Summer is in full swing and we are HERE FOR IT! The days are growing longer, the weather is getting warmer, and rum is the spirit du jour! If a taste of the tropics is what you’re craving, we’ve got you covered with our rum cocktail roundup.
From refreshing light rum libations to satisfying dark rum cocktails, this is a list that will have you waking up and exclaiming “why is all the rum gone?!” It sure is a good thing we aren’t stranded on a desert island and can always pop to the liquor shop for sugar cane distilled fortification…
Now slip on those flip flops and set up your Out Of Office message, we’re going on vacation…
Ok, we know you might not read rum and immediatly reach for the ango, but you most definitely should. Aged rum is stellar in an Old Fashioned! Try adding a twist of lime alongside the expressed orange twist for a zesty compliment. Rum Old Fashioneds are easy, delcious, and you can build them in the glass (which is a major win for a quick, dark rum cocktail in our book).
The national drink of French Caribbean islands Martinique and Guadeloupe, Ti’ Punch uses grassy and bright rhum agricole, fresh lime, and sugar to make a “small” or “petite punch.” Ti’ Punch is a real DIY rhum cocktail, each person can add their desired ammounts of lime, sugar, and rhum in their own glass. What’s that? You can build this in the glass too?! Oh yes, my friend! Start with an empty rocks glass, squeeze in a lime wheel (or two) and drop them in, add a little sugar cane syrup and some rhum agricole and stir, ice is optional.
NYC based Joaquin Simo created the Kingston Negroni at his bar Pouring Ribbons (sigh…we really miss that bar) and it became an instant classic using Smith & Cross. It has all the things we love: equal parts, vermouth, and, you guessed it! You can build it in the glass. Make your own version using equal parts Jamaican rum, sweet vermouth, and a red bitter. How about mixing up a batch of rum Negroni to have in the freezer for easy imbibing? A few of these and you really will wonder where has all the rum gone…
Tall & Refreshing
Ahhhh the Mojito—one sip and I am back in Havana, the birthplace of this oh-so-simple and yet oh-so-perfect cocktail. This cocktail works with light Cuban style rum, has a wonderful freshness with rhum agricole, and if you reach for a demerara or dark rum you can always go for the Queens Park Swizzle. Just make sure you’re using spearmint as peppermint will overpower your cocktail.
Dark & Stormy
The Dark & Stormy is one of the very few trademarked (gasp) cocktails out there! With a rich history on the island of Bermuda, this recipe was trademarked by the Gosling family in 1991 but the cocktail itself has been enjoyed since WWI. You *should* make this libation with a very specific dark rum from Bermuda, and make sure the rum is layered on top of the ginger beer in the glass, creating the ominous “stormy” effect.
Vacay Brain Mode – 2 Ingredient Rum Cocktails
Is Cuba Libre just a sexier way to say “rum and coke”? Ok, sorta but with lots o’ lime and Spanish style rum. Is it the first recipe I ever learned and subsequently caused a ruckus in my Montessori school during the “dads who cook” lesson by volunteering it as my dad’s signature dish? 100%
TBH my folks weren’t all that shocked when I started a career in spirits.
“A recipe so easy a 4 year old can remember it”…ok maybe that shouldn’t be the Cuba Libre’s tag line, but it’s the truth.
Rum & Tonic
Do not dismiss the simplicity of a rum & tonic! Super refreshing and thirst quenching, this rum highball variation is a fab pre dinner sipper. We personally like them on crushed ice with extra lime…but wait…why is all the rum gone? Yeah, because it’s delicious!
Grab The Blender
We found it! This, this cocktail right here is where all the rum has gone. This is the rum cocktail to end all rum cocktails in my book. It is my favorite vacation in a glass and it is rum soaked, coconut perfection. Our founder always says, “It’s not a vacation until you’ve had a piña colada!”
The name itself translates to “strained pineapple” and it was created in Puerto Rico by a gentleman named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero at the Caribe Hilton in 1954. It became the national drink of Puerto Rico in 1978 and heck, it even got its own song, Escape (the PiñaColada song) in 1979.
Rum, rum, rummy, rum, rum, we love you so! This one is like a piña colada, but no blender needed. Score! But, listen up because this is important: if you put this cocktail on a menu, you best be making it with Pusser’s Rum. The Painkiller cocktail was originally concocted at the Soggy Dollar bar in the 1970s, it was so amazing that Pusser’s slapped a trademark on it in the 1980’s!
Now if you are making this bevvy at home, have fun with your rum shelf! Try blending a few together to achieve tropical nirvana. Heck, hollow out a pineapple and use it as your glass. GO NUTS, you are on vacation. This cocktail has actually replaced the piña colada for our founder’s favorite vacation drink now…it’s that good!
Ready To Drink Some Rum With Us??
Join the only subscription club for true craft drinks explorers, SipScout! Join or order a single kit by July 31st, 2023 to get our rum tasting and Painkiller cocktail kit – then join Evan and Suzanne on August 11th for a virtual party and cocktail class to learn about all of these rum cocktails and more!
Shake It UP
Classic rum perfection right here! Take a Daiquiri Time Out, you’ve earned it. Shake up the classic 1 oz lime, 3/4 simple syrup, 2 oz rum Daiq or jazz it up with Evan’s Thai inspired Tom Khacktail. Split it up into small glasses for a little Snaiquiri fest! How very bartender-y of you to have a family meeting over Snaiquiris!
The name of this cocktail translates to “the best” in Tahitian and we happen to agree! This rum drink is so darn good that in the 1950s it legit almost made us RUN OUT OF RUM. Ok so maybe I joked about the rest of the cocktails, the Mai Tai is the actual reason the rum is gone, blame Trader Vic.
Cozy Campfire Dessert
We’ve mixed up a lot of light, bright, and acid forward rum drinks but as the sun sets, let’s light the campfire on the beach and kick on the slow jams to go with a little rum infused dessert.
This cozy treat isn’t just for the winter months, Hot Buttered Rum is every bit as delightful while sipped campfire-side. Why not prep a batch and bring it on your next camping trip to up your camping cocktail game?
Our version of the Espresso Martini uses aged rum to add richness and depth–it is so decadent we simply cannot handle it. A perfect rum cocktail to end the meal and pair with a s’more (hey it’s summer and that’s all we want for dessert, thanks).
Everyday can be a rum day!
Thirsty for more rum recipes? Nip on over to the rum cocktail page on our blog and then continue your rum adventure: pick up one of these fab rum reads and get ready to have this summer’s hottest home bar!
Jena is an event host & contributing writer for The Crafty Cask, as well as an award-winning bartender, cocktail educator, Cicerone Certified Beer Server, and Executive American Whiskey Steward. Based in NYC, Jena has been working in the craft alcohol world for the last 15 years with recipes appearing in Manhattan restaurant/bars & multiple publications. She is the 2019 Nikka Perfect Serve Global Runner Up and a 2020 Cognac Connection winner.