Summer of Rum 2015

The Summer of Rum festival turned out to be everything hyped and some more. As expected.

This time I learned from experience and rented a room in walking distance at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Ybor City. Definitely a good move.  The place was perfect – clean, quiet and about a 5 minute walk from the Cuban Club. And of course the fact that no one has to be the designated driver after a celebration of all things rum was a plus. It’s my new go-to place to stay when I’m in the area for certain.

We decided to start the evening out right and headed straight to the rum tasting upstairs.  Another good move.  Dang, I’m like an expert or something.  At what I don’t know. Anyways, I got to try all of the rums on my list including Wicked Dolphin (who had RumShine!) and Blackheart, obviously a rum for pirates. Blackheart was a really good spiced rum, this may be my new go-to for rum and cokes.


We tried quite a few rums – enough that I forgot to keep taking pictures. 🙂  I have to admit, I had a hands down favorite.  Blue Chair Bay had a banana rum that was so good it could be sipped straight out of the bottle.  If you were inclined to do such a thing that is. Not commenting any further on that.


After that it was off to sit in cool comfort and watch a bit of a pirate movie.  I’m always a fan of pirates.  And movies I don’t have to try and stay quiet during. Win and win.


By then it seemed wise to have a meal, so we walked across the way to the Spaghetti Factory. There were a bunch of really good looking food trucks, but I didn’t see anything vegetarian jump out at me.  If we were going to get serious about drinking and lasting to hear all of the bands to the end a serious meal was in order.  Who says carbing up is just for runners?

My son and his girlfriend met us after that and we all had a great time just hanging out, listening to bands and people watching.

SummerofRumBandOne thing I have to say, the bartenders in the VIP tent were amazing.  See how the girl’s hands are blurry in the middle picture below?  That’s not bad photography, that’s how fast they were moving to keep up.  And all the while everyone was cheerful and and fun.

2015-08-294Oh yeah, and we all got pirate tatts at Captain Morgan’s place. Because when in Rome… and also when drinking rum all day.

I received two VIP tickets to The Tampa Bay Rum Festival in exchange for writing a review and a giveaway. As always, my opinions are all mine.

Summer of Rum 2015 Giveaway

I now know what it would take to pull me out of my self imposed blog break. That would be my favorite party of the year.  The Summer of Rum Festival is back next Saturday, August 15th from noon to 11:00! This is seriously my favorite yearly event.  And not just because I love my rum. Here’s my review of last year’s bash just to prove how much fun it was.

What would cause this to be not just a favorite but my VERY favorite? For one, it’s at the Cuban Club in Ybor. This means a photo worthy historical building AND not having to be outside in the heat the entire time.  Because we can have lots of fun outside in the heat and all, but it’s also nice to not worry about finding a place in the shade so that you can melt a little bit slower. Plus, maybe it’s haunted.

Also, you know I’m all abut the music.  And the booze, but mostly the music.  Well, it depends on the moment but right this moment I’m sober and so giving music the one up. Summer of Rum means ska and reggae and generally island influenced music all the whole day long. And rum. Anyways…  The Hip Abductors are the headline act and I’m particularly liking this song.

UNRB is scheduled again this year, so another yay.

Anyways, lets get back to the important stuff.  The rum. There will be the big names like Captain Morgan and Malibu but check out some of the one’s I don’t know a thing about.  Which means the festival will be a learning experience. Learning is good, right?

  • Black Heart Rum

    They say “Blackheart is bold, brazen, risqué and cutthroat”. I don’t know, I haven’t met them but they certainly sound fun.

  • Monkey Rum

    They have a spiced run with “hints of coconut” AND a coconut rum.  Presumably with LOTS of coconut.  I’m in.

  • Wicked Dolphin 

    I think they are just joking. Dolphins are never wicked. Maybe they mean wicked cool.

The excellent people who put on the Summer of Rum Festival gave me a couple of pairs of general admission tickets to giveaway.  Want one?  Just leave me a message below telling me why you want to go, what your favorite rum drink is, or just tell me you want the tickets.  I’ll pick a winner Thursday the 13th, come back here to see the winners.

Oh, if you want to buy your tickets you can do that too.  General admission tickets are $20 now or $25 at the door.  Want all you can drink and access to the VIP areas? $85 now or $100 at the door.  Of course you know at the door means if they don’t sell out…

I received two VIP tickets to The Tampa Bay Rum Festival in exchange for writing a review and this giveaway. As always, my opinions are all mine.