dark rum creamy cocktail on a glass with almonds

22 Dark Rum Cocktails to Make at Home

Dark rum cocktails are loved for their deep taste. Whether you like it in a fizzy mix, a simple spiced drink, in a fruity blend, or just with some ice, it’s a drink that feels cozy and special. 

Dark rum brings a special flavor to drinks. It stands out among other rums, like the lighter white and zesty spiced rum.  It’s is a classic favorite for us as we love that strong, full-bodied rum flavor in our drinks.

Keep in mind that dark rums aren’t all the same. The way they’re made, the barrels they age in, and the ingredients each distillery uses can change their flavors. This variety makes exploring and enjoying it so much fun and interesting for rum enthusiasts.

22 Best Dark Rum Cocktails

Looking for the best dark rum drinks? They’re easy to make! You only need a few simple things to mix up classic drinks at home. Drinks World made a nice overview for you:

Dark ‘N’ Stormy

A side shot of a Dark and Stormy cocktail in a highball glass on a table, and plant leaves on the side.

The Dark’ N’ Stormy is a refreshing and spicy cocktail from Bermuda known for its simple yet captivating flavor. It’s notable for being a patented cocktail by Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and only this specific rum can be used to make an official Dark ‘N’ Stormy.

Ingredients: Dark Rum, Ginger Beer, Lime

Zombie

A side shot of a Zombie cocktail in a tall glass on a blue cloth surrounded by oranges, pineapple, limes, a jigger and a shaker, placed on a blue table in front of a green wall.

The Zombie is a fun and fruity cocktail that first appeared in the late 1930s and was created by Donn Beach, the founder of Tiki culture. This drink is known for its tropical taste and combining different rums and fruit juices.

Planter’s Punch

A side shot of a Planter's Punch cocktail in highball glass on a wooden tray placed on a yellow table with oranges, limes, a straw, a knife, and plant leaves around.

Planter’s Punch is a fruity and vibrant cocktail with a history that can be traced back to the Caribbean. The recipe for this drink has been printed in newspapers as far back as the early 1900s, making it a historical favorite. It’s loved for its tropical flavors and refreshing taste.

Cuba Libre

A side shot of a Cuba Libre cocktail in a highball glass with two half limes on the side and a basket with limes on the background.

The Cuba Libre is a popular cocktail created in the early 1900s during the Spanish-American War. The combination of cola, lime, and rum is said to symbolize the end of Cuba’s War of Independence. It’s a simple yet timeless drink, representing freedom and celebration.

Mai Tai

A side shot of a Mai Tai cocktail in a rocks glass on a wooden coaster placed on a brown placemat on a white table with a cinnamon stick and a lime wheel on a side.

The Mai Tai is a celebrated cocktail in the Tiki culture, first crafted in the 1940s. Although there’s some debate about its exact origins, both Trader Vic and Donn Beach claimed its invention. Its name translates from Tahitian to mean “out of this world.”

Rum Runner

A Rum Runner cocktail, shot from a side, in a highball glass with three pineapple wedges on a wooden plate surrounded by a jigger, a shaker and a pineapple fruit

Originating in the Florida Keys in the 1950s, the Rum Runner is named after the real rum-runners who smuggled alcohol during Prohibition. It’s a fruity concoction that’s tropical and sweet.

Corn’ n’ Oil

This lesser-known cocktail has a strong Caribbean influence. Its intriguing name reflects its rich and velvety texture.

Treacle

A side shot of a Treacle drink in an old fashioned glass on a wooden tray placed on a wooden table surrounded by six apple slices, a knife and three sugar cubes

A sophisticated cocktail created by Dick Bradsell in the 1990s, the Treacle combines the flavors of apple and rum in a harmonious blend.

Painkiller

A side shot of a Painkiller cocktail in a highball glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table, surrounded by two half oranges and a jigger

Originating in the British Virgin Islands, the Painkiller is so named because of its soothing tropical flavors.

Rum Old Fashioned

This is a delightful twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, where rum’s deep flavors are accentuated.

Tobago Tea

Named after the beautiful island of Tobago, this cocktail is a refreshing blend that can be enjoyed on a hot day.

Jungle Bird

A side shot of a Jungle Bird cocktail in a tumbler glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with two lime slices in front and, plant branches and pineapple wedges around.

The Jungle Bird was created in Malaysia in the 1970s. Its unique combination of flavors, including bitter Campari and tropical pineapple, make it stand out.

El Presidente

A side shot of an El Presidente cocktail in a coupe glass on a white cloth placed on a brown table with a plate with three oranges, and another white cloth around, in front of a reddish wall.

Originating from Cuba during the 1920s, El Presidente was named in honor of Cuban President Gerardo Machado. Popular during Prohibition, it became a favorite among American tourists visiting Havana to escape alcohol restrictions. It’s a smooth cocktail, reflecting the elegance of old Cuban high society.

Navy Grog

A side shot of a Navy Grorg cocktail in a collins glass on a wooden coaster placed on a green cloth with a lime, a tweezer and a honey dipper around, and grapefruit pieces and plant leaves behind, all infront of a yellow wall.

Dating back to the British Navy’s days of the 1700s, this drink was originally a mix of rum and water. Today’s version is far more sophisticated, boasting a refreshing tropical blend. It’s a salute to sailors of old who were given a daily rum ration.

Floridita

A side shot of an El Floridita Daiquiri cocktail in a cocktail glass on a white cloth placed on a yellow table with two limes around, in front of a plant, a jigger, a shaker, and a salmon wall.

Named after El Floridita, the famous Havana bar, this cocktail encapsulates the vibrancy of Cuban nightlife in the 1930s. Its bright and tangy flavor is a dance of refreshment on the palate.

Cable Car

A side shot of a Cable Car cocktail in a cocktail glass on a yellow tray placed on a beige table surrounded by a green cloth and a bowl with lemon pieces

This modern classic was invented in the 1990s by legendary bartender Tony Abou-Ganim. Named after San Francisco’s iconic transportation method, the Cable Car offers a delightful balance of sweet and sour.

Black Magic

As enchanting as its name suggests, Black Magic is a cocktail that combines the deep flavors of coffee with the richness of dark rum. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, much like the drink itself.

Bumbo

A side shot of a Bumbo drink in an old fashioned glass on a white coaster on a light green tray surrounded by a strainer, and a white bowl with lime pieces.

This cocktail harks back to the 17th century, favored by pirates and sailors. Spiced and sweet, the Bumbo is like a piece of Caribbean history in a glass.

Rum Punch

A classic of the Caribbean, Rum Punch varies in recipes across the islands. Its vibrant colors and fruity flavors make it synonymous with beachside relaxation. The phrase “one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak” often helps remember its traditional proportions.

Rum Flip

A side shot of a Rum Flip cocktail in a coupe glass on a white cloth placed on a wooden table with four nutmegs and an egg around.

Dating back to colonial America, the Flip began as a warming drink. The Rum Flip is a creamy and rich version, often served during cold months or as a dessert drink.

Hotel Nacional Special

Named after the famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba, this cocktail captures the essence of luxury and grandeur. With a unique blend of pineapple and apricot, it’s like sipping the luxury of the 1930s Havana.

Brown Derby

A side shot of a Brown Derby cocktail in a cocktail glass on a wooden board on a wooden table surrounded by a green cloth, a strainer, two orange wedges, and a shaker.

Though commonly associated with bourbon, the rum version of the Brown Derby gives a tropical twist to the classic. This cocktail pays homage to the legendary Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, connecting the glitz and glamour of the silver screen to each sip.

6 brands to make dark rum cocktails with

Our DrinksWorld experts and bartenders were asked to pick the best rums for mixing. These are their top choices:

Gosling’s Black Seal

Back in 1806, in Bermuda, the Gosling family began making rum. By the mid-19th century, they created a standout rum called Gosling’s Black Seal. Today, it’s a top choice for dark rum lovers. It has a delightful blend of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel flavors. Plus, if you’ve ever heard of the cocktail Dark ‘N’ Stormy, this rum is a must-have ingredient.

Kraken Black Spiced Rum

The Kraken rum comes from the Caribbean and is named after a legendary sea creature. Its bottle even has this cool, old-time sea design. The rum is deep and dark with a special mix of spices. When you taste it, you’ll pick up hints of chocolate, sweet molasses, and a spicy kick.

Myers’s Original Dark Rum

From Jamaica comes Myers’s Original Dark Rum, a favorite since 1879. They make it using sugarcane molasses found only in Jamaica. This rum is rich in flavor, especially notes of caramel and molasses. It’s often used in classic cocktails, like the Planter’s Punch.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend

Also from Jamaica, Appleton Estate has been crafting rum since the 1700s. Their Reserve Blend is smooth with a warm honey color. You’ll taste a mix of spicy pepper, dried fruits, and a hint of cocoa. It’s versatile – great for sipping straight or blending into upscale cocktails.

Ron Zacapa Centenario 23

Here’s a unique one from Guatemala: Ron Zacapa Centenario 23. It’s aged high up in the mountains, not by the ocean like most rums. It’s Made from a blend of rums aged 6 to 23 years, making its flavor layered and deep. Think sweet butterscotch, spicy wood, and sun-dried fruits. It’s a top pick for sophisticated cocktails.

Captain Morgan Dark Rum

Captain Morgan, named after a famous pirate, has been around since the early 20th century. They made a special dark rum that many people like. Today, it’s a favorite for those who want a strong rum taste. It has flavors like molasses and spice, perfect for drinks like Rum and Cola.

Other Rum types

From sipping to mixing, there’s a type of rum for every preference.

White Rum

White rum is clear, lightly aged, and has a subtle flavor. It’s often used in cocktails like the Mojito and Daiquiri because of its clean taste.

Gold Rum

Gold rum, aged in wooden barrels, has a mid-range depth of flavors like vanilla and caramel. It’s a versatile choice for many drinks.

Spiced Rum

This type is infused with spices like vanilla or cinnamon and is great for certain cocktails or paired with cola.

Overproof Rum

This is a strong rum with a very high alcohol content. It adds a kick to cocktails and is also used in some dishes.

Aged Rum

Stored for years in barrels, aged rum has deep, rich flavors. It’s best enjoyed neat or with a little ice, similar to a good whiskey.

When to serve dark rum cocktails?

Dark rum cocktails are versatile and can be served on a variety of occasions:

  1. Winter Evenings: The rich and warming notes of dark rum make it a favorite during colder months. Think of cozy nights by the fireplace with a rum-based Hot Toddy or a Buttered Rum.
  2. Holiday Gatherings: Many traditional holiday drinks, like Eggnog or festive punches, can be enhanced with a splash of dark rum.
  3. Summer BBQs: Light rums are often associated with summer, but dark rum can be the base for more robust tropical drinks. For instance, a Dark’ N’ Stormy can be a refreshing choice for a summer evening.
  4. After Dinner: Dark rum cocktails can act as digestifs. A simple rum Old Fashioned or a Rum Manhattan can be the perfect ending to a meal.
  5. Celebrations: Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or any festivity, dark rum cocktails can add a touch of sophistication and warmth to the event.
  6. Tiki Parties: Tiki culture often mixes various rums. Including a dark rum cocktail, like a Zombie or Mai Tai, can give depth to your tiki drink menu.

More Rum cocktails

We focused on dark rum drinks so far, but there are also some great cocktails made with other types of rum. Let’s check them out:

FAQs

  1. What is dark rum made from? It is primarily made from molasses or sugarcane juice and is aged longer than white rum, usually in charred oak barrels.
  2. How is dark rum different from white rum? It has a richer, deeper flavor and color due to extended aging and the type of barrels used.
  3. What mixers pair well with dark rum? Ginger beer, cola, fruit juices (like pineapple and orange), and coconut cream are popular mixers.
  4. How does aging impact the flavor of dark rum in cocktails? Aging imparts deeper flavors, often bringing out caramel, vanilla, and smoky notes.
  5. Why do some dark rum cocktails have fruit garnishes? Fruit complements rum’s tropical origins and can enhance the overall flavor experience.
  6. Is dark rum sweet? It often has sweet undertones due to molasses and aging, but it’s not as sweet as liqueurs.
  7. Does dark rum go bad? It can last long if properly stored, but its flavors might diminish over the years.
  8. What’s the difference between dark rum and black rum? They’re similar, but black rum is often darker due to added molasses or caramel.
  9. Is there a difference between the Caribbean and other dark rums? Yes, the region can influence flavor. Caribbean rums might have different notes than, say, South American or Asian rums.
  10. What does “overproof” mean in dark rum? It means the rum has a much higher alcohol content than typical rum.
  11. Is dark rum gluten-free? Most rums are gluten-free as they’re distilled from sugarcane, but always check labels if concerned about allergens.

Simple Dark Rum Cocktails: Dark ‘N’ Stormy Recipe (and 21 More!)

Try this simple Dark ‘N’ Stormy dark rum cocktail recipe! It’s a great drink with dark rum and ginger beer for any event.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Drink

Dark and Stormy Recipe

Jump to Video
Elevate your evening with this straightforward Dark and Stormy recipe! Crafted with dark rum, ginger beer, and a splash of lime juice, this tasty cocktail is your ticket to a lively night.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 163

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze in ½ oz fresh lime juice over the ice.
  • Add Ginger Beer: Measure and pour 3 oz ginger beer into the glass.
  • Gently pour the Rum: Pour 2 oz Dark Rum into the highball glass.
  • Garnish: Squeeze and place a lime wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Dark Rum: Spiced rum can work as a decent substitute if you're out of dark rum. I've tried it, and it adds a unique twist to the drink. You could also use bourbon for a different but enjoyable flavor profile.
  • Ginger Beer: If you don't have ginger beer, ginger ale can work, but it's less spicy. I sometimes add a pinch of ground ginger to make up for it.
  • Lime Juice: Lemon juice can work in a pinch if you're out of limes. It changes the character slightly but still adds the needed acidity.

Making a Pitcher of Dark and Stormy:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of dark rum, 24 oz of ginger beer, and 4 oz of lime juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the dark rum, ginger beer, and lime juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Ginger Beer: Ensure the ginger beer you're using is vegan. Some brands use honey or other animal-derived ingredients.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is naturally vegan, so no worries.

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