Best Rum Cocktails—Easy Recipes to Make at Home

Everyone has a favorite rum cocktail. You might love it in a fruity mix, a beachy Pina Colada with some fizz, or just chilled. Try them out and let rum-based drinks be the top pick in your drinks.

Rum cocktails have names that tell tales of tropical beaches and sunlit parties. Whether it’s dark rum, white rum, or adventurous spiced rum, these cocktails carry a classic charm. The best part? Making the recipes at home is easy! You can create the best rum drinks with just a few simple ingredients.

Our top 5 rum drinks: A few classics stand out when we think about our go-to rum cocktails. Our all-time favorite has to be the Mojito, with its crisp blend of mint and lime. Following closely is the timeless Daiquiri, a straightforward yet delightful mix. The Pina Colada, with its creamy coconut and pineapple flavors, is our tropical pick for any day. The Dark’ n’ Stormy packs a punch with its spicy ginger beer kick, and lastly, the Rum Punch is our choice for those moments when we’re in the mood for a fruity medley recipe.

25 Classic Rum Cocktails

Our DrinksWorld experts made a list of the best classic rum cocktails for you to try with white or dark rum. We’ve tested the recipes and tasted all these popular, fruity mixed drinks ourselves, and they’re sure to please everyone.

1. Mojito

A side shot of a Mojito cocktail in a highball glass on a white marmol table with half of a lime on the side

The Mojito is a traditional Cuban cocktail known for its refreshing and invigorating taste, making it a favorite on hot summer days. It was a favored drink of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway during his time in Cuba. This cocktail showcases a refreshing blend of sweetness, citrus, and mint flavors.

Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Sugar
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Soda Water

2. Piña Colada

The Piña Colada is Puerto Rico’s national drink, and it’s said to have been created in the 1950s. The cocktail’s name means “strained pineapple,” a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used in the drink. It’s a luscious and creamy beverage that combines the tropical flavors of coconut and pineapple, typically garnished with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Coconut Cream
  • Pineapple Juice

3. Daiquiri

A side shot of a Daiquiri cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone plate placed on a blue table with two half miles in front and a shaker, a jigger and a basket with limes on the background.

Originating from Cuba, the Daiquiri is named after a beach and an iron mine near Santiago de Cuba. This cocktail was supposedly a favorite of Ernest Hemingway and President John F. Kennedy. It’s a beautifully balanced drink, known for its sweet and sour flavors, and is typically served with a lime wheel for garnish.

Three Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Simple Syrup

4. 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, originating from Bermuda, is deeply connected with maritime traditions, as it was popular among sailors. It is so special to Bermuda that it has a trademark, meaning legally, it must be made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The cocktail’s rich, dark rum contrasts wonderfully with the spicy, bubbly ginger beer, often garnished with a lime wedge to add a touch of citrus.

Ingredients:

  • Dark Rum
  • Ginger Beer
  • Lime Juice

5. Rum Punch

Rum Punch is a fruity, delightful concoction popular across the Caribbean. It has a very flexible recipe with various island versions, and it’s known for its vibrant layered colors and tropical, sweet taste. The recipe usually follows the rhyme: “One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak,” representing lime juice, sugar, rum, and water, or juice.

Ingredients:

  • Light Rum
  • Dark Rum
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Grenadine

6. 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, a symbol of Cuban independence in the early 20th century, is more than just a rum and Coke. This cocktail emerged during the Spanish-American War, named after the Cuban Independence slogan. It’s recognized by its contrasting flavors of sweet cola, tangy lime, and smooth rum.

Ingredients:

  • Rum
  • Cola
  • Lime

7. Hurricane

A side shot of a Hurricane Drink in a hurricane glass with an orange, limes, a jigger and a wipe on a brown table mat placed on a white marmol table.

The Hurricane, originating in 1940s New Orleans, is known for its fruity and tropical flavor. It was created at Pat O’Brien’s bar during World War II and is served in a curvy “hurricane glass”.

Ingredients:

  • Rum
  • Passion Fruit Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Grenadine

8. 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, a Polynesian-style cocktail, is reputed to have originated in the 1940s in California. Its name, meaning “good” in Tahitian, combines the sweetness of orgeat syrup and the tanginess of lime juice.

Ingredients:

  • Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Orgeat Syrup
  • Orange Liqueur

9. 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 was first created in the 1930s by Donn Beach in California. It’s a potent mix known for its fruity flavors and high alcohol content, often associated with Tiki culture and usually garnished with a mint sprig.

Ingredients:

  • Light Rum
  • Dark Rum
  • Apricot Brandy
  • Lime Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Bitters

10. 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 has its roots in the Caribbean and is associated with the West Indian plantation workers in the 18th century. It’s a versatile and fruity cocktail with bold and refreshing flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Dark Rum
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Grenadine

11. Caipirinha

A side shot of a Caipirinha cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a black stone plate surrounded by many lime wedges on a grey table with a jigger and a shaker on the background.

The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, using Cachaça, a Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane juice. It is a refreshing cocktail celebrated for its perfect blend of sweet, tart, and strong components.

Ingredients:

  • Cachaça
  • Lime
  • Sugar

12. Hot Buttered Rum

A side shot of a Hot Buttered Rum cocktail in a mug with two lemons behind on a wooden tray placed on a brown wooden table and a plant on the background.

 

Hot Buttered Rum is a warm cocktail enjoyed traditionally in the winter months. It is trendy in the United States during the holiday season and is cherished for its creamy, spiced, buttery flavor.

Ingredients:

  • Dark Rum
  • Hot Water
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Spices

13. 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

The Rum Runner was purportedly invented in the late 1950s in Florida. It is named after the real rum runners who brought illegal rum from the Caribbean to the Florida Keys. It is sweet, fruity, and colorful, with a tropical flair.

Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Blackberry Liqueur
  • Banana Liqueur
  • Grenadine
  • Lime Juice

14. Bahama Mama

A side shot of a Bahama Mama cocktail in a highball glass on a wooden coaster placed on a dark brown wooden table with a jigger and a shaker on the brackground

The Bahama Mama is a tropical cocktail believed to have originated in the Bahamas. It’s a fruity and delightful drink, blending coconut, pineapple, and citrus flavors, with a coffee hint from the coffee liqueur.

Ingredients:

  • Rum
  • Coconut Liqueur
  • Coffee Liqueur
  • Lemon Juice
  • Pineapple Juice

15. 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.

Navy Grog is a rich cocktail with maritime roots, dating back to the British Navy in the 18th century. It is a flavorful concoction with a harmonious blend of citrus, sweeteners, and different types of rum, making it a layered and complex drink.

Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Dark Rum
  • Demerara Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Honey

16. Rum Swizzle

A side shot of a Rum Swizzle cocktail in a Collins glass on a coaster placed on a surface with brown tiles surrounded by a bar spoon, a straw, a jigger, a red book, two limes, and two oranges, in front of a light green wall.

The Rum Swizzle is often considered Bermuda’s national drink. It’s known for being mixed by swizzling, a stirring method with a special stick. This drink is fruity and refreshing, an ideal choice for those who enjoy tropical flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Dark Rum
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Grenadine or Falernum
  • Bitters

17. 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.

El Presidente originated in Havana, Cuba, during the Prohibition era. It was named in honor of the Cuban president Gerardo Machado. It’s a classy and sophisticated cocktail, distinguished by its clear and refined flavor profile.

Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Orange Curacao
  • Grenadine

18. Hemingway Daiquiri

A side shot of a Hemingway Daiquiri cocktail in a cocktail glass on a red cloth placed on a white table with a plate full with maraschino cherries, two limes, and half grapefruit around, in front of a yellow and blue wall.

The Hemingway Daiquiri is named after the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, who frequented El Floridita bar in Havana, where the drink was created. It’s a variation of the classic Daiquiri, notable for adding grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, creating a complex and layered flavor.

Ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Maraschino Liqueur

19. Goombay Smash

A side shot of a Goombay Smash cocktail in highball glass on a coaster placed on a white table with a straw, two oranges, a pineapple, a jigger, a white cloth and two pineapple slices around, in front of a blurred yellow wall

The Goombay Smash is the signature drink of the Bahamas, first created at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in the 1960s. It is tropical and sweet, showcasing a delectable combination of pineapple, coconut, and citrus flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Rum
  • Dark Rum
  • Apricot Brandy
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice

20. Ti’ Punch

A side shot of a Ti' Punch cocktail in a small Tumbler glass on a white cloth with some limes around.

Ti’ Punch is a simple and traditional cocktail from the French Caribbean, and its name means “small punch” in Creole. It usually involves guests mixing it to their liking, adjusting sweetness and lime to taste.

Ingredients:

  • Rhum Agricole
  • Lime
  • Cane Sugar Syrup

21. Fish House Punch

A side shot of a Fish House Punch cocktail in a low ball glass on a wooden board placed on a white cloth on a grey surface surrounded by three lemons, sugar cubes and a jigger.

Fish House Punch has historical roots in Philadelphia and was created in 1732 by an angling club. It’s known for its potent mix and smooth, fruity flavor, making it a popular choice for gatherings and parties.

Ingredients:

  • Dark Rum
  • Cognac
  • Peach Brandy
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sugar
  • Water

22. Shrunken Skull

A side shot of a Shrunken Skull cocktail in a skull glass on a grey stone coaster placed on a red table with a red cloth, three limes, a plant and a jigger around, in fornt of a grey wall.

The Shrunken Skull is a Tiki cocktail, known for its enticing sweet, spicy, and tart flavors. It is typically presented in a decorative Tiki mug and is noted for its vibrant red color and bold, distinctive taste.

Ingredients:

  • Demerara Rum
  • Puerto Rican Rum
  • Lime Juice
  • Grenadine

23. 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 is a tropical cocktail that originated in Malaysia in the 1970s. It’s unique for including bitter Campari with sweet and fruity ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Dark Rum
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Campari
  • Simple Syrup
  • Lime Juice

24. 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

The Painkiller is a creamy and tropical cocktail from the British Virgin Islands in the 1970s. It’s renowned for its delicious pineapple, orange, coconut, and nutmeg blend, creating a delightful and soothing beverage.

Ingredients:

  • Navy Rum
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Coconut Cream
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg

25. Zombie Punch

Zombie Punch is a slightly different variation of the Zombie, with multiple types of rum and fruit juices. It was created to mimic the flavors of the Caribbean and is recognized for its colorful presentation and bold, fruity flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Light Rum
  • Dark Rum
  • Apricot Brandy
  • Lime Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Papaya Juice
  • Bitters

Dark rum, white Rum, Spiced Rum, Gold rum, … And even more types?

Rum is a popular drink with many different types. Each kind of rum has its unique taste, making certain cocktails taste better. Whether you’re having a light Mojito or a strong Zombie, knowing about the different rums can make your drink even more enjoyable. We’ve made a brief overview for you:

White or Light Rum

White or light rum is a clear spirit, often distilled and filtered to remove any color. Typically, it has a sweeter, milder flavor, which is why it’s popular for cocktails that require a more subtle rum taste. This kind of rum is the star in many well-known cocktails, such as the Mojito, Daiquiri, and Piña Colada.

Gold or Amber Rum

Gold or amber rum exhibits a richer color and flavor than its light counterpart. This depth in character is usually achieved by aging the spirit in wooden barrels. The additional aging imparts caramel and vanilla tones to the rum. Gold or amber rum is the go-to choice for cocktails with a more robust rum flavor. It shines in cocktails like the Cuba Libre and the Mai Tai.

Dark Rum

Dark rum is distinguished by its extended aging process in charred barrels, resulting in a fuller-bodied flavor profile. With prominent notes of caramel, molasses, or even chocolate, this type of rum is favored in cocktails that demand a strong rum presence. The Dark ‘N’ Stormy and the Hurricane are classic examples where dark rum plays a pivotal role.

Spiced Rum

As the name suggests, spiced rum is infused with a mix of spices, including vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. This gives it a uniquely flavorful profile, making it sweet and spicy. Spiced rum can be used in various cocktails, but it’s particularly delicious in a Rum Punch or a Hot Buttered Rum.

Aged Rum

Aged rum has been aged for a specific period, often resulting in a smoother, more refined taste. The aging process can also introduce flavors from the barrels used, adding layers of complexity. While aged rum can be sipped neat, it also finds its way into sophisticated cocktails like the Old Cuban.

Overproof Rum

Overproof rum has a much higher alcohol content than standard rum. Its bold flavors and high strength make it a choice ingredient when a cocktail needs an extra kick. It’s used sparingly in drinks like the Zombie, whose potency complements the mix of flavors.

Rhum Agricole

Originating from the French Caribbean, Rhum Agricole is made directly from sugarcane juice, unlike most rums from molasses. This results in a grassier, more herbal flavor profile. It’s the primary ingredient in the Ti’ Punch, a classic regional cocktail.

Top brands to use in rum cocktail recipes

Any of these five rum brands can be your go-to for those looking to mix up standout cocktails with rum:

Bacardi

Bacardi is a well-known rum brand from Cuba. People like it because it’s light and mixes well in drinks like Mojitos.

Appleton Estate

This rum is from Jamaica. It’s strong and has flavors like spice and honey. It’s good for drinks that need a strong rum taste.

Mount Gay

Mount Gay is from Barbados and is one of the oldest rum brands. It has flavors like banana and vanilla. It’s great for many cocktails.

Havana Club

This is another Cuban rum. The 3-Year-Old one is popular because of its light and fresh taste. It’s good for refreshing drinks.

Kraken

Kraken is a dark and spicy rum. It tastes like caramel and vanilla. It’s the best pick for drinks that need some spice.

When to serve Rum cocktails?

We love experimenting with drinks and have found that rum cocktails are great for many events. Here’s our pick for the perfect drink for each special moment:

  • Summer Days: Drinks like Mojitos or Pina Coladas help you cool down in hot weather. They’re great for BBQs.
  • Evening Chills: After work or a busy day, Rum and Coke are nice, easy drinks.
  • Cold Winters: Drinks like Hot Buttered Rum feel warm and cozy in cold months.
  • Parties: Classic rum drinks like the Daiquiri are fun for birthdays or New Year’s Eve.
  • Pirate Themes: For pirate parties, rum drinks are a must-have.
  • Brunches: Some rum drinks, like a Rum Bloody Mary, are suitable for late-morning meals.
  • With Desserts: Rum drinks pair well with sweet things. A Banana Daiquiri is good with fruity desserts.

More Rum cocktails

Check out our Rum cocktail range, where every category has its unique taste and character:

More cocktails

Beyond these rum cocktails, there’s a world of best cocktails and recipes! Here’s a look at some of our top cocktail collections on Drinks World:

Mixing drinks shouldn’t be a difficult task. Check out more easy cocktails and mixed drinks with simple recipes.

Canned rum cocktails

Canned rum cocktails are a hit for those wanting a quick tropical sip. ‘Bacardi’s mojito’ is a must for any beach activities. ‘Cutwater Spirits’ rolls out a ‘Tiki Rum Mai Tai’ loaded with pineapple, coconut, and citrus. But the one to grab is ‘Malibu’s Piña Colada’. It’s a tropical mix of pineapple and coconut flavors. For a straight-up beach vibe without the fuss, Malibu nails it.

FAQs

  1. What is rum? Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts like molasses or directly from sugarcane juice.
  2. Where did rum originate? Rum has its origins in the Caribbean.
  3. Why is rum commonly associated with tropical regions? Rum’s production is historically linked to sugarcane-growing tropical regions, especially the Caribbean.
  4. Is there a general ratio of rum to mixers in cocktails? While ratios can vary, a common guideline for many rum cocktails is 1:2 or 1:3, rum to mixer.
  5. What mixers go well with rum in cocktails? Popular mixers include fruit juices (like pineapple, orange, and lime), soda, tonic, cola, and ginger beer.
  6. Do all rum cocktails have a sweet profile? No. While many are sweet due to fruity mixers, some rum cocktails can be dry or bitter, depending on the ingredients.
  7. Is rum used in any warm/hot cocktails? Rum can be used in warm beverages, often combined with spices, honey, or butter, especially in colder seasons.
  8. What’s the importance of shaking or stirring when making a rum cocktail? Shaking or stirring helps integrate the ingredients, chill the drink, and add dilution for balance.
  9. Can rum cocktails be batched for parties? Certainly! Many rum-based mixtures can be prepared in large quantities for events.
  10. Why do some recipes call for crushed ice for rum cocktails? Crushed ice chills the drink rapidly and offers more dilution, which can be desirable for specific cocktails.
  11. What kind of garnishes are commonly used in rum cocktails? Typical garnishes include citrus slices or wedges, mint leaves, cherries, and pineapple chunks or leaves.
  12. Is rum higher in calories than other spirits? Rum is comparable in calories to other spirits. Mixers and added sugars contribute more to the calorie count in cocktails.
  13. Is older rum always better for cocktails? Not necessarily. While age can impart depth and complexity, some cocktails benefit from the lighter profile of younger rums.
  14. Can overproof rum be used in cocktails? Yes, but use caution. Overproof rums have a very high alcohol content and can easily overpower a drink.
  15. How should rum be stored for optimal cocktail-making? Store rum in a cool, dark place, upright, and tightly sealed.
  16. Are there any popular rum cocktail trends? Trends evolve, but there’s been a resurgence in tiki culture and craft rum cocktails in recent years.
  17. Can I mix different types of rum in one cocktail? Many cocktails blend rums for a layered and complex flavor.

Simple Rum Cocktails: Rum Runner Recipe (and 24 More!)

Try this easy Rum Runner recipe! With light rum, dark rum, and fruity flavors, it’s a great summer drink.

Rum Runner Cocktail Drink

Rum Runner Recipe

Jump to Video
Chill out with this simple Rum Runner recipe! This cocktail is your go-to for a laid-back good time, made with dark and light rum, fruity liqueurs, and tropical juices.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 408

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz banana Liqueur
  • 1 oz blackberry Liqueur
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz grenadine
  • Ice cubes and crushed ice
  • Pineapple wedge and cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass or Tiki Mug
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Shaker
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass or tiki mug with ice cubes.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the shaker, combine 1 oz grenadine, 1 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz orange juice, 1 oz blackberry Liqueur, 1 oz banana Liqueur, 1 oz Dark Rum, and 1 oz Jamaican Rum.
  • Shake Well: Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15 seconds.
  • Pour: Strain the mixture into your glass over fresh crushed ice.
  • Garnish: Place a Pineapple flag into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Dark rum: I've used spiced rum as a flavorful alternative if I run out of dark rum. It adds a unique twist to the drink.
  • Jamaican Rum: Cognac works well if you don't have Jamaican rum. It's a bit cleaner in flavor.
  • Banana Liqueur: In a pinch, I've used a banana-flavored syrup. It's sweeter, so you should adjust the other ingredients.
  • Blackberry Liqueur: You can use blackberry syrup or even a raspberry liqueur if you need help finding blackberry liqueur.

Making a Pitcher of Rum Runner:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients except the grenadine in a large pitcher. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled glasses, add grenadine, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum alternative.
  • Jamaican Rum Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic Jamaican rum alternative.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Liqueurs: Ensure the banana and blackberry liqueurs are vegan-friendly; some may contain animal-derived ingredients.
  • Grenadine: Make sure your grenadine is vegan. Some brands use animal-derived colors.

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