4 Free Street, Portland, Maine
Summer seems like the best time for tiki. Cool tropical drinks and chilled oysters are just the thing to combat scorching temps and suffocating humidity. Rhum Food and Grog has got the menu to cool even the driest of parched throats. We would argue however, that as the temps cool down Rhum is going to prove invaluable to Portland’s restaurant scene.
Walking into Rhum is like being transported into a vibrant, tropical fantasy. The large bar has ample seating. There are bright colors and grass accents a plenty. There are tables for groups and cozy rounded booths for larger parties. Lighting is a bit dim, but that only adds to the island feel of entering a shady, cool place as a respite from the sun. They do have TV’s, but they are more tuned to Magnum P.I. than typical bar viewing.
Hours of Happiness, as Rhum calls them, run Sunday – Thursday from 4-7pm. During those hours you can get $5 Sailor Jerry cocktails and $1 Rhum style oysters. Cocktails rotate, but on the day we were there they offered three different ones: the Cobra Lightning featuring white peach, chili and lime; the Anchor Wolf with blood orange, honey and basil; and the Hula Raptor with elderflower, pineapple and lime. They were frosty, potent, and amazingly delicious.
The drinks come served in an adorable Sailor Jerry can which keeps the drink nice and cold. The drinks are served with crushed ice and are sweet with a potent finish. They are what you wish all the frozen drinks at Funtown could be. They come garnished with appropriate fruit and a fun spangled straw. While a frozen drink may not be your first thought when the temps sink down, they will be a bright welcome antidote to the dreary grey days of January.
The day we visited also featured a few other snacks in addition to the $1 Rhum oysters. We availed ourselves of the mussels (which come chilled for the uninitiated) and the oysters. Both were delicious and countered the sweet drinks perfectly.
Our bill came in a Spam tin! A delight for fans of Python and potted meats alike. Little touches like this are great.
While Rhum has a great patio don’t relegate it to summer time only. The patio may close for the winter, but the party can be had year round. While it’s not the same as hopping a plane to the islands, spending happy hour at Rhum is much cheaper and certain to distract you from the chill winds outside. In any season, Rhum has something to offer.