As most of you know, tequila is our go to. Very rarely do we drink anything else (we’re snobs that way) but when we happened to fall into some Summer of Rum tickets, we made an exception. My drinking history goes a little like this, vodka and pink lemonade (like any good freshmen lady), rum & cokes (diet to be exact, because you always have to save those extra calories even though you’ll probably end up eating New York New York around 2am) and finally, tequila and Sprite, because you finally learned what you can handle after a few years of experimenting (and if you’re very lucky, what gives you the least hangover). So in late August I was feeling a bit nostalgic as I threw it back to Junior year and my days of rum drinking when we headed to the Summer of Rum Festival at the Cuban Club in Ybor.

Unlike Margarita Fest, this was our first time so we had no idea what to expect. A group of six of us Lyfted it over later in the day and headed right inside, as there was barely any lines. Even though there was no line, there was still tons of people. We thought we were being smart heading over later in hopes that it would have cooled down by then but there was no such luck- it was HOT. Those of us with VIP tickets were instructed to cruise up to the 3rd floor to get our wristbands for our rum tasting. We headed inside, made our way through “Club Rum” (more about that later) and onto the 3rd floor. With our wristbands on, it was tasting time. Let me just put it this way, starting off our Rum Fest basically taking mini shots of different rums was a poor choice. Note to self: have a drink first to get yourself mentally prepared. After a few sips I was ready for a cocktail. We headed downstairs, past the large theater which was appropriately playing Pirates of the Caribbean and out to the VIP tent.

Summer of Rum Fest Tampa Drinks


Here we had an option of six drinks. I went with my old school classic of rum & coke while the boys branched out and tried “The Instigator” & “Shakedown Highball”. After a few sips they decided it was a no go and switched it up to a classic rum & ginger ale. With our drinks in hand we decided to see what else was going on. There were tons of different rum companies on hand and each was serving up some delicious drinks. We stopped to check out the band playing and take a break in front of one of the fans. (did we mention how hot it was?) We headed inside to cool down but things only got hotter as we made our way toward the dance floor. (Oh yes, we said dance floor) As previously mentioned, it was “Club Rum” on the first floor (note: this name was dubbed by NHIE, not the event itself- we would hope they would come up with something a little more clever) None the less – this had to be my favorite portion of the event. We had such a fun time on the dance floor and it was apparently everyone else was too. The band played everything from Turn Down For What to Reggaeton and the crowd never stopped dancing.

Summer of Rum Fest Tampa

All the dancing made us hungry and we finished off the day with some grub from the line of food trucks on location. While it did take us a drink or two to get back into “Rum Mode” it was a nice change of pace from our usual drink of choice. Despite it being the end of summer, the drinks and dance floor were enough to keep our minds off the heat and on the awesome time we had!


XOXO- Gossip Girl

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