Today is National Rum Day


Indeed. Today is National Rum Day. Who declared it so and why remains a mystery. Described by Elizabeth Swan in Pirates of the Caribbean as “a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels” (a statement with which I beg to disagree), rum is to the Caribbean as spots are to a Dalmatian. No matter where I am in the world, a shot of Barrilito or Don Q will always make me feel like I’m home.

The August date may have been picked to coincide with the end of the rum harvest throughout the Caribbean, an event celebrated with—you guessed it—lots of rum.

Ambrose Bierce once defined rum as “generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers” (that’s more like it as a definition). Chi Chi Rodríguez, the Puerto Rican professional golfer, once told of how the first time he played the Masters he was so nervous he drank a bottle of rum before he teed off. “I shot the happiest 83 of my life,” he said.

So, wherever you are, please join me on a rum toast to rum. Bottoms up!

You can find the image above in its original context at

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