Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s most successful and large street parties, celebrating music, culture and colour. But it also makes for one of the most chaotic long weekends filled with too much bad booze and one almighty Tuesday hangover. So if you’re up for skipping out on the mess and sipping on a more civilised rum cocktail, here’s where to head this weekend.
Nine Lives at London Bridge
Feel good about what you drink this weekend at Nine Lives, a sustainable and beautiful subterranean cocktail den. Here the décor is reminiscent of the tropics without going OTT, the rum drinks are fantastically crafted and there’s even some after-dark dancing, without the risk of tripping up on chicken bones littering Notting Hill’s streets. Which is a win all round as far as we can see.
Rum Kitchen in Brixton
Head south to this funky Caribbean-styled bar for some reggae and rum, open from 11am Saturday and Sunday. Make a day of it with delicious and spicy soft-shell crab burger or salt-fish fritters and wash it all down with one of their 100 rums. Ask for a classic and zippy Daiquiri to show off the lighter spirits or get it shaken into a fruity classic to keep the party going.
Satan’s Whiskers in Bethnal Green
Not a traditional rum bar by any means, Satan’s Whiskers specialises in all things classic while pumping out some of the best hip-hop to have been recorded on both sides of the Atlantic. While it’s not specifically for rum there’s still plenty of it and you’ll find the best cocktails in town here. Order a Yellow Bird for a light and crisp banana-twisted Daiquiri, a Jungle Bird for a bitter-sweet Tiki flavour, a Queen’s Park Swizzle for something long and refreshing, an Air Mail for honey and fizz and a flaming Zombie for a ton of rum and passion fruit.
Dandelyan on the South Bank
The world’s best bar unsurprisingly serves some of the world’s best rum cocktails. Order an Oak Island Old Fashioned for a sophisticated rum and coconut cocktail, all set to the stunning backdrop of the Thames.
Barrio Central in Soho
This Latin shack on Poland Street keeps things vibrant and colourful with very affordable £6 cocktails all Sunday and Monday. It’s all rum and cachaça here and the drinks fly out fast and well-made. Snack on tacos and quesadillas before heading downstairs for cheesy dance that won’t leave you with regretful flashbacks on Tuesday.