Dark Rum Cocktails to Add Intrigue to Any Occasion

Bartender adding lemon peel in a drink

If you're searching for a broody, flavorful drink, dark rum cocktails fit the bill for any occasion. Often found in basic mixed rum drinks such as rum and cokes or rum and ginger beer, dark rum drinks offer so much more variety than you expect.

Planters Punch

A typical rum punch recipe incorporates both light and dark rums, but planters punch focuses on the intrigue of dark rum.

Planters Punch

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Club soda, to top off
  • Ice
  • Mint sprig, maraschino cherry, and orange slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, juices, simple syrup, grenadine, and bitters.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig, maraschino cherry, and orange slice.

Rum Old Fashioned

Many classic cocktails can swap base spirits to create a twist better suited for the times or personal taste. This rum old fashioned has a new smoky, tropical flavor by using dark rum in place of rye.

Rum Old Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • ¾ ounces simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • Ice
  • Two orange peels for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, simple syrup, and bitters.
  2. Stir to chill.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass with 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.

Bitter Dark and Stormy

Dark and Stormy cocktails are a sharp but sweet dark rum cocktail, but adding bitters gives this classic a new taste.

Dark and Stormy highball cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 dashes walnut bitters
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ginger beer, to top off
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a collins or highball glass filled with ice, add rum, bitters, and lime juice.
  2. Top off with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Black Daiquiri

If you've ever made or had a daiquiri, it was white rum as the base spirit. This rum drink opts for dark rum to bring a smokier feel to the classic.

Black Daiquiri

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • ½ - ¾ ounce simple syrup, to taste
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel or peel for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, rum, simple syrup, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lime wheel or peel.

Cable Car

A sister of the classic sidecar, this dark rum drink simply swaps the cognac in favor of the smoky molasses flavor of rum.

Cable Car Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces spiced or dark rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce orange curaçao
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge, tablespoon of sugar, and optional orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add the ice, rum, lemon juice, orange curaçao, and simple syrup.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into cocktail glass.
  6. Garnish with orange peel.

Lost Plane

This dark rum cocktail is a new take on the paper plane, using the sweet, rich flavors of the rum in place of bourbon bringing a new balance to this slightly citrus and bitter cocktail.

Lost Plane Cocktail

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a coupe or martini glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add the ice, rum, Aperol, amaro, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Walk the Dark Side

Light rums might jump to mind when you consider your next rum cocktail, but dark rum drinks deserve their chance. Most are easier to build and deserve a chance to be the star of your next occasion.

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Dark Rum Cocktails to Add Intrigue to Any Occasion