A Rum Runner Review: Summer of Rum Festival

Disclosure: I received tickets to the Summer of Rum Festival as opportunity through the Tampa Bay Bloggers.  All opinions are my own.

Not only had it been a while since Allan and I last attended the Summer of Rum Festival, it also had been a while since our last date night. We decided to nurse the time alone and used the Summer of Rum Festival as a means to getaway by booking at room at the Le Meridian while also planning it safe by utilizing the hotel shuttle service to avoid drinking and driving.

With having to coordinate dropping the kids off with family, we arrived at the Rum Fest in the late afternoon but thankfully, bypassed the late afternoon thunderstorm.  For the occasion, I wore a Sailor Jerry style sundress which I found at a thrift store in the UK for a perfect “Pirate at 40” look and you would not believe how many compliments I got on this dress. If only they knew!

Caitlyn and me posing for a photo and some random Rum Fester photobombing us.

Allan and I began our festing at the VIP tent with a ginger beer & rum and Rum & Coke, but since the Top Floor Island Party Rum Tasting Room would be closing soon, we made our way to the Cuban Club.

Cruzan Don’t Hurry Mojito Cantina on the first floor inside the Cuban Club

Captain Morgan Pirate’s Cove and Theater on the second floor of the Cuban Club

Entrance to the Top Floor Island Party Rum Tasting

Once we arrived at the Top Floor  Island Party Rum Tasting Room, we hit rum heaven.

Top Floor Island Party Rum Tasting

Next to the music, my favorite moment of the evening was the Top Floor Island Party Rum Tasting. The exclusive experience provided a commemorative Summer of Rum shot glass and offered samples of some the best rum to ever touch my lips.

While I truly savored that experience, out of all the high-end crafted rum, the Old St. Pete Righteous Rum and Spice topped my list of favorite flavors. The rich, full vanilla flavor combined with cinnamon, dried oranges and honey sweetness offered a complex, full-bodied rum with delicate sweetness. It was delish!

Old St. Pete Rum

Old St. Pete Rum

After sampling the remarkable varieties of rum brands and quickly becoming “Rum Runners”, we needed to soak it up with some free food from Pollo Tropical which was a completely new experience added this year.

As the sun went down, the weather cooled but the entertainment kept things hot. So many of the bands brought an incredible Ska, punk sound and soulful eclectic, electric reggae mix.

Allan and I truly enjoy all of the Big City Events and the Summer of Rum Festival was no exception. In fact, we’re looking forward to the next big Big City Events, the Sushi Battle on September 24.

Sushi Battle

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