No longer seen as the gritty booze to warm the cockles of salty seafarers, rum has recently undergone a huge revival with new bars dedicated to the spirit popping up everywhere.
Whether you prefer yours light or dark, aged, spiced, neat or in a cocktail, it’s one of Liverpool’s most historically important spirits, helping to boost global trade throughout the 1700s.
Like most spirits, there are exclusive varieties that will set you back more than a few pieces of silver, but Liverpool is bursting with great bars that allow you to sample the best without having to break the bank.
So if like us you love a ‘tot’ of rum or two, these are the best bars to sample the popular mariner’s tipple.
Alma de Cuba
Situated in the trendy Ropewalks quarter, this stunning converted church is sure the serve all your rum needs. Alma de Cuba is an eclectic mix of Cuban, Hispanic and Latin American influences all enhanced by Liverpool’s great spirit.
With Salsa Classes every Tuesday, Sunday Service Gospel Brunch with a live gospel choir on Sundays, live music on a Thursday and its outstanding range of rum cocktails, this is the number one destination for an unforgettable carnival experience.
What to drink: Rhumbongo Barrel
This pirate-inspired rum bar is set in the ever-growing LGBT district on Stanley Street. Decorated with authentic dark wood interiors and seafarer themed art work, this unique bar is based around the look and feel of a pirate ship.
Lucky customers can sample anything from rum on the rocks to a huge range of rum based cocktails, all from the comfort of a giant barrel.
Or you can venture below deck and book out the luxury Captain’s Quarter for you and your crew.
So grab your first mate and climb aboard.
What to drink: Old J spiced rum
This striking bar transports its guests on a journey that pays homage to the White Star Line’s Trans-Atlantic cruises from Liverpool to New York.
With direct nautical links, Carpathia sails you through the phases of a Trans-Atlantic cruise with a cocktail list that is split up into the different stages of your journey. From Anchor’s Aweigh to The Captain’s Table, this bar is the perfect place to sample some of the best rums around.
There is also a decadent rooftop terrace, so you can enjoy your seafarer’s tipple whilst you bask in the sunshine with views over the Mersey and Liverpool’s docklands.
So relax and be immersed in the history of the Titanic and the White Star Line.
What to drink: Jack Dawson
A firm favourite, Santa Chupitos is a cosy little cocktail bar on the corner of Parr Street and Slater Street. You may have to look a bit harder to find it as this trendy bar is set in an inconspicuous looking building with a minuscule sign, but once discovered it’s hard to leave.
Featuring an impressive rum emporium, this venue is famous for having some of the best cocktails in Liverpool and expert mixologists. Their passion fruit zombie includes four different types of rum and is a strong contender for the title of the best zombie in Liverpool.
What to drink: Passion Fruit Zombie
Rum and Rumour at Ma Boyle’s
Fancy something a bit more traditional? Tucked away beneath the famous Ma Boyle’s Alehouse is the Rum and Rumour Kabaret Bar, a speciality rum bar with more than 50 varieties to choose from.
Ma Boyle’s Eatery has been an institution since 1870 when it was a traditional alehouse and oyster bar, before moving to the waterfront Tower Building in 1974. Nestled in the shadow of Liverpool’s historic Parish Church of St Nicholas’s, this unique pub is set in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The basement drinking den features weekly rum specials and there’s usually some live music, what more could you want.
What to drink: Rum Punch
Liverpool’s favourite tropical hideaway, Aloha is a staple of the scouse night out. This bright tiki bar, set on Colquitt Street, instantly transports you to warmer climates with its elaborate exotic décor.
With its roots firmly in Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, the bar serve their cocktails in a variety of weird and wonderful vessels including coconut shells, volcanoes, conch shells and of course treasure chests.
What to drink: Mauna Loa
Rum Bar at the Titanic Hotel
Set within the grandiose Titanic Hotel on the Stanley Dock, Rum Bar whisks its guests to Guyana, Barbados, Martinique and Cuba. The bar boasts a core list of around 50 different types of rum, plus a range of 24 ever-changing guest rums including blends that are unique to the Titanic Hotel.
Built on the site of a rum warehouse, this bar celebrates its heritage with eclectic décor including a refurbished railway carriage that was once used to transport goods to and from the warehouses.
The staff are also rum connoisseurs so expect a ‘Rum Tale’ or two whilst you enjoy your tipple.
What to drink: Atlantico Private Cask
This ‘day of the dead’ themed cocktail bar is nestled in the basement below its sister restaurant Lucha Libre, near Wood Street. Famous for their unusual fusions and potent concoctions, the cocktail menus with drinks displayed on tarot cards.
‘Just look for the red cross.’
What to drink: Dark n Stormy
For a true taste of the Caribbean, Turtle Bay is one of the best bars to get your rum fix. Describing themselves in three words – rum, reggae and jerk, this tropical themed bar and restaurants boasts an extensive rum menu featuring over 30 different types.
With two restaurants to choose from in Liverpool and a fantastic almost round the clock happy hour, there’s always time for a rum or two at Turtle Bay.
What to drink: Rum tasting board
Why not go for something a bit different with the Bastion Bar, set in the luxurious Shankly Hotel, this swanky destination is perfect for those seeking a bit of sophistication.
Try anything from the Shankly Long Island to the Bastion Beach, this bar offers its guests a wide selection of rare rums that will quench your thirst.
So sip on your rum cocktail, sit back and relax as you take in the beautiful surroundings and never-seen-before Shankly memorabilia.
What to drink: Shankly Long Island
For the ultimate rum experience get yourself down to the heart of the historic Albert Dock and seek out the famous Smugglers Cove. Crowned the UK’s best rum bar in 2016 by Imbibe Drinks List of the Year, this swashbuckling bar is renowned for its amazing selection of rums.
The 19th century listed building, formerly a spice warehouse, is home to a total of 151 premium and rare assortments of rum including spiced, white, gold, dark and overproof.
With a Guinness Book of World Records title to its name for having the largest selection of rums, this pirate themed bar is the number one destination for rare varieties of the spirit.
Its stocks one of the world’s rarest rums, the Appleton Estate Jamaica Independence Reserve Rum which is 50 years old and limited to just 800 bottles worldwide. However, a shot of this will set you back a whopping £110, so maybe only for very special occasions!
Time flies when you’re having rum!
What to drink: Black Magic
Feeling a bit peckish after all of that rum? Check out our foodies guide to the best Bold Street has to offer. If you have any more suggestions or thoughts on our favourite spots, please let us know in the comments.