RumFest Brings Tropical Spirit to Orlando By Sandra Carr

The rain couldn’t keep revelers away as they quenched their tropical thirst during the 14th Annual RumFest at the Wall Street Plaza last Saturday.

The festival featured more than 20 different rums, live music by local reggae band Hor!zen and DJ RED i spinning the island beats. Attendees sipped concoctions, played with beach balls and had a passport stamped by the rum company representatives for a chance at winning a year’s supply of rum during a drawing.

VIP ticket holders experienced the Red Stripe Terrace at the Monkey Bar, which included complimentary Red Stripe beer, select rum cocktails and Caribbean-style snacks along with RumFest sampling.

RumFest 2018 Flyer

My husband Dan and I have been attending RumFest since the very beginning and look forward to our rum rendezvous every year!

Dan and Sandra at RumFest

Dan and I are striking a pose during the 14th Annual RumFest at the Wall Street Plaza.

The first stop was one of our faves Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The retro-inspired rum brand served its Cherry Jerry and handed out buttons and koozies. The delicious cocktail tasted like a cherry-flavored drink and was mixed just right with rum, pineapple juice and grenadine ingredients.

Sailor Jerry Cherry Jerry

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum’s Cherry Jerry cocktail.

Sailor Jerry Cherry Jerry Recipe

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum’s Cherry Jerry recipe.

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum poured its Cephalopunch, which features the same ingredients as Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum’s Cherry Jerry, but with less grenadine. For those of you who aren’t anatomy aficionados, the drink’s name refers to a human’s head.

The tasty concoction made me want to sit back and relax while enjoying the tiki vibes. Create your own cocktail with this rum recipe.

Kraken Cephalo Punch

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum’s Cephalopunch.

RumChata never disappoints with its Dirty Banana. The creamy and tasty cocktail is always popular during RumFest and worth the wait. Ingredients include two parts RumChata and one part banana liqueur shaken and poured over ice.

RumChata Dirty Banana3

RumChata’s Dirty Banana cocktail.

RumChata Girls2

RumChata girls served the Dirty Banana cocktail.

The Dos Maderas’ Pineapple Smash didn’t make a big splash. The cocktail tasted watered down with hardly any rum.

Dos Maderas Pineapple Smash

Dos Maderas’ Pineapple Smash cocktail.

The rum excursion continued with Bayou Rum. The Louisiana rum company presented its Gator Bite during the festival. This flavorful and perfectly blended cocktail contained its silver, spiced and satsuma rums mixed with pineapple, orange, cranberry and lime juices. If there was a rum concoction competition during the festival, then this drink would have won hands down. Create your own Gator Bite with Bayou Rum’s recipe.

Bayou Rum Gator Bite2

Bayou Rum’s Gator Bite cocktail.

Bacardi, one of the RumFest sponsors, had not one, but three cocktails this year. The options included the Coconut Colada, Limonade and Rum Punch. Dan and I sampled the Coconut Colada, which was a refreshing cocktail that urged me to hang out in a beach cabana. The ingredients included Bacardi coconut rum mixed with pineapple juice and served over ice.

Bacardi Coconut Colada, Limonade and Rum Punch

Barcardi’s Coconut Colada, Limonade and Rum Punch cocktails.

Captain Morgan has provided festivalgoers with unique cocktails in the past, but decided to keep it simple with just Captain and Coke this year.

Captain Morgan Captain and Coke

Captain Morgan’s Captain and Coke cocktail.

Country musician Kenny Chesney wanted to give back to his island adventures by launching Blue Chair Bay Rum five years ago. The Caribbean rum presented its Pineapple Paradise during the festival. The concoction was creamy like RumChata’s Dirty Banana, but didn’t make its mark since you couldn’t taste the pineapple or any other tropical ingredients. However, I was impressed that the rum company’s representatives provided attendees with mini Caribbean cocktail recipe books, so they can create their own drinks at home.

Blue Chair Bay Pineapple Paradise

Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Pineapple Paradise cocktail.

Blue Chair Bay Cocktail Recipes

Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Caribbean cocktail recipes.

Blue Chair Bay Cocktail Recipes2

Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Caribbean cocktail recipes.

Bounty Saint Lucia Rum’s Spirit of Saint Lucia and Don Q’s Pina Fizz cocktails were uber popular during the festival because both rum companies ran out of their mixtures before Dan and I could sample their cocktails.

Bounty Rum Spirit of St. Lucia2

Bounty Saint Lucia Rum’s Spirit of Saint Lucia cocktail.

Don Q Pina Fizz2

Don Q’s Pina Fizz cocktail.

RumFest is a wonderful opportunity to sample new rum brands and cocktails and experience the Caribbean in the heart of downtown Orlando. The annual rum festival occurs in June or July, so add the event to your summer calendar next year.

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