Panama is a paradise for rum lovers. Thanks to the country’s unique climate and vast sugarcane plantations, it isn’t bound to run out of top-quality rum anytime soon. As the demand for rum continually increases worldwide, Panama has become one of the top producers of the liquor, and it is apparent as you pass through liquor stores and bars in the streets. The country is home to the famous Ron Abuelo Añejo rum, which is a robust rum variety with a distinct vanilla and spice hint and is sold all over the world.
But rum overflows not just in liquor stores! In the city capital, the center of the social scene in Panama, bars have an overflowing supply of these rums, and you can enjoy these in various cocktails. Take a look at these finely-crafted rum cocktails that you can enjoy in the city while you socialize and drink the night away in the top bars and restaurants. You will never run out of rum cocktail choices!
1. Dark Passion
The Dark Passion rum cocktail is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a sweet rum mix before calling it a day. The rum in this cocktail will please even extreme rum enthusiasts because the bartender uses more than an ounce of the famous Ron Abuelo Añejo rum. To contrast the strong rum flavor, half an ounce of sugarcane cinnamon almond syrup and half an ounce of fresh lime juice is squeezed and then added to the drink.
For a warm and distinct tropical taste, two dashes of Elemakule Tiki Bitters are added into the mix, which is a blend of cinnamon, allspice, and island spices. An ounce of passion fruit pulp adds another layer of tropical taste, thanks to its flavor that is reminiscent of guava, lychee, and pineapple. For a hint of vanilla and chocolate, and to deepen the sweet taste of this rum cocktail, ¼ ounce of crème de cacao is added. The bartender adds three drops of black walnut bitters as the last ingredient to give the cocktail a hint of cola and cocoa.
All of these ingredients are combined in a cocktail shaker. Once mixed, an egg white is added, and the bartender shakes the ingredients again altogether. The result is the creation of a sweet, tropical rum cocktail with a velvety texture that you can sip as listen to rock and roll. You can enjoy the drink with great food offered in the pub.
The Dark Passion cocktail is available at the Hooch Panama. It is a pub located in San Francisco, Avenida 4C Sur, Panama City. Open on Mondays – Saturdays, from 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.
2. Coco Heaven
The main ingredients in this cocktail are… you guessed it right! Rum and coconut. This delightful cocktail from Tantalo Roofbar, one of the top rooftop bars in Panama City, will have you asking for more. It is made with Bacardi Añejo Cuatro rum as the base liquor, which is aged for up to four years and has a light-bodied taste that you will enjoy. This variety of the Bacardi rum has hints of vanilla, toasted oak, and honey. Malibu rum, a best-selling Caribbean rum, is also added for a hint of coconut flavor and sweetness.
To finish the cocktail, coconut cream and watermelon are mixed into the rum, giving it a tropical twist. Around four to six cubes of watermelon are mashed and incorporated into the drink, so the flavor is infused in this cocktail. You will really feel like you are in a tropical haven when you try this rum cocktail! You can have it as you enjoy Tantalo’s extensive selection of Latin American cuisines and take in the breathtaking view of the Panama City skyline.
You can buy a glass of Coco Heaven at the Tantalo Hotel – Kitchen – Roofbar. It is located at Calle 8 Este con Avenida B, Casco Viejo, Panama. Open on Mondays to Sundays from 5 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Don’t let the cocktail name intimidate you! The Drunk cocktail from Caliope is a must-try for rum enthusiasts and those who would like to try a rum cocktail for the first time. Caliope is one of Panama City’s most excellent restaurants, and you must try a drink as you dine in this place. Drunk is made with Ron Abuelo 7 rum, which is aged for over seven years, making it a full-bodied and spectacular rum. This rum has a certain smoothness and sweetness to it, with hints of butter, vanilla, and oak. The flavor definitely stays true to the style of Latin American palate! It is combined with Disaronno Ameretto, a top-notch amaretto-tasting liquor from Italy.
The other ingredients in this drink include té alcohólico (which means tea infused with spirits), freshly-squeezed lemon juice, orange juice, and uses guarapo (fermented sugarcane juice) as a sweetener. All of these are mixed thoroughly in a cocktail shaker, then served with ice, dehydrated orange, and a dash of jalapeño powder. The result? A rum cocktail with a full-bodied taste, with a citrus and spice kick at the same time.
Order a glass of Drunk from Caliope Restaurant. It is located at Central Avenue, Amador, Casco Viejo Theater Building, San Felipe, Panama City. Open on Mondays to Saturdays from 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
4. Pedro’s Daquiri
Do you know the true mark of a house special? It is when a cocktail is named after the bar. Pedro’s Daiquiri is only one of the several rum cocktail selections at the Pedro Mandinga Rum Bar, which is a cozy bar with a Caribbean vibe. It has an extensive menu filled with rum cocktails. The rums used in this pub are aged from raspadura, which means pure, hand-harvested sugarcane. You can purchase the rum in bottles, but they recommend that you try their cocktails.
Pedro’s Daiquiri is a simple cocktail made with Pedro Mandinga Silver Rum, which has hints of banana, cotton candy, and caramel. It is smooth and sweet to the palate. Fresh lime juice, sugar, and egg white are then combined with the rum for a smooth and refreshing daiquiri with a velvety finish.
You can enjoy a glass of Pedro’s Daiquiri at Pedro Mandinga Rum Bar. It is located at Avenida A, Entre Plaza Herrera y Calle 8A, Portal de Caldas, Casco Viejo, Panama. Open from Mondays to Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 1 a.m., and on Fridays to Sundays from 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
5. Negro Felipe
The Stranger’s Club is a bar and restaurant dedicated to merging American cuisine with Panamanian cuisine, and to celebrate what Central America has to offer when it comes to liquor. The outcome? Finely-crafted cocktail drinks that elevate Latin American rum and other local alcoholic beverages on a whole different level.
It all started when six bartenders from New York City visited sugarcane fields and rum distilleries in Panama City. Blown away by how sugarcanes are grown and harvested, as well as with the opportunities available in Panama City’s night scene, they set up shop. Since then, with two local Panamanian business partners, they have opened a bar and a restaurant that is filled to the brim with expatriates who wish to experience what Panama has to offer when it comes to liquor.
Negro Felipe is just one of their several rum cocktails but made special because of the use of Don Pancho 8 Años as the base rum. This is a Cuban rum made by a certain Don Pancho, who drew inspiration from how sugarcanes are grown and harvested in Panama. The result is a rum with notes of oaken vanilla, caramel, and maple sugar. This wood-aged rum is made into a fine cocktail by the restaurant’s mixologist by stirring in some homemade cinnamon syrup and Angostura bitters, which complements the syrup thanks to its spiciness, with hints of clove and cinnamon. All served in a glass with some ice and voila! A simple rum cocktail that enhances brings out the rich flavor of Don Pancho 8 Años rum.
Negro Felipe is a definite must-try. You can have a glass at The Stranger’s Club, located at Avenida Central, Calle B, Panama City. Open on Mondays to Fridays from 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., on Saturdays from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
6. The Diablo
The American Trade Hotel has a bar called The Lobby, where you can try out a rum cocktail known as The Diablo. It sounds like a robust cocktail mix, but it has a sweet and spicy taste that contrasts with each other, resulting in a subtle rum experience you certainly won’t forget.
The Diablo has about two ounces of Ron Abuelo Añejo rum as its base liquor. The bartender then combines watermelon fruit pieces and salsa picante de aji chombo (which translates to hot chili pepper sauce) and mashes these together. These two ingredients contrast each other sharply, giving the drink a kick and complexity that will excite your taste buds. This mixture is then transferred into a cocktail shaker with ice, Ron Abuelo Añejo rum, ginger syrup, and fresh lemon juice.
Indulge in a glass of The Diablo at The Lobby, inside The American Trade Hotel. It is located at Plaza Herrera Casco Viejo, Panama. The Lobby is open on Mondays to Sundays, from 6:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
7. Portal de Caldas
One more exciting rum cocktail that you should try from Pedro Mandinga Rum Bar is called Portal de Caldas. What makes it different? Aside from a different set of ingredients from Pedro’s Daiquiri, this rum cocktail has Pedro Mandinga Spiced Rum as its base liquor, giving it notes of orange, vanilla, and cinnamon. This particular rum blend has a spicy kick that contrasts its naturally sweet and citrusy taste.
Aside from the spiced rum, Appleton V/X (Appleton Estate) rum is added to the drink. This is a Jamaican rum with hints of orange peel, dried apricot, fresh peach, molasses, and woody notes. It complements the sweet notes of Pedro Mandinga Spiced Rum. Apart from the rums, the bartender adds other ingredients, which include toronja (grapefruit) juice, spice syrup, and bitters for that island touch. The result? A rum cocktail that cannot get any smoother and citrusy!
You can order Portal de Caldas at Pedro Mandinga Rum Bar. It is located at Avenida A, Entre Plaza Herrera y Calle 8A, Portal de Caldas, Casco Viejo, Panama. Open from Mondays to Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 1 a.m., and on Fridays to Sundays from 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
8. Passion Fruit Mojito
It is quite common for bars in Panama City to mix passion fruit with liquor, giving most of their cocktail drink selections a tropical taste that will make you feel like you are on vacation. When you take a look at Tantalo Roofbar’s cocktail menu, you will see the words ‘oh wow!’ right beside their Passion Fruit Mojito. This rum cocktail is Tantalo Roofbar’s specialty.
For this mojito, the bartender uses the ever so famous Bacardi white rum with mashed passion fruit, giving the drink hints of lychee, pineapple, and guava, which goes along well with the vanilla and apricot notes of the rum. The result is a tasty drink with a certain dryness and crispness that rum enthusiasts can detect.
Spearmint leaves are muddled into the sugar and fresh lime juice, releasing the mint flavor and its refreshing aroma. The Bacardi white rum and passion fruit purée are added, and all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly with a cocktail shaker. This delicious cocktail is then strained and served in a tall glass with lots of ice, then topped with club soda and some more passion fruit as a garnish.
Enjoy this tropical rum cocktail at the Tantalo Hotel – Kitchen – Roofbar. It is located at Calle 8 Este con Avenida B, Casco Viejo, Panama. Open on Mondays to Sundays from 5 p.m. – 3 a.m.
9. Amame Lento
Amame lento, which translates to ‘love me slowly,’ is an interesting mix of the trademark flavors from France, Italy, and Panama. For this rum cocktail, the bartender uses Ron Abuelo 7 Años, Cointreau, and Amaretto. The Ron Abuelo rum, which won a gold medal in the 2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition, is aged for over seven years and lends a sweet taste with toffee and caramel notes. The Cointreau gives an orangey twist, and the iconic amaretto from Italy provides an almond taste and aroma.
The non-alcoholic ingredients in this rum cocktail are grapefruit and nutmeg. The grapefruit lends its citrus flavor, while the nutmeg contributes to the sweetness and warm aroma of the drink. This combination creates a rum cocktail mix that doesn’t overwhelm the palate with tropical fruits and sweeteners. You will still be able to taste the richness of the Ron Abuelo rum.
Amame Lento is available at the Lola Mia Restaurant, which is inside the La Concordia Boutique Hotel. Located at Ave Central & Calle A & Calle B, Santa Ana, Panama City. Open on Mondays to Saturdays from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 12 a.m., and on Sundays from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
10. Red Hot Chili Berries
Tantalo Roofbar offers another rum cocktail that will give you an exhilarating experience. Red Hot Chili Berries is perfect for the adventurous rum drinkers out there who would love to challenge their taste buds and try something new.
The bartender uses Bacardi once again as the base for the cocktail. To make the mix more exciting, tequila is added into the mix, giving it a layer of earthy flavor and a strong alcoholic punch. A good amount of hot Tabasco sauce and jalapeño peppers provide the kick you will experience in this cocktail… but wait! Strawberry pulp and some cranberry juice are also added to complement the vanilla and apricot notes of Bacardi and contrast the spiciness of the other ingredients.
Are you adventurous enough for Red Hot Chili Berries? Order a glass of this rum cocktail at the Tantalo Hotel – Kitchen – Roofbar. It is located at Calle 8 Este con Avenida B, Casco Viejo, Panama. Open on Mondays to Sundays from 5 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Panama is home to lots of rum cocktails that you will absolutely love! Not only will you find and get to taste a lot of these cocktails – but you can also experience rum on a whole new level because of the diverse and interesting mixes available in Panama’s bars and restaurants.
You’ll find rum in various intensities – from subtle and crisp, to deep and rich. Panama’s artisan mixologists have found various ways to work with the flavors of their rum. Rum is Panama’s specialty, after all! One thing you will find in common among these rum cocktails is the abundance in tropical fruits and flavorings, so you will truly feel like you are on a summer vacation with just a glass of rum cocktail. If this doesn’t make you want to drink your way into the country, we don’t know what will. But still, remember to drink moderately.
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