It may be the land of whisky, but Scotland has recently been in the throes of a gin craze, with new distilleries and dedicated gin bars launching across the country from Shetland to North Berwick. But if you want to stay ahead of the curve, the next hot spirit is rum.
Dunedin Rum, Scotland’s first golden rum in more than 100 years, launched a few months ago, around a year after Scotland’s first white rum, named SeaWolf, made its first appearance. Correspondingly, the country’s bar owners are upping their rum offerings and opening up dedicated rum and tiki joints.
At the following selection of bars, you’ll be able to sample rare rums from around the world, swill a few rum punches and indulge in the retro glamour of drinking from ceramic tiki mugs.
SeaWolf is the creation of the owners of Edinburgh’s Bramble, just a 10-minute stroll from Hotel Indigo Edinburgh – Princes Street and even closer to Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, so make this discreet basement bar on Queen Street your first stop for trying the white rum — and perhaps a few of the other 15 rums on the bar. Bramble uses SeaWolf in their classic daiquiri, as well as in their Dazed and Confused cocktail, made with Lucky Apricot liqueur, mango and passion fruit syrup, hopped grapefruit bitters, egg white and fresh lime and pineapple juice.
Auld Reekie Tiki, Edinburgh
Much like its name, (“auld reekie,” meaning “old smoky” is an affectionate local nickname for Edinburgh), Auld Reekie Tiki nods to its home city in its tiki creations. Those include the Arthur’s Seat Volcano, named after the extinct volcano that dominates the skyline and made with Bacardi , pineapple, pink grapefruit juice, absinthe and house ginger beer with a “flaming eruption” of Wray & Nephew overproof rum and served in a vintage ceramic volcano bowl.
The Rum Shack, Glasgow
More than 100 rums line the back bar at Southside’s The Rum Shack. The bar categorises its extensive menu by country of origin, with a heavy focus on Caribbean islands such as St. Lucia, Barbados and Jamaica, but also an interesting selection from Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Revolución de Cuba, Glasgow
A five-minute walk from Hotel Indigo Glasgow, the Havana-inspired Revolución de Cuba offers a cocktail menu that is heavy on mojitos and daiquiris—those quintessential Cuban refreshers—but also rum punches and signature offerings such as the Martinique Fruit Shake, made with Trois Rivières Blanc rhum agricole, mango, coconut, pineapple, apricot and lime.
King of Islington, Dundee
The most recent venture from the people behind some of Dundee’s favourite watering holes, including Jam Jar and Draffens, The King of Islington fancies itself a “sugarcane social” rather than the run-of-the-mill “rum bar”. Close to the newly opened Hotel Indigo Dundee, it is home to a truly global collection of more than 100 sugarcane spirits hailing from Cuba, Colombia, Guyana and even Nigeria.