Rum and Coke Cocktail Drink

Rum and Coke

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This Rum and Coke recipe provides all the essential ingredients. It’s simple to make, transforming basic elements into a beloved cocktail.

Rum and Coke Recipe

Unwind with our straightforward Rum and Coke recipe! Combining smooth rum with bubbly cola, this classic cocktail becomes the ultimate relaxation companion.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

173 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 4 oz Cola
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Load your Highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Rum: Pour 2 oz Rum over the ice.
  • Add Cola: Top up with 4 oz Cola.
  • Stir Gently: Gently stir the mixture with a bar spoon.
  • Garnish: Drop a lime wedge into the glass if desired.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rum: I often swap traditional white rum for spiced or dark rum, depending on the flavor profile I aim for. For a smokier flavor, try using an aged rum.
  • Cola: Sometimes, I opt for diet cola when watching my sugar intake, or even cherry or vanilla-flavored cola for a twist.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: If you want to serve 8 people, multiply the ingredients by 8. That's 16 oz of rum and 32 oz of cola.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, blend the rum and cola well.
  • Serve: Distribute the concoction into individual ice-filled Highball glasses, add a lime wedge for garnish, and serve promptly.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic rum substitute, which offers a similar taste without the alcohol. I've found a few brands that come close to the real thing.
  • Cola: Use your regular cola or opt for a caffeine-free version.
  • Follow the Original Recipe: Replace the standard rum with the non-alcoholic substitute and continue with the usual steps. You'll end up with a refreshing, alcohol-free version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Cola: Most mainstream colas are vegan, but checking the label for animal-derived ingredients or processing agents is always a good idea.
  • Rum: The majority of rums are vegan. However, be cautious with some dark and spiced rums containing honey or other non-vegan additives. Do a quick brand check to be sure.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
173
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
5
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
4
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
3
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Rum and Coke Cocktail Drink

Rum and Coke Recipe

Jump to Video
Unwind with our straightforward Rum and Coke recipe! Combining smooth rum with bubbly cola, this classic cocktail becomes the ultimate relaxation companion.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 173

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 4 oz Cola
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Load your Highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Rum: Pour 2 oz Rum over the ice.
  • Add Cola: Top up with 4 oz Cola.
  • Stir Gently: Gently stir the mixture with a bar spoon.
  • Garnish: Drop a lime wedge into the glass if desired.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rum: I often swap traditional white rum for spiced or dark rum, depending on the flavor profile I aim for. For a smokier flavor, try using an aged rum.
  • Cola: Sometimes, I opt for diet cola when watching my sugar intake, or even cherry or vanilla-flavored cola for a twist.

Making a Pitcher:

  • Scale: If you want to serve 8 people, multiply the ingredients by 8. That's 16 oz of rum and 32 oz of cola.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, blend the rum and cola well.
  • Serve: Distribute the concoction into individual ice-filled Highball glasses, add a lime wedge for garnish, and serve promptly.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic rum substitute, which offers a similar taste without the alcohol. I've found a few brands that come close to the real thing.
  • Cola: Use your regular cola or opt for a caffeine-free version.
  • Follow the Original Recipe: Replace the standard rum with the non-alcoholic substitute and continue with the usual steps. You'll end up with a refreshing, alcohol-free version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Cola: Most mainstream colas are vegan, but checking the label for animal-derived ingredients or processing agents is always a good idea.
  • Rum: The majority of rums are vegan. However, be cautious with some dark and spiced rums containing honey or other non-vegan additives. Do a quick brand check to be sure.

 

What is a Rum and Coke?

Rum and Coke is a cocktail with rum and cola. Many recognize it for its no-frills combination and the harmonious melding of its two key components. Over the years, the drink has garnered worldwide popularity, proving that sometimes simplicity is key. While the origins of the drink can be traced back to early 20th century Cuba, today, it’s a staple in bars everywhere. You don’t need an extensive bartending background to appreciate a well-made Rum and Coke. This iconic blend showcases that some of the best things in life are often the simplest.

A side shot of a Rum and Coke cocktail in a highball glass with 3 ice cubes on the side and turquoise background color

What is a Rum and Coke made of – The ingredients

This is what you need for a Rum and Coke:

  • Rum: A distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts. It provides the foundational flavor and alcohol content to the cocktail.
  • Cola: A carbonated soft drink with a sweet, caramel-like flavor. It adds effervescence and sweetness to balance the rum.
  • Ice (optional): Chills the drink, ensuring it’s served at a refreshing temperature.
  • Lime wedge (optional): Adds a hint of citrusy brightness, complementing the sweet and strong elements of the drink.

White Rum and Cola laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Rum and Coke?

Follow our easy steps if you’re in the mood for a Rum and Coke:

1
<p>First, fill a highball or similar glass with ice to chill the drink.</p>

First, fill a highball or similar glass with ice to chill the drink.

2
<p>Pour your desired amount of rum over the ice, typically starting with 2 ounces for a standard serving.</p>

Pour your desired amount of rum over the ice, typically starting with 2 ounces for a standard serving.

3
<p>Follow with cola, filling the glass nearly to the top, usually around 4 ounces.</p>

Follow with cola, filling the glass nearly to the top, usually around 4 ounces.

4
<p>Gently stir the mixture with a bar spoon or a regular spoon to combine the ingredients.</p>

Gently stir the mixture with a bar spoon or a regular spoon to combine the ingredients.

5
<p>Optionally, squeeze a lime wedge over the top and drop it into the glass for a citrusy touch.<br />
Enjoy your Rum and Coke!</p>

Optionally, squeeze a lime wedge over the top and drop it into the glass for a citrusy touch.
Enjoy your Rum and Coke!

Rum and Coke Pre-mix and in a Can

When it comes to pre-mixed Rum and Coke, a range of options is available for those on the go or looking for convenience. One of the notable brands is Bacardi’s ready-to-drink canned version. It captures the classic taste we all know without the fuss of mixing. Another strong contender is Captain Morgan’s pre-mixed cola combo. It has a hint of spice that offers a little twist to the traditional flavor. But if you’re pressing me for a personal favorite, I’d tip my hat to Malibu’s pre-mix. Malibu’s take provides a subtle coconut undertone, making each sip reminiscent of a tropical escape. 

Can I use Dark Rum for a Rum and Coke?

Switching to dark rum for your Rum and Coke can significantly elevate the drink’s character. Dark rum, with its deeper caramel and molasses notes, brings a richness that pairs brilliantly with the sweet fizz of the cola. Brands like Myers’s, known for its bold flavors, and Kraken, with its hints of spice, are great picks for this mix. Another solid option is Appleton Estate, revered for its warm and toasty profile. If I had to choose a standout, I’d lean towards Appleton Estate. Its smooth, full-bodied flavor complements the cola seamlessly, making each sip a delightful experience. Perfect for those looking to add a touch more depth to their drink.

Best Rum for a Rum and Coke

The choices can seem endless when you’re eyeing the perfect rum for your Rum and Coke, but a few brands consistently rise to the top. With its crisp, clean profile, Bacardi’s white rum is a crowd favorite – it’s a reliable pick that always delivers that classic taste. If you’re into a richer flavor, Captain Morgan’s spiced rum introduces a zesty edge that melds wonderfully with cola’s sweetness. But if we’re talking about the crème de la crème, Havana Club 3-Year-Old often steals the spotlight. This Cuban gem, aged to perfection, introduces subtle oak and vanilla hints that elevate your drink to something truly special. Give it a whirl, and you’ll soon see why it’s a top contender.

A side shot of a Rum and Coke cocktail in a highball glass with 3 ice cubes on the side and turquoise background color

Variations

Eager to try a unique twist? Check out our top options:

  • Cuba Libre: Is there a more well-known variation? With a squeeze of lime juice, the drink packs a bright citrus kick. The lime offers a zesty contrast to the rich rum and sweet cola. I really enjoy the fresh, tangy twist the lime brings; it makes the drink more refreshing and lively.
  • Dark ‘N’ Stormy: This mixes ginger beer instead of cola, creating a spicy and aromatic edge. The combination with dark rum provides a bold and tantalizing flavor. I appreciate the spicy kick from the ginger beer; it adds an exciting, fiery element.
  • Rum and Ginger Ale: This pairs rum with the spicy effervescence of ginger ale, resulting in a refreshing and invigorating blend. The ginger ale’s spice complements the rum perfectly, creating a lively and zesty experience.
  • Rum and Tonic: Combining rum with tonic water, this mix is crisp and quinine-forward, offering a distinct contrast to the rum’s sweetness. The tonic’s slightly bitter edge cuts through the rum’s richness, providing a balanced and sophisticated flavor.
  • Rum and Dr. Pepper: This relies on Dr. Pepper’s 23 unique flavors, leading to a complex and intriguing taste. The combination of Dr. Pepper and rum creates a familiar yet new flavor profile, with a hint of mystery due to the soda’s complexity.
  • Rum and Root Beer: Substituting cola with root beer creates a creamy and effervescent beverage. The root beer’s unique flavor, combined with rum, creates a nostalgic and distinctive experience. I love the creaminess of root beer; it adds a smooth and comforting quality to the mix.
  • Rum and Pepsi: Using Pepsi instead of traditional cola, this mix offers a slightly different sweet and caramel profile. Some find this pairing offers a distinct and preferable taste, with Pepsi’s unique sweetness complementing the rum.
  • Rum and Club Soda: Opting for club soda offers effervescence without added sweetness, allowing the rum’s flavors to stand at the forefront. This minimalist approach highlights the rum’s qualities in a clean and crisp manner.
  • Spiced Rum and Cola: Choosing spiced rum infuses the beverage with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and other spices, giving each sip a warm and inviting feel. The spiced rum adds depth and complexity, making the drink more intriguing and flavorful.
  • Rum and Cream Soda: This choice imparts a vanilla-tinged creaminess to the mix. The combination with rum feels indulgent and smooth. I’m particularly fond of the vanilla sweetness from the cream soda; it pairs wonderfully with the rum for a decadent experience.

A side shot of a Rum and Coke cocktail in a highball glass on a table with a plant behind and turquoise background color

History and Origin

The origins of Rum and Coke as a cocktail, extend back to the early decades of the 20th century, coinciding with a period of significant cultural and social exchange between the United States and its southern neighbors. This era was marked by a fascination with tropical locales and the cultural richness they offered, setting the stage for the creation of new and exotic drinks.

In the early 1900s, American tourists, seeking adventure and luxury in warmer climates, began exploring destinations like Cuba. These regions were renowned for their unique spirits, especially rum, which was celebrated for its smooth, rich flavor—a distinct contrast to the harsher whiskeys and spirits common in the United States at the time.

The pivotal moment for the creation of Rum and Coke came with the advent of Prohibition in the United States in the 1920s. This era, characterized by the banning of alcoholic beverages, led many Americans to seek refuge in nearby countries where they could legally enjoy alcohol. The combination of locally produced rum and imported American soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola, naturally evolved as a popular choice among these expatriates and tourists. This mix was not only a fusion of flavors but also represented a blend of different cultures.

Post-Prohibition, the allure of Rum and Coke continued to grow. The drink’s appeal lay in its simplicity, requiring just a few readily available ingredients, and its refreshing taste, which was ideal for tropical climates and warm summer evenings. As its popularity soared, it became a mainstay in bars and social gatherings, transcending its initial cultural origins to become a global favorite.

Over the years, the drink evolved into a symbol of leisure and relaxation. Its adaptability allowed for various interpretations and additions, but the core of rum mixed with cola remained a testament to its enduring legacy.

 

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FAQ

How many calories are typically in a Rum and Coke?
A standard version, using 2 ounces of rum and 8 ounces of cola, typically contains around 200-250 calories, depending on the specific brands used.
What is the alcohol strength of a Rum and Coke?
The strength depends on the rum used. If you're using 40% ABV (80 proof) rum, the overall ABV of the cocktail would be lower, around 10-15%, considering it's diluted with cola.
What type of alcohol is used in a Rum and Coke?
Rum, specifically white or dark rum, is the primary alcoholic ingredient in this drink.
In which glass is a Rum and Coke typically served?
Traditionally, the drink is served in a highball glass.
What does a Rum and Coke taste like?
It's a harmonious blend of the rich, slightly sweet flavor of rum with the caramel notes of cola.
What is the standard ratio of rum to cola in a Rum and Coke?
The typical ratio is 1 part rum to 4 parts cola, though personal preferences can adjust this.
How is a Rum and Coke usually served with ice and other serving styles?
Usually served over ice, ensuring it's chilled and refreshing.

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