Brugal Rum Throws Bash in Williamsburg, Hates Plastic Cups

This seems like a fun party for Brugal Rum. Glad I got here to King & Grove in Williamsburg before the sky opened up. It’s neat here at Upper Elm, the rooftop bar. The rain is lashing against the clear retractable roof, but there’s still light in the sky, giving the room a funky undersea effect. The DJ’s playing cool music. Here comes Daft Punk’s "Get Lucky." I’ll probably get sick of it at some point but for now I still like it. What’s that on the bar? It’s a clear box filled with red plastic party cups, the kind I used to drink cheap beer out of in college. It says "THE RUM THAT ISN’T FOR POURING INTO PLASTIC." I think I get it. Some people have only had rum the cheap way, with cloyingly sweet mixers. Brugal Especial Extra Dry rum is more refined, more sophisticated. It deserves to be served in proper glassware. Alright, let me try one of those cocktails they’re calling The Rivalry. Great, thank you. Hey, this glass feels lighter than usual. Wait a second, this isn’t a glass at all, it’s made out of plastic. What’s going on here? What am I supposed to think?

The party organizers probably didn’t realize that every rooftop bar in New York has to use plastic "glasses" these days in case some idiot chucks one over the railing. I’ve even had a martini in a plastic martini glass at Gansevoort Park Rooftop. Funny thing is they really don’t bother me, I kind of like them.

And Brugal’s point about plastic isn’t lost on me, just a little funny, considering every cocktail in this room is served in plastic. I’ve long felt that rum deserves more respect than it gets. Yes, a rum-and-Coke is a beautiful thing, but today’s best rums can stand on their own, and don’t need to hide in some sweet artificial neon-colored frankenpunch.

This Brugal right here can be sipped neat, or served on the rocks, or with a splash of club soda. It has that nice body that comes from the sugarcane it’s made with (well, the molasses that comes from the sugarcane), but it’s drier than most rums. I like that.

The older I get, the less I want sweet drinks. But I still like a good party, and this Rivalry I’m drinking is tasty. It’s the creation of bartender Danny Neff of Boulton & Watt, and has Brugal Extra Dry rum, apricot brandy, mango puree, lemon juice, tonic, and an orange twist. It’s not not sweet, but it’s definitely not one of those tooth-cracking sugar blasts that they serve–in plastic cups–at cheap beach resorts. It’s balanced. It’s grown-up. And it’s fun. 

Okay, Brugal, I’ll tease you about your wobbly stance on plastic cups, but you make a fine rum. ¡Salud!

Plastic Glass


[Related: BlackBook New York Guide; Listings for King & Grove Williamsburg, Boulton & Watt; More by Victor Ozols; Follow me on Twitter]

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