OK Pep, I'm curious, how hard can it be to make a rum & coke?
I was afraid I'd get called on that!
My go to is the 7&7, but I'll get a rum and coke if the options present that way. I can make my own at home just fine, but I've found that most bars and venues use way too much alcohol, at least for the first round. (to get you primed)
Rum and Coke both have a sweetness that can leave a bad aftertaste if it's too heavy either way. The best are crisp, if that makes any sense. Seagrams and 7 Up are very different, and seem to work as contrasts. Bottom line for me, is unless you're in a hurry to get a buzz, always use less rum or Seagrams in these drinks. We have all afternoon, you can get another.
I can remember more than a few places that screw these seemingly simple drinks up. The Ravenswalk, prior to a game...absolutely undrinkable 7&7. Unless you like cheap whiskey on ice. And a shot of Sprite added.
I'm not a regular, but I've had good ones at Arundel Live and Pimlico. My guess is that the clientele being older, they get crap for poor drinkage. Loonies in Bel Air and OPI in Nottingham also know how to do it.