14 Rum Drinks to Master: The Classics + Clever Takes

Friends Toasting With Mojito Cocktails

Rum is best known as the strong element in tropical drinks and tiki cocktails, but there are a number of rum drinks you can make with this versatile spirit. So whether you're looking for a classic sour, a light and effervescent mojito, or hot rum drink recipes, there are plenty of drinks with rum to choose from.

Classic Rum Drinks

Rum is a hard cane spirit made from either sugar cane or molasses. Like other strong spirits, there are multiple types of rum available that you can use in cocktails including white rum, dark rum, high-proof rum, flavored rums, and spiced rum. Like cocktails made with other spirits, you'll find rum drinks run the gamut from classic mixed drinks to cocktails with a modern twist. The classic drinks with rum below are in every bartender's repertoire.

Daiquiri

A daiquiri is the rum version of a sour cocktail, which contains equal parts of sweet and sour blended with two parts of a strong spirit. While there are many variations using different fruits or blending the ingredients with ice to make a frozen daiquiri, this classic daiquiri recipe is served on the rocks and follows the traditional sour formula.

Daiquiri cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces white rum
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, simple syrup, and rum.
  2. Add ice and shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Grapefruit Rum Smash

A smash is a cocktail that combines a sour with either muddled herbs or muddled fruit. The rum smash combines muddled grapefruit and mint with the rum of your choice; this version calls for dark rum, but you can substitute white, spiced, or flavored rum in an equal amount. You can also substitute lemon, lime, or orange wedges for the lime wedges.

Grapefruit Rum Smash

Ingredients

  • 10 mint leaves, plus a mint sprig for garnish
  • ¼ grapefruit, cut into wedges
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the grapefruit wedge and simple syrup.
  2. Add the rum and ice and shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Mojito

The mojito is a classic rum cocktail that takes the classic rum smash a step further and turns it into a fizz, which has a fizzy element added at the end. You can vary this by replacing the club soda with cola, lemon-lime soda, flavored seltzer, or even ginger beer for interesting variations. Likewise, you can substitute lemon, orange, or grapefruit for the lime, and you can replace the mint with basil.

Mojito cocktail

Ingredients

  • 10 mint leaves plus a mint sprig for garnish
  • 2 lime wedges
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces white rum
  • Ice
  • Club soda

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the lime wedges and simple syrup.
  2. Add the rum and ice and shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

Simple Rum Drinks

These simple rum drinks are super easy to make, only require a few ingredients, and don't require any special techniques.

Cuba Libre

The Cuba libre is a classic tiki drink made with three simple ingredients. Dark rum, white rum, and spiced rum are all good choices for this cocktail.

Cuba Libre Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces rum
  • Cola
  • 1 lime wedge

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass filled with ice, combine the rum and cola. Stir gently.
  2. Squeeze the lime wedge over the top and drop it in the drink as garnish.

Caipirinha

The caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil, and it uses a spicy, funky Brazilian rum called cachaça. It only has three ingredients plus ice and garnish.

Caipirinha cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 ounces cachaça
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, muddle the lime wedges with the sugar.
  2. Add the cachaça and ice. Stir.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Twists on Traditional Drinks With Rum

Many classic drinks that use other liquors as the strong element take on a different flavor profile when you substitute rum.

Dark Rum Old Fashioned

An old fashioned is typically made with bourbon or another whiskey, but this version uses dark rum instead.

Dark Rum Old Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 1 demerara sugar cube or brown sugar cube
  • 2 dashes cinnamon cocktail bitters
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Splash of water
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, muddle the sugar cube, bitters, and orange wedge.
  2. Add the rum and stir.
  3. Drop in two ice cubes and top with a splash of water.
  4. Garnish with the orange peel.

Rum Collins

A Tom Collins is a refreshing summer drink made with gin. This version replaces the gin with rum but otherwise follows a classic Collins formula for a twist on the original. Try replacing the white rum with coconut rum and the lemon juice with pineapple juice for a tropical variation on this classic.

Rum Collins

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces white rum
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Lemon wedge and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, and rum.
  2. Add the ice and shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with the club soda.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a cherry.

Coconut Rum Cosmopolitan

If you love a classic cosmo, then you'll enjoy this version made with coconut rum.

Coconut Rum Cosmopolitan

Ingredients

  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1½ ounces coconut rum
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, cranberry juice cocktail, orange liqueur, and coconut rum.
  3. Add ice and shake to chill.
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

Black Russian With Rum

Dark rum makes a perfect foil for Kahlúa, which is a rum-based coffee liquer, or any other coffee liqueur. Of course, the Russian element in a black Russian is vodka, so calling this a black Russian with rum is a bit of a misnomer with the vodka missing altogether.

Black Russian With Rum

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, combine the dark rum and coffee-flavored liqueur.
  2. Add ice and stir.

Hot Rum Drink Recipes

The classic hot rum drink is the sweet and creamy hot buttered rum, but rum works well in other winter warmer drinks as well.

Maple Ginger Rum Hot Toddy

Nothing warms you up on a chilly evening quite like a hot toddy, and this version features spiced rum and the warming bite of ginger.

Maple Ginger Rum Hot Toddy

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces boiling water
  • Ginger teabag
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce pure maple syrup
  • 1½ ounces spiced rum
  • Orange wheel, cinnamon stick, and candied ginger for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mug, steep the ginger teabag in the boiling water for five minutes. Discard the teabag.
  2. Add the lemon juice, maple syrup, and rum. Stir.
  3. Garnish with an orange wheel, cinnamon stick, and candied ginger.

Jamaican Java

Coffee lovers rejoice! There's a hot rum drink that's just right for java enthusiasts. You can also serve this over ice for an iced drink.

Jamaican Java

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1½ ounces dark Jamaican rum
  • 4 ounces freshly brewed hot coffee
  • ½ ounce coconut cream
  • Grated nutmeg for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a coffee mug, combine the coffee-flavored liqueur, rum, and coffee.
  2. Add the coconut cream and stir.
  3. Garnish with a grating of fresh nutmeg.

Craft Rum Drink Recipes

If you're looking for an original rum cocktail recipe that's well off the beaten path, then try one of these tasty rum mixed drinks.

Nectar of the Gods Martini

With the flavors of dark rum, orgeat (almond), and apricot, there's nothing else to call this martini style cocktail but simply delicious. It makes one martini.

Nectar of the Gods Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • 2 ounces apricot nectar
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • 1 lemon slice

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the rum, amaretto, apricot nectar, lemon juice, and ice. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into the chilled martini glass. Garnish with the lemon slice.

Green Angel

This bright green cocktail combines two types of rum, Malibu and dark rum, with melon liqueur and orange juice for a balanced and delicious libation. It makes one cocktail.

Green Angel

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Midori melon liqueur
  • 1 ounce Malibu rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Ice
  • Soda water
  • Orange twist

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Midori, Malibu rum, dark rum, and orange juice.
  2. Add ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.
  4. Add the soda water to fill the glass. Stir.
  5. Finish with an orange twist.

Bananas Foster Cocktail

If you love sweet and creamy drinks that are more dessert than cocktail, then this one's for you. With sweet bananas, fragrant cinnamon, and creamy RumChata, this drink is the perfect après meal cocktail. It makes one cocktail.

Bananas Foster Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce RumChata
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • ½ ounce banana liqueur
  • ½ ounce butterscotch liqueur
  • Ice
  • Banana slices
  • Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the RumChata, rum, banana liqueur, butterscotch liqueur, and ice.
  2. Shake to chill and strain into a rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with the banana slices and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Tip

Got a kitchen blow-torch? Add some extra flare by sprinkling a teaspoon of sugar over the banana slices (before you put them in the drink) and using the blowtorch to brûlée the tops of the bananas.

What Mixes With Rum?

Rum is a versatile spirit that mixes with a number of ingredients to make fun and delicious cocktails.

  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Sour mix
  • Apple cider
  • Sparkling apple cider
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Coconut water
  • Club soda
  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Cola
  • Ginger ale
  • Root beer
  • Cream soda
  • Eggnog
  • Lime juice

Enjoy Versatile Rum Cocktails

Rum is such a versatile ingredient, it makes a great cocktail base. With some imagination, some great recipes, and a cocktail shaker, the sky's the limit.

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14 Rum Drinks to Master: The Classics + Clever Takes