The Bottom Line
A week-long party on Miami Beach celebrating all things rum -- both from the Caribbean (the birthplace of rum) and around the world. The festivities culminate in a two-day Grand Tasting, with fine rums and cocktails poured by beautiful young ladies and handsome bartenders: what's not to like?
- Opportunity to sample great rums from around the world
- Beautiful ladies mixing and serving the finest rum libations
- Lots of rum-related giveaways, from product samples to shirts, hats, and more
- Chance to meet some of the foremost rum experts on the planet in an informal setting
- Could use some more food to offset the alcohol consumption
- Indoor location may have you pining for the Florida sunshine outside
- Real possibilities of intoxication or hangover during two-day drink-fest
Guide Review - Miami Rum Renaissance Festival
Rum is nearly synonymous with the Caribbean, and if you've spent any time in the islands it's almost a guarantee that you'll develop a fondness for this fascinating sugar-cane liquor. Part of the fun of visiting each country in the Caribbean is the opportunity to sample the local rums, which can vary significantly from island to island.
However, you don't need to go as far as the Caribbean to experience many of the region's finest rums: Instead, set course for South Florida, where each spring the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival brings together many of the top rum producers in the world for a week of tasting, judging, and of course, partying. Rum-makers like Bacardi, Abuelo, and Appleton Estates host VIP parties during the week at local South Beach hotspots like the Delano Hotel, while panels of expert judges spend three solid days tasting rums competing for medals in the annual RumXP competition.
Topping off the week is the two-day Grand Rum Tasting Exhibition, held Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Miami Beach's Deauville Beach Resort, famed as the hotel where the Beatles holed up and performed on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964. Dozens of rum producers are on hand to share their wares -- even some rare high-end rums -- in what amounts to a day-long party full of beautiful bartenders and boisterous rum affectionados. Besides the copious cocktails, there are contests and giveaways, celebrity bartenders and mixology contests, educational seminars, and even an island-flavored marketplace.
If you love rum, this is a party you can't miss. And if you think you know rum, it's a great opportunity to try rums you've probably never heard of (from Madigascar, even!) and learn about the great history and craft that goes into producing one of the world's great drams.
The 2013 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival will be held April 15-21 at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach, Fla. VIP tickets for the full week are $250 per person; admission to the Grand Tasting is $40 per day ($50 day-of-show). Tickets can be purchased online at the festival website.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.