What to Mix With Rum to Make Drinks Worth Celebrating

barman is making cocktail

Rum can feel like a difficult spirit to play with. Outside of a rum and cola, you may find yourself wondering if the only other mixers for rum are mint for a mojito and ginger beer for a dark and stormy. But as for ideas of what to mix with rum, you only need to think about the smaller parts of the drink. Once you break down what makes up those classic rum cocktails, you're left with a world of possibilities of mixers.

Seltzers and Soda

Don't overly complicate things; seltzers are a great place to start with rum mixers.

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Vanilla
  • Tonic water
  • Ginger ale
  • Ginger beer
  • Cola
  • Vanilla cola
  • Cream soda

Juices and Water

If juicy flavors are the calling of your heart, consider mixing rum with traditional flavors or find something new by using the unusual. Consider spiced rum for ciders or tart juices.

  • Coconut water
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Orange juice
  • Passion fruit juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Apple cider

Warm Mixers

If warm drinks are more your speed, consider looking to classic winter cocktails for an ingredient swap. Coconut rum adds an island vibe to warm drinks on cold days.

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Hot chocolate
cocktail with cinnamon sticks

Classic Cocktails and Liqueurs

Consider mixing with liqueurs, vermouth, or classic cocktails but with rum as the headlining spirit. A spiced Manhattan or Old Fashioned is always a great choice.

  • Banana liqueurs
  • Butterscotch liqueurs
  • Orange liqueurs
  • Vermouth

Really Want to go Outside the Box?

If you really wanted to shake up something unique, consider some infrequently used flavor pairings including herbs and vegetables.

  • Butter
  • Carrot juice
  • Chestnuts
  • Cinnamon
  • Grenadine
  • Maple syrup
  • Maraschino liquor
  • Mint
  • Nuts, especially nutmeg
  • Pumpkin
  • Sugar, especially brown sugar

Rumdriver

A screwdriver is a classic breakfast cocktail, with the lore being that builders would stir their vodka and orange juice with screwdrivers if the ingredients separated. This cocktail gets an upgrade with rum and the benefit of not being sipped several stories in the air. If you want to elevate it further, you can add grenadine to create a rum sunrise.

Rumdriver

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • Orange juice to top off
  • Ice
  • Orange wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, rum, and orange juice.
  2. Garnish with orange wedge.

Honeycrisp Rum

Sometimes you go apple picking on warm days, and you head home with a bag of apples and fresh-pressed cider. With just a few ounces of rum, you've just about fully locally sourced your next favorite fall cocktail.

Honeycrisp Rum

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, rum, and bitters.
  2. Top off with apple cider.
  3. Garnish with dehydrated apple and cinnamon stick.

Spiced Manhattan

The base spirit of any Manhattan should always shine, it's given an important role in guiding the flavors of the cocktail. Using spiced rum creates a delicious new variation.

Spiced Manhattan

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Stir to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Maple Spiced Old Fashioned

Maple old fashioneds are a great way to capture fall flavor. They're an even better way to use up the last bits of maple syrup you can't get out of the bottle. Consider upgrading your maple syrup purchase to a clear glass bottle and making it in the bottle sometimes!

Maple Spiced Old Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • ½ ounce maple syrup
  • 4 dashes angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Ice
  • Two orange peels and Luxardo cherries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, maple syrup, and bitters.
  2. Stir to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over king cube or fresh ice.
  4. Express one orange peel over the drink by twisting the peel between your fingers, then run outside of peel along rim.
  5. Garnish with second orange peel and Luxardo cherries.

Spiced Caramel Apple

If you loathe caramel apples because they always get everything sticky but miss their magic, this is your answer in liquid form.

Spiced Caramel Apple

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • 2 ounce apple cider
  • 2 dashes cinnamon bitters
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces caramel syrup
  • Ice
  • Apple wedge and cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, apple cider, bitters, lemon juice, and caramel syrup.
  2. Shake well to blend ingredients and chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with apple wedge and cinnamon stick.

Lounge Lizard II

A sibling of the classic rum and cola, the classic lounge lizard adds almond liqueur to the equation, but the sequel uses cherry cola.

Lounge Lizard II

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • ½ ounce almond liqueur
  • Cherry cola to top off
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball or collins glass, add ice, rum, and almond liqueur.
  2. Top off with cherry cola.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge.

Cheers for Rum

Rum is a spirit to be celebrated, not left on the table for specific cocktails or special occasions. With the broad range of rum available, coconut to spiced to dark, there's always something fun or new to mix with rum.

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What to Mix With Rum to Make Drinks Worth Celebrating