Rum Club Old Fashioned ($9)
Most drinkers think of whiskey or bourbon when they think Old Fashioned, but the cocktail is also fantastic with rum. Mike Shea created Rum Club's signature version that showcases a blend of two rums (Bacardi 8 and Smith & Cross), augmented with a dash of Demerara simple syrup and a few dashes of bitters. The flavor of bitters changes based on the bartender and could be anything from classic Angostura or orange to the more exotic mole or tiki bitters. Shea said that he will sometimes float a bit of Smith & Cross on the top—its funky, floral aroma and flavor add another dimension to the drink.
Rum Club Daiquiri ($8)
The Rum Club Daiquiri was the first drink on the Rum Club menu and will remain on the menu indefinitely; it's a great introduction to what a 'real' daiquiri should taste like. The Rum Club version is less tart than the traditional recipe, carefully balancing the flavors of aged rum, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, Angostura bitters, and a few drops of absinthe.
Ti Punch ($8)
If you're ever at the bar after 11 p.m., you will find owner Mike Shea drinking this cocktail, the Ti Punch. While it's not on the menu, he will excitedly make you one anytime. "Most people don't know about Rhum Agricole [the main ingredient, a sugarcane spirit made on the island of Martinique]," says Shea. "Its funky, grassy flavor improves throughout the drink. The last sip is always the best," he claims.
Mike Shea stirring a Ti Punch cocktail.
Pedro Martinez ($9)
Shea developed this favorite with childhood friend Kevin Ludwig of Beaker and Flask. The two are both avid baseball fans and named the drink by riffing on the classic Martinez cocktail and the baseball player's name. The cocktail is made with aged Mt. Gay Eclipse Rum and the herbaceous Cocchi Torino, maraschino liqueur, and a few dashes each of tiki and orange bitters.
Surly Bartender ($6)
The mellow atmosphere at the Rum Club is part of why it has become an industry hot spot—no one's required to order a fancy cocktail. The Surly Bartender is a 12 ounce glass of Rainier beer and a shot of whatever you want. Usually it's Fernet. A lot of Fernet. Shea said that per square foot, Rum Club sells more Fernet than any one else in town. "Sometimes you just want 12 ounces of something to drink, and not a cocktail," said Shea.