourself a daytime private event in their bar. The itinerary is to your choosing and can include food to match.
Sneaky Tony’s, WA
Sneaky Tony’s is a prohibition-era bar that pays homage to infamous rum-runner Tony “the hat”. Their shelf is bursting with over 300 bottles of pirate-friendly rum from all four corners of the globe. But the fun part is finding this bar. They are somewhere in Chinatown, Northbridge, and during the weekend you must know the password to enter. It’s okay, they post it up on their socials. Stick to the staples and get yourself a Sneaky Daquiri, which is a unique blend of white and dark rum with fresh lime and sugar.
The Lobo Plantation, NSW
Welcome to The Lobo Plantation, where the finest delicacies mingle within a fancy Carribean-style bar. They house over 250 rums behind the bar, with a kitchen searing off nearby to match your meticulous choices. Browse through their rum journal to pick out a tailored spirit and lounge yourself to a blissful state. But, for the discerning rum aficionados, you must book yourself a rum flight that takes you to exotic corners of this world. The top choice is the High Roller’s Private Jet, sharing some extraordinary expressions of rum, from the old pirates to the limited releases.
The Rum Diary Bar, VIC
With over 200 bottles of rum, it’s easy to get lured into The Rum Diary Bar. Its interior resembles the classic pirate watering holes we’ve seen in Hollywood movies, and as for the cocktail menu, it takes you on a journey through the Caribbean Islands. Simply sail off from Florida and please your taste buds on a winding trip through the Caribbean Sea. We recommend a stop in Barbados by saying Ello Sailor to the lingering bartender. In return, he or she will serve you up a glass mix of Mount Gay Rum, grenadine, bitters and an apple float.