17 Classic Rum Drinks You Need to Add to Your Repertoire
Rum is for more than cruise ships and beach houses! Dust off your shakers and gather your limes, because these classic rum drinks are back on the scene in a big way.
The pina colada is fabled to have been invented by Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi in an effort to boost his ship’s morale. You can boost the morale at home when you celebrate National Piña Colada Day on July 10!
Here’s how to make a pina colada with pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple or a bright maraschino cherry and you’re good to go. It’s one of our favorite summertime rum drinks.
This classic rum cocktail owes its origins to American mining engineer Jennings Cox. Legend has it that Cox was making gin sours for his guests and, upon running out of gin, decided to substitute rum rather than ruin the party.
Though many beachfront bars serve a daiquiri as a slush, the classic version contains only 1-1/2 ounces of white rum, 3/4 ounce of lime and 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, shaken, strained and served in a chilled glass. For something fruity, here’s how to make a peach daiquiri two different ways.
Dark ‘n’ Stormy
Born in Bermuda, this rum drink was a match between the British Royal Navy’s endeavor in brewing ginger beer (a last-ditch effort to stop sailors from drinking so much) and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.
Think of the Dark ‘n’ Stormy as a slightly elevated rum and cola. It’s 2 ounces of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and a splash of ginger beer. That’s it. It can be this easy all the time! Like to always keep it simple? Here are more recipes for two-ingredient cocktails.
The best thing about this cocktail is its versatility. The original was invented in Havana, Cuba, but you can now find fresh takes like the maple blackberry mojito, the blueberry mojito, and the dirty mojito made with gold rum and raw sugar.
El Floridita Daiquiri
Invented by the legendary Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, who poured 10 million daiquiris, this cocktail is also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri. Ernest Hemingway loved daiquiris so much, he would order doubles, earning his order the name “Papa Doble.” (Drink too many Papa Dobles and you might need these hangover cures the next morning.)
Hemingway liked his drinks served blended or frozen, but today the Hemingway Daiquiri is usually served straight up. Combine 2 ounces of white rum, 1/4 ounce of maraschino liqueur, 3/4 ounce of grapefruit juice, 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice and a splash of simple syrup. Then, shake and strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Likely originating in Jamaica, this rum drink recipe was written in verse in the magazines and newspapers that published it. Here’s a short and sweet version from the Kansas City Star in 1903: “One of sour, one of sweet, two of strong, and one of weak.”
Our Planter’s Punch recipe calls for 2 ounces of dark rum, 2 ounces of pineapple juice, 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice and 1/4 ounce of grenadine. The drink is shaken and served over crushed ice in a Collins glass, then finished off with club soda and a mint sprig or maraschino cherry.
This cocktail is so popular in New Orleans, it’s now one of the most iconic Mardi Gras drinks. Pat O’Brien claims to have invented this rum drink at his speakeasy, where the password to get in was “storm’s brewin’.” He created the Hurricane because he had to move through the rum he was forced to buy from his liquor distributor before he could get more scotch and whiskey.
Despite its castoff origins, the drink is delicious. Here’s how to make the original New Orleans Hurricane drink.
It’s not technically a rum-based drink, but the caipirinha is made with rum’s close cousin: cachaça. Rum is made from molasses, a by-product of sugar cane juice, while cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane. It’s slightly funkier than rum, with grassy notes and a herbaceous smell. The caipirinha was originally invented as a drink to ward off the flu, made with lemon, garlic and honey.
To make a caipirinha, cut half a lime into wedges and muddle the lime with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Then, fill your glass with ice and add 2 ounces of cachaça. Easy!
When Victor Jules Bergeron (also known as Trader Vic) first served this drink to friends from Tahiti, one of them exclaimed “Mai tai-roa aé!” which translates to “Out of this world! The best!” It was all mai tai from then on. Some people say Trader Vic didn’t invent the original Mai Tai, to which he has responded: “Anybody who says I didn’t create this drink is a dirty stinker.” So there!
Don’t let modern-day versions of this cocktail fool you. This is how you make a real mai tai. Choose your favorite rum (here are our picks for the best rum right now), and garnish with a sprig of mint and a fresh lime peel, which symbolize a palm tree and an island.
Rum punch has come a long way, from the 17th century to our cocktail glasses today. Since rum was the most available liquor for British sailors in the late 1600s, especially in places like the Caribbean, it was the go-to spirit. It was even more palatable when citrus, sugar, spice and water were added to make a punch.
Most rum punch recipes call for some variation on those components, with the citrus starring—except if you’re in Barbados, where a rum punch means simple syrup and Angostura bitters. Here are two delicious ways to make rum punch.
It’s also an easy one to make into a batch cocktail when you’re entertaining a crowd.
Long Island Iced Tea
We can’t make a list of popular rum drinks and not include this cocktail. Invented by a gentleman named “Old Man Bishop” during Prohibition, the Long Island Iced Tea will make you too feel like an old man.
Here’s how to make the infamously boozy Long Island Iced Tea. You’ll need 1 ounce each of light rum, vodka, tequila and gin to start.
It’s not all tiki drinks and coconut concoctions for rum. The Cable Car is a classic rum sour, elegant and delicious. Invented by Tony Abou-Ganim, it’s named after the cable car tracks by the bar he worked at in San Francisco.
Pour 1-1/2 ounces of Captain Morgan spiced rum, 1 ounce of lemon juice, 3/4 ounce of curaçao and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup into a shaker. Then, shake with ice and strain into a coupe rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. Garnish with an orange peel spiral. While this is one of our favorite spiced rum drinks, don’t forget to check out our collection of the best coconut rum drinks, too.
Depending on your politics, this cocktail is either named after Cuban president Mario García Menocal, who was in office from 1913-1921, or Gerardo Machado, president from 1925-1933. In any case, it’s a sophisticated rum cocktail.
To mix one at home, pour 1-1/2 ounces of rum, 3/4 ounce of orange curaçao, 3/4 ounce of dry vermouth and a dash of grenadine into a shaker. Then shake, strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. It’s just one of many vintage drinks that deserve a comeback.
This classic tiki cocktail was invented by English bartender Daphne Henderson at her British Virgin Islands bar The Soggy Dollar, so-called because the only way you could get to it was to swim there.
Combine 2 ounces of Pusser’s Rum, 4 ounces of pineapple juice, 1 ounce orange juice and 1 ounce cream of coconut in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and let your soggy sorrows melt away!
Three Dots and a Dash
This rum drink is an absolute tiki classic. Invented by Donn Beach, Three Dots and a Dash gets its name from morse code: It means “victory.” It’s also the namesake of the popular tiki bar in Chicago.
The cocktail contains three types of rum, so it might be a tough one to make at home. But take a closer look at the garnish: three maraschino cherries and a piece of pineapple—three dots and a dash.
Corn ‘n’ Oil
What a name, what a drink. This cocktail gets its dubious title from the Cruzan Black Strap Rum that is floated on the top of the drink, making it look like a dark oil spill. Don’t be turned off by the name—this cocktail is all molasses goodness.
Combine 1 ounce of dark rum, 1-1/2 ounces of falernum and 3/4 ounce of lime into a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Collins glass. Add crushed ice, then float one ounce of Black Strap Rum and a dash of bitters on top.
The rum runner supposedly originated in Islamorada, Florida, at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar, invented as a means of using up excess liquor before new inventory arrived. The name is a nod to the “rum runners” who transported alcohol during Prohibition when rum was sourced in the Bahamas, then smuggled into Florida speakeasies by boat.
Just like the original, you can use up whatever you have on hand to make this fruity drink. But here’s the real rum runner recipe to get you started.