Although Los Angeles is a long way from the Caribbean where rum is the word all over the islands, our semi-tropical climate calls out for the sensational taste of this smooth libation used in classic cocktails all over the City of Angels. That said, the top notch bars that serve rum drinks also focus on the creative aspect of this versatile liquor for the basis of a number of sippers to remember. So, consider the following five that do an exceptional job when it comes to making something to drink with the use of that special sauce called rum.

Caña Rum Bar

714 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 745-7090

Head downtown for the ultimate rum bar, so exclusive that a $20 annual membership fee is charged the first time you lay claim to this semi-private club. However, that’s a small price to pay for the change to enter the Cana Rum Society for the opportunity to enjoy tastings of the smooth sauce as well as a chance to try as many small-batch rums as you wish of the more than 150 on offer.


4427 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 669-9381

“Ho’okipa I Ka Malihini” says the site for Tiki-Ti, welcoming visitors to this tiny place that’s big on attitude and rum-based drinks. You’ll only find 12 seats in this Silver Lake hangout, but the tropical libations number more than 90, including a mean zombie. The house special is named after Tiki-Ti founder Ray Buhen and is called Ray’s Mistake. The rum involved is of the dark Corub variety with other ingredients including a selection of botanic liquors as well as what these digs call “our own super secret flavor.” Interested? Bring cash because no plastic is accepted at this small joint that’s big with the hipster and the hippie crowds.

Sonny’s Hideaway

5137 York Blvd.
Highland Park, CA 90042
(323) 255-2000

Jamaican rum is on show at this east side spot in such cocktails as the millionaire and the suze old-fashioned, both delivered with top-shelf service and bartenders who have been around this special sauce long enough to really get how to mix it. Locals swear by Sonny’s Hideaway as their own special hideaway with its small menu that can be enlarged if you ask for a concoction that’s on your mind and not on the menu.

The Wellesbourne

10929 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 474-0102

The clubby atmosphere at this leather-laden bar is reminiscent of places where women once never entered. Now, everyone who enters is privy to classic rum-based libations served with what seems to be a white glove approach. A gaming room and a relaxing patio are on the menu at The Wellesbourne, as are a number of other scenarios suitable for sipping in an atmosphere that may make you feel underdressed if you aren’t wearing an ascot.

Tonga Hut

12808 Victory Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91606
(818) 769-0708

At the celebrated Tonga Hut, enjoy the original Don the Beachcombers recipe for the original 1934 zombie which include three different rums. Another special on the menu is the navy grog, also a three-rum cocktail that this favorite outlet has made its own. Whatever you choose to sip at Tonga Hut is likely honed to perfection as this is the oldest tiki bar — opened in 1958 — still standing and still thriving in the Los Angeles basin.

Jane Lasky