Ian Burrell: World's Best Rum Bars

01 March, 2013
World's 50 Best Bars

Mojo Manchester

19 Back Bridge St, Greater Manchester, Manchester, UK


Painfully next-door to The Liars Club, Mojo’s is a bar I always tell myself not to go to when I am in Manchester. But when I leave Manchester I always ask myself: “Why did I go to Mojo’s?” It’s addictive! Rock ’n’ Roll & Rum. They even have a dedicated rum room which stocks more than 200 rums. The original Mojo is situated in Barbados, with offspring shooting up in Leeds and Liverpool, but the Manchester one is the best. 

Baba Au Rum

6 Kleitiou St, Athens, Greece


Conveniently abbreviated BAR is only three years old, but it has already built a reputation for being one of the best bars in Europe. Situated south of the parliament square in Athens, rum and cocktails are taken seriously here. With 85-plus rums on the bar it is easily the biggest rum collection in Athens, but with most Greek bars only stocking the usual rum suspects, it could be a long time before there is another big fish in this pond. But as the saying goes, you can’t run a marathon without taking the first step.

Hemmingway Bar 

Karolíny Svetlé 279/26, 110 00 Prague 1-Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic


This amazing bar, named after the great writer and drinker, is hidden away in a beautiful part of the old town in the city of Prague. But once you find this Aladdin’s cave, the rum treasures and cocktails are a joy to behold. There are more than 200 rums on offer from the back bar and the rum cabinets that decorate the drinking lounge. You’ll also find the Czech Republic’s only rum club here too. 

The Lebensstern Bar in Café Einstein

Kurfürstenstraße 58  10785 Berlin, Germany


When I first drank here in 2008, the Café Einstein Bar stocked impressive 50 rums, even though it was known for its collection of gins. Six months later while visiting, I was amazed to find that the rum collection had grown by 11… TIMES! Not to 61 rums but an incredible 550 rums. Although some of the rums were the same but in different sizes, this was and still is the highest number of rums I had seen within a bar. At last count there were 800 rums within the cabinet walls of the bar’s cigar lounge. Heaven.


3599 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308, US


This bar and restaurant is the Mecca for all Tiki lovers. Built in 1956 for a cool $1 million, it was the most expensive bar/restaurant in the US and also sold the most rum. Today when you visit this great bar it is as if time has stood still. You are whisked back into 1960s tropical décor, cocktails and memorabilia. Although you won’t ever see a barman making cocktails here (all the drinks are made behind the scenes just like Don the Beachcomber), the waitresses provide the bar entertainment as they are attired in bikini tops and wraparound sarongs. The sarong-clad serving girls are a Mai-Kai invention.

Artesian @ the Langham Hotel

1C Portland Place, Marylebone, London, UK


Artesian (below) is a bar that is dear to my heart for many reasons. The first is that £1.5 million pounds was spent on redesigning the bar in the world-famous Langham Hotel to become a rum-focused bar. The second reason, I was the first rum guru asked to train the staff on their focused spirit. And the third reason is that one of my favourite bartenders, Alex Kratena, is the head honcho behind the sticks and he makes some of the best Daiquiris and Rum Manhattans this side of Pluto. 

Cottons Camden (London, UK)

55 Chalk Farm road, London NW1 8AN


No rum bar list can be complete without my little cornerstone. More than 300 rums. including the Wray & Nephew 17 year old, used in the original 1944 Mai Tai. Once described as “an oasis in the heart of Camden Town”, Cottons Camden has been attracting rum lovers for 27 years. But it has been in the past 10 years that serious rum drinkers have journeyed from across the globe to Cottons to seek out rum cocktails such as the Reggae Rum Punch or the Killer Doppi, or even to listen to the resident rum ambassador preach the gospel according to rum.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


Tess Posthumus

Staffing crisis could open opportunities

The pandemic has thrown many challenges at bar owners over the past couple of years and the ones that survived the various lockdowns and restrictions deserve a pat on the back. However, while revenues are returning and bars are beginning to recruit once more, we’ve come up against a whole new set of problems, one of which is a global starring crisis.