Garnett Phillip strives to educate people about rum’s history

Businesswoman educates her loyal customers about the history and tradition of rum
Garnett Phillip strives to educate people about rum’s history
Garnett Phillip (Photo courtesy Anthony the Producer. E)

When we patronize our favorite bar, many of us relish that rum and Coke on ice without even thinking about the dark history of rum.

According to a recent article on FoodandWine.comrum and politics worked hand in hand through their connection with slavery, plantations, and the coveted sugarcane as rum is ultimately derived from the molasses of sugar. Owner of Brooklyn bar Rogers Garden, Garnett Phillip, also known as the “Rum Girl,” has a single focus. On a daily basis, the popular bar owner engages and educates her loyal customers about the history and tradition of rum. She is genuinely passionate about this particular liquor, even launching a YouTube show titled “Rum Talks” to discuss rum’s complicated past as well as the unique influence on those who love to consume it.

“I am very much in love with rum as it is truly the most versatile liquor. It can be played with and blended to create unique flavors for amazing cocktails.” States Phillip.

Her origins and family are the key to her high regard for rum.

Phillip’s parents are of Trinidadian and Ethiopian descent. The African diaspora runs through her veins, and rum is an historic product made by the hands of slaves who cultivated, harvested and processed sugarcane for hundreds of years.

With over 20 years of experience, Garnett is an expert on all things related to rum, and she passes on the knowledge in her bar, online, and on social media, even taking her staff on a trip to Cuba to learn about “rum.” Cuba and its respective sanctions had a huge impact on the rum industry.

Garnett Phillip strives to educate people about rum’s history
Dark and Stormy Rum Cocktail with Lime and Ginger Beer Shutterstock / photo credit Brent Hofackert

“The rum industry was developed by and thrived from island people. I am also an island girl, and I want a piece of my culture with me. My ancestors deserve this,” explains Garnett.

Because of the success of black-owned Rogers Garden, Garnett will be opening “The Rum Bar” during the first quarter of 2023 on the bustling street of Franklin Avenue in the heart of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The new bar will serve rum only, of course. Each drink will be memorable and true to the spirit of Garnett’s mission.

Phillip closes by saying, “The Rogers Garden has been a roller coaster of love and emotions. The ups and the downs have taught me so much over these last two years. I love being here, creating magic for people and creating the cocktails we all love to love.”

For more information about Garnett visit

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