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November 26, 2014

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Rhumbar not just another numb bar

If you, like me, have ever walked into the Apple Store and tried to order a cocktail at the Genius Bar, you'll be right at home at Rhumbar.

The narrow space is covered in ultra-modern white lacquer and features fresh-feeling, green Apple-esqe accents.

While the bartenders won’t be able to fix your laptop or reconfigure your iPhone, they will mix you a nice cocktail if you ask them to. And, unlike the Apple Store, no appointment is necessary.

Rhumbar is the newest addition to the collection of watering holes at the Mirage, and is the second Vegas venture for Drive This! Entertainment, which is responsible for T&T Tacos and Tequila at the Luxor.

Inspired by a distinctly Caribbean trio – a minty mojito, a white sand beach and an azure sea – the bright, narrow space officially opened on Wednesday.

Like the best tropical islands, Rhumbar isn’t a big spot – it holds just 100 thirsty bodies – but in a city full of big, overdone ultra lounges, it’s a breath of fresh air.

There’s no shortage of fresh air on the patio, either. The space offers a nice view of The Strip on one side, and a handsome waterfall (part of the Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat) on the other, across a pedestrian walkway.

As its name indicates, Rhumbar’s focus is on rum: The bar stocks nearly 30 varieties of the white, amber, dark, spiced, and otherwise flavored stuff. While that much is expected, the cocktail list packs a few surprises.

The staff mixes up about a dozen rum-infused specialties, including the “tatonga,” (Montecristo spiced rum, Cruzan mango rum, daiquiri mix, pineapple juice, and angostura bitters) and the “Spanish trampoline,” (Sagatiba chachaça, guarapa, tangerine juice, mint leaves, and lime).

Along with the standard lemons and limes, the bartenders’ garnish trays include cucumber slices, dried chilies and julienned ginger. Long, thin spears of pineapple, bushels of mint leaves, and fresh orchids are among the other, colorful options that tempt the senses. In a city plagued by hastily-mixed and under-muddled beverages, the assortment of ingredients is a sight for sore eyes and tired, thirsty palates.

Adding to the contemporary Caribbean vibe, the bar has a fully-stocked cigar humidor. One thing the bar doesn’t have, however, is a restroom: Patrons have to venture out and down the hall, back toward the casino floor, past the California Pizza Kitchen and through the Sports Book to use the loo.

Rhumbar opens at 10 a.m. seven days a week, and serves up their contemporary take on classic Caribbean culture and cocktails until midnight on Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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