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Hot Rum Shack

| Music, Restaurants, Things to do, Venues | 04/12/2013

Flamin' ... the Navy Blue Blazer cocktail
Flamin' ... the Navy Blue Blazer cocktail

With tabloids screaming of an arctic ‘big freeze’ imminently hitting London, Soho-based bar and restaurant Floridita’s hot rum menu is perfectly timed to warm the cold and weary, and get them into the Christmas spirit.

The Drinks

Boasting the best rum selection in the UK, head mixologist Massimo has crafted a new menu with six rum-based cocktails ranging from £10.50 to £12. Explaining his inspiration, he said: ‘Almost everything has already been invented, so you go back to the classics and give them a twist.’

His favourite is the Hot Spiced Tai, a delicious take on the classic My Tai served with a palatable combination of three rums – Chairman Spiced, Chairman Reserve and Wray & Nephew Overproof with hot water, citrus peel, Cointreau, almond syrup and cloves syrup.

My favourite is the Barbados Toddy. I’ve always associated a hot toddy with being ill, but loved it in the cosy setting of the rum shack. Plantation Barbados 5 Year Old Grand Reserve Rum is mixed with Pink Pigeon Vanilla Rum with tea, honey, cloves cinnamon and lemon juice. Unlike the Hot Spiced Tai, you can really taste the rum!

Barbados Toddy

Barbados Toddy

The most exciting has to be the Navy Blue Blazer. Not for the faint-hearted, sugar water and spices are mixed with Pusser’s Navy Blue rum, Mandarine Napoléon and La Fée Absinthe and then set on fire.

For those who prefer to keep things cool, the Lazy Winter is the odd-one-out, being served on ice. Dark chocolate liquor and Tia Maria are shaken with sugar, milk, egg and double cream. The Cocorummy Flip combines Appleton XV and KokoKanu rums with egg yolk, sugar syrup and a touch of nutmeg.

The only cocktail I wouldn’t recommend is the Smoky Chocolate.  Hechicera rum is mixed with Scotch whisky, hot chocolate, cinnamon and orange peel. Despite liking all of the ingredients individually, the combination of flavours didn’t work for me. However, if you need a hand getting into the Christmas spirit, this is the perfect drink for you!

The Decor

Turning a corner of one of Soho’s largest venues into a beach shack is no easy task. While the menu’s claim that ‘you can almost feel the sun on your back, the sand in your toes’ enjoys a touch of poetic license, Floridita has done a great job. Large bell jars filled with sand, shells and candles dominate rum barrels that serve as tables, reclaimed wood cladding on the walls is daubed in South American phrases and the odd palm tree create an enticing atmosphere. Set up shop in the comfy seats strewn in blankets and maybe after a few hot rum cocktails the menu’s promise may seem true after all.

Cosy Seating

Cosy seating

The Venue

Borrowing its name from a famous bar in Havana, Cuba, Floridita seeks to do justice to the branding with South American-inspired cocktails, food and a variety of live music. Before changing owners, Floridita was the epic Marquee Club, hosts of early performances from legends including Jimmy Hendrix, The Who and The Rolling Stones. Today a full live music guide is available on the website, with different bands and singers performing every single day. While I enjoyed the hot rum cocktails, an unobtrusive but extremely talented acoustic guitarist played gentle background melodies.

 

The Rum Shack

The Rum Shack bar

Booking

Hot Rum cocktails are served from 5.30pm to 10pm every night. Tables or ‘private beach parties’ for up to 150 guests can be booked.

Website: www.floriditalondon.com

Phone Number: 020 7314 4000

Email: info@floriditalondon.com

Address: 100 Wardour St, London W1F 0TN

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