Some of the world’s most popular cocktails like the mojito are made with rum, and others like the pina colada and Bahama mama are best served with umbrellas (preferably while lounging under an umbrella). First discovered in the Caribbean, rum generally lends itself to fruity, tropical drinks that evoke the feeling of being on an island. Here are some places in the South Bay to enjoy your favorite rum concoctions and make every day feel like a tropical vacation.


Azúcar Latin Bistro Mojito Bar & Lounge
71 E. San Fernando St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 293-8482

Hours: Sun and Tues – 4 p.m. to Midnight, Mon and Wed – 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Thu to Sat – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Located in downtown San Jose, Azúcar Latin Bistro Mojito Bar & Lounge first opened in 2005 and bills itself as a metropolis of fun. It offers a full bar with traditional spirits and house-infused liquors, but Azúcar has built its reputation on its mojitos, which are offered in hundreds of fresh fruit exotic flavors. Its selection of mojitos include classic lime, mango kiwi-strawberry, watermelon, passion fruit, coconut, blood orange, jalapeno and chocolate – to name a few. Mojitos are a classic rum drink and Azúcar Latin Bistro Mojito Bar & Lounge puts a fun twist on the cocktail, making it new again.

Related: Best Burritos In The East Bay


Coconuts Caribbean Restaurant & Bar
642 Ramona St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 329-9533

Hours: Tues to Thu – 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sat – Noon to 10:30 p.m., Sun – Noon to 8 p.m.

Coconuts Caribbean opened in 2008 with the goal of bringing an authentic feel of the Caribbean lifestyle to Silicon Valley. In addition to Caribbean West-Indian food, it features a wide selection of Caribbean rums and beers. While listening to reggae music, diners can sip on popular rum cocktails such as Bahama mamas, planter’s punch, mojitos or one of its signature cocktails like the Sunsplash, which includes passion fruit light rum, Appleton Gold and bitters served over ice. Coconuts Caribbean Restaurant has a fun drink menu that will offer some respite from your day.


La Bodeguita del Medio
463 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 326-7762

Lunch Hours: Mon to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner Hours; Mon to Thurs – 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fri to Sat – 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bar Hours: Mon to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri to Sat – 5 p.m. to Midnight
Closed Sundays

La Bodeguita, a Cuban-inspired restaurant and bar, opened in 1997 in Palo Alto and claims to have one of the largest collections of rum in the world. It is no surprise that its most popular cocktail is the mojito, but for those looking for a new rum concoction it offers a plethora of options like the Hemingway (Bacardi Limon rum, maraschino, fresh citrus juice) or a Coco Spritzer (Bacardi coconut rum, pineapple juice and soda water). It is said that in Cuba that an evening with friends and family is completed with dessert, rum and a cigar. Patrons can do rum tastings while puffing on a cigar from the restaurant’s walk-in humidor. While visiting Cuba may not be feasible, La Bodeguita creates an ambiance that is reminiscent of Havana.


Mango Caribbean Restaurant & Bar
435 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 324-9443

Hours: Sun to Wed – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thu to Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Mango Caribbean Restaurant & Bar in Palo Alto aims to create a genuine Caribbean experience via its cuisine and atmosphere. It can’t hurt that its proprietor, Winston Wint, is a native of Jamaica. The bar menu offers all the usual rum suspects, whether you are looking for a blended drink like a Pina Colda or Daiquiri, or something on the rocks like a Hurricane or Caribbean Champagne (banana rum or Cruzan Mango Rum or pineapple rum mixed with sparkling wine). For the more ambitious drinkers, Mango offers a Scorpion Bowl (Cruzan Light Rum, tequila, vodka, orange juice, mango juice, lime juice and champagne), which serves four people. Mango Caribbean Restaurant & Bar has all your favorite island rum drinks covered, and they can be enjoyed among banana and bamboo plants while listening to reggae music.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Trader Vic at Dinah’s Garden Hotel
4269 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 849-9800

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 4p .m. to 11 p.m., Fri – 4 p.m. to Midnight, Sat – 5 p.m. to Midnight, Sun – 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

While Trader Vic has only been in Palo Alto since 2001, the establishment’s history in the Bay Area stretches back to 1934. The founder, Victor Jules Bergeron, won fame for creating the now infamous Mai Tai, which is made with Jamaican rum, French Orgeat, Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao, rock candy syrup and fresh lime juice. While you would be remiss to not try a Mai Tai, it also offers other island inspired rum cocktails like Potted Parrott (light rum, orange curacao and juices) and Menehune Juice (a secret blend of light island rum and nectars). The combination of Trader Vic’s Polynesian décor – featuring giant wooden Tikis – and rich Bay Area history make it a great place to grab a drink.

Related: Bay Area’s 5 Best Tiki Bars

Jenna Broughton can frequently be found exploring the streets of San Francisco looking for her next adventure and gastronomic delight. She has traveled far and wide, from Paris to Savannah, GA, to satisfy her adventurous palate. Her work can be found at