High-quality rum tastes great when you drink it neat. But if you want to shake things up, you should try experimenting with rum cocktails.
Its sweet and subtle flavor makes it versatile for rum drinks. Whether you’re looking for a sweet tropical punch or an elegant concoction, you’ll surely find a recipe to suit your taste.
But if the possibilities feel overwhelming, this article contains an expansive list of the best rum cocktail recipes anyone can learn, curated by our Mixology Team. With simple ingredients and easy steps, you’ll be able to prepare rum drinks with ease in no time!
Our #1 Rum-Based Drink Recipe to Try
When it comes to rum cocktails, nothing could beat a classic daiquiri. It’s mildly sweet and tangy but doesn’t completely cover the distinct notes of rum.
It’s our #1 rum-based drink because its traditional recipe is a foolproof crowd-pleaser. But you can also play around with it to create different variations.
But before you start experimenting with its flavors, you’ll have to learn its traditional recipe by heart.
Add ice, 2 ounces of light rum, 1 ounce of lime juice, and ¾ ounce of demerara sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker. Give it a good shake and strain it into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime twist, and you’re done!
As refreshing as this drink may be, rum’s versatility doesn’t stop there. Because below are more rum cocktail recipes you can check out so you’re ready for any occasion.
4 Classic Rum Drink Recipes
Rum and Coke
Few things are quite as classic as rum and coke. It only uses two ingredients that even a beginner can master.
To make, fill a highball glass with ice, 5 ounces of Coca-cola, and 2 ounces of light or dark rum. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.
Dark and Stormy
By leaving this cocktail unstirred, you can create a mesmerizing effect with just three simple ingredients. That’s because the dark rum will float above the ginger beer, making it look like a looming storm cloud.
To prepare, fill a highball glass with a handful of ice, 2 ounces of dark rum, and ½ ounces of fresh lime juice. Top the glass with ginger beer and stir (if you prefer). Garnish with a lime wheel.
If you’re in the mood for a party, you can never go wrong with a classic mojito. Muddling the mint leaves might require you to put in a bit of effort, but the taste of the cocktail is worth it!
To make, lightly muddle 3-5 pieces of mint leaves on the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Then, add 2 ounces of white rum, ¾ ounce of lime juice, and ice before giving it a shake.
Strain the cocktail into a highball glass with ice. Then, top it up with club soda. Garnish with a lime wheel and a mint sprig.
Always present in any Tiki bar, the Mai Tai is another rum cocktail classic. Although it’s meant to be a sweet summer treat, be careful not to make the beginner’s mistake of turning it saccharine by adding too much orgeat!
To start, add crushed iced, 1 ½ ounces of light rum, ¾ ounce of orange curaçao, ¾ ounce of lime juice, and ½ ounce of orgeat in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the mixture is cold. Then, strain it into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Use a spoon to float the dark rum on top, and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig. If you want to go over the top, add a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry.
3 Rum Drink Recipes for a Sweet Tooth
Piña colada is a summer staple, so it’s at the top of the list for sweet rum mixed drinks. If you have a blender, you can make this non-stop to pretend you’re vacationing on a tropical island.
Add 1 cup of crushed ice, 6 ounces of pineapple juice, 3 ounces of coconut cream, and 1 ½ ounces of light rum in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry.
Besides being a staple in Tiki bars, rum swizzle is also the national drink of Bermuda. It’s one of those cocktail drinks that are fun to prepare if you have a swizzle stick.
To make, fill a double old-fashioned glass halfway with ice. Then, add 1 ounce of dark rum, 1 ounce of light rum, 2 ounces of orange juice, 2 ounces of pineapple juice, ½ ounce of grenadine or falernum, and 3 dashes of bitters.
With a swizzle stick, mix the cocktail vigorously to chill the drink. Garnish with a pineapple wedge, orange slice, and maraschino cherry.
An original recipe by the legendary Donna Beach, the Zombie was created for a hungover customer to help him get through a business meeting. Since the drink was too potent, it made him feel like a ‘zombie’ instead.
To recreate this iconic cocktail, add ice, 1 ounce of light rum, 1 ounce of gold rum, 1 ounce of pineapple juice, 1 ounce of lemon juice, 1 ounce of lime juice, ½ ounce of simple syrup, and 1 dash of bitters. Shake and strain into a tall glass with ice.
Completely optional, but you can also float 1 ounce of 151-proof dark rum by pouring it over the back of a spoon. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
3 Simple Rum Drink Recipes
El Presidente is one of the cocktails that’s made as a result of Cuba’s Prohibition era. It’s a simple recipe that balances the orange curaçao’s brightness with the rum’s sweetness for a delightful cocktail.
To make, fill a cocktail shaker with ice, 1½ ounces of light rum, ¾ ounces of dry vermouth, ¼ ounces of orange curaçao, and 1 dash of grenadine. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
This recipe is an original by Tony Abou-Ganim to pay homage to San Fransisco’s iconic transportation system. It’s the first rum sour on the list, and it only requires three ingredients to make.
Combine ⅛ teaspoon sugar and ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon on a plate. Then, rim a chilled cocktail glass with the sugar mixture and set aside.
In a cocktail shaker, add ice, 1 ½ ounce of spiced rum, ¾ ounce of orange curaçao, 1 ounce of lemon juice, and ½ ounce of simple syrup. Shake well until chill and strain into your prepared glass. Garnish with an orange spiral.
Although it’s believed that the original recipe for this drink dates back to the 17th century, it’s still one of the simplest cocktails to date.
To start, fill a cocktail shaker with ice, 1 ¼ ounces of light rum, 1 ¼ ounces of dark rum, 2 ounces of pineapple juice, 1 ounce of orange, ¼ ounce of lime juice, and ¼ ounce of grenadine. Give it a good shake and strain it into a Hurricane glass with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
3 Fancy Rum Drink Recipes
This cocktail recipe only uses 4 ingredients, but adding Galliano L’Autentico is what makes it worthy of being a fancy cruise ship staple.
To make, fill a cocktail shaker with ice, 1 ounce of light rum, ½ ounce of Galliano, ½ ounce of triple sec, and ½ ounce of lime juice. Shake until the outside feels cold and strain into a coupe glass.
This cocktail is an original recipe by Shannon Tebay Sidle to pay homage to colonial-era ingredients. It only takes 5 ingredients to make, but the flavors are highly sophisticated.
In a mixing glass, add ice, 1 ½ ounce of aged rum, ½ ounce of Kirsch brandy, ½ ounce of cherry liquor, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of bitters. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry on a skewer.
Since it only contains three ingredients, it’s easy to create a variation of Negroni. Swap out the gin to replace it with rum, and you have this powerful drink.
If you want to recreate this, combine 1 ounce of Jamaican rum, 1 ounce of Campari, and 1 ounce of vermouth in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with a trimmed orange peel.
A Rum Cocktail For All Seasons
Whether you prefer the simplicity of a classic rum and coke or the festiveness of a piña colada, there’s always a rum-based drink to suit your palate. Good thing it’s one of the most flexible liquors, so you never run out of cocktails to explore!
But if you can’t pick which drink to start on, a daiquiri is always a good choice. It’s a nice balance between sweet and sour that you can easily assemble at home.
From there, you can then experiment with a plethora of variations to make you feel confident with serving rum cocktails. If you want to learn more about daiquiris, you can check out this recipe.