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Who wants to have some fun?! Are you just saying you want to have fun or do you really want to have fun?! Out of Rockville comes Paladar, a rum bar with a Latin American restaurant attached to it. With over 50 rums in stock, we haven’t seen this much fun since Shakira’s pre-baby hips. Paladar, the Cuban term for restaurants run out of their houses, you know, like that secret tacqueria, represents all the different flavors of Central and South America, the Latin Caribbean, and Cuba, naturally. What to sip? We’re glad you asked:

  • Deep, dark and red, the pomegranate-ginger mojito ($7.95) is tangy and spicy, brightened up only by muddled lime, fresh mint, sugar, white rum and soda.
  • The blueberry-cucumber mojito ($7.95) gets the same treatment, but this subtle, fruity version might be one of our faves.
  • With only subtle hints of cilantro, the bright and sweet mango-cilantro mojito ($7.95) is like sticking a straw into a mango tree (the fruit, not the bark).
  • Choose a half or full carafe, but once you get a load of the Sparkling Strawberry Sangria ($14.95/$28.95) with fresh cut strawberries, vanilla rum and brandy, you just might want to opt for the latter. You know, for economical reasons.
  • If cocktails aren’t your preferred method of delivery, try the Spectrum Flight of Rums ($14.95) which covers the whole um, you know…with an unaged Ron Atlantico Platino, medium-bodied Appleton Estate V/X, and aged Pyrat XO Reserve 15-Year. We liked the Appleton best.

Lest you stumble out like Dinah Lohan on a Tuesday, it’s best to pair all those tasty drinks with a bite or two. Our faves? Classic Cuban ropa vieja ($11.95) or what-you’ll-be-wearing-if-this-shutdown-continues, is a definite winner. Pupusas are always on our radar, and Paladar’s griddled corn pupusas with chorizo and cheese ($9.95) are righteous, slathered in a spicy tomato sauce to soak up all that sin.

With 6 locations, 4 of them in the DC metropolitan area (if you count Annapolis), the vibe here is as colorful and er, lively as the mini dress you made with 4,000 self-adhesive napkin bands.

Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar
Various locations

Photo courtesy of Paladar Latin Kitchen Rum Bar