16 Classic Rum Cocktails

Rum is a spirit that shines in many iconic and flavorful cocktails, from classic drinks like the daiquiri and mojito to modern twists and fruity concoctions. The versatility of rum allows it to be paired with a wide range of mixers, from cola and ginger beer to pineapple juice and coconut cream.

Whether you prefer simple rum and coke or elaborate cocktails featuring multiple spirits, there’s something for everyone. In the world of rum, there are many different types, including light rum, aged rum, and dark rum.

The Coquito

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The Coquito, a classic Puerto Rican cocktail, is an innovative and festive drink perfect for the holiday season. This creamy rum concoction takes inspiration from eggnog, but with a tropical twist. Its rich, frothy texture and sweet flavor profile make it a crowd-pleaser, capable of serving a large group. The use of sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, and coconut milk amplifies its creamy character, while the addition of tequila provides an unexpected kick. With these unique ingredients combined, the Coquito is an unforgettable holiday cocktail that’s sure to impress.

Strawberry Daiquiri

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Strawberry daiquiris, a classic cocktail that has captured hearts everywhere. While you can easily purchase mix at stores, making homemade versions from frozen strawberries is surprisingly simple and yields a far superior taste experience. The beauty of this drink lies in its versatility – it’s just as easy to create a ‘virgin’ version (alcohol-free) as it is to spike it with white rum for the adults. This flexibility makes it perfect for gatherings where both kids and grown-ups can enjoy the refreshing blended fruit cocktail. To add a touch of elegance, garnish your strawberry daiquiri with a fresh strawberry and a lime wedge, just like at a fine restaurant.

Old Cuban Cocktail

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For aficionados of the French 75 cocktail, the Old Cuban is a must-try rum-based classic that has gained popularity over the years. Although it’s a relatively modern creation, having been invented in 2001 by New York bartending legend Audrey Saunders, its unique blend of flavors and refreshing bubbly twist have cemented its status as a new classic. The cocktail’s essence lies in its harmonious marriage of a mojito with champagne, making it a perfect treat for the senses. To craft this delightful concoction, you’ll need aged rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and either champagne or Prosecco.

Hurricane Cocktail

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The origins of the Hurricane cocktail date back to 1940s New Orleans, where a clever bartender named Pat O’Brien experimented with a surplus of rum. His creation not only became an instant hit but also found its perfect vessel in a glass shaped like the iconic hurricane lamp. The classic recipe combines two types of rum – dark and white – with passion fruit syrup, orange juice, fresh lime juice, and a hint of grenadine. This well-balanced blend strikes a harmonious chord between boozy indulgence and fruity refreshment, making it accessible to both seasoned cocktail enthusiasts and light drinkers alike.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail

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A refreshing Dark and Stormy cocktail awaits if you have ginger beer on hand. This highball drink shares similarities with the Moscow Mule, but its foundation is rum rather than vodka. Rumour has it that this concoction was born in Bermuda around 1918 when British naval officers sought relief from seasickness by combining ginger beer with dark rum. The harmonious union of these ingredients seemed only natural! To craft the classic Dark and Stormy, you’ll need just three staples: dark rum, ginger beer, and a squeeze of lime juice. The earthy undertones of the rum, complemented by notes of brown sugar and vanilla, create a delightful cocktail that’s simply perfect with its humble ingredient list.

Classic Daiquiri

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The origins of the classic Daiquiri can be traced back to Cuba, where an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox allegedly created the cocktail during a party. According to legend, Cox found himself running low on gin and improvised by combining Bacardi rum with fresh lime juice and sugar. He dubbed his new creation the Daiquiri, likely inspired by the nearby beach. The beauty of this timeless cocktail lies in its simplicity: a harmonious blend of white rum, sweet simple syrup made from sugar, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. With this recipe, you’ll have the freedom to tailor your Daiquiri to your taste preferences – whether you prefer it sweet or tart.

Between the Sheets Cocktail

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The Between the Sheets cocktail is a legendary rum-based drink that has garnered fame due to its cheeky name. While its origins are unclear, it’s believed to have originated from the Sidecar, a classic cocktail born in Paris’ Harry’s New York Bar. A blend of Cognac, rum, fresh lemon juice, and orange liqueur like Triple Sec or Cointreau creates this unique concoction. For those familiar with Cointreau, its distinctive orange perfume flavor provides a harmonious balance between sweet and bitter notes, making it an excellent choice for experimenting with this recipe. If you’re considering trying it out, now’s the perfect excuse to pick up some Cointreau.

El Presidente Cocktail

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The El Presidente, a sophisticated Cuban drink that packs a punch, is sure to impress. This rum-based cocktail is actually a spin on the classic Manhattan, but with a few key differences. One of those differences is the use of blanc vermouth, a semi-sweet and floral ingredient that adds depth to the drink. Blanc vermouth has a unique flavor profile that’s both sweet like red vermouth and dry like white vermouth, with notes of vanilla and hints of floral notes. To complete the look, garnish your El Presidente cocktail with a Luxardo cherry (or Maraschino cherry) and an orange peel for a touch of elegance. The origins of this drink date back to the 1920s, making it a true classic.

Mai Tai

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A 1940s classic, the Mai Tai rum cocktail has sadly become overly sweet over time. But fear not, for this recipe brings back its breathtaking complexity to the forefront. The original Mai Tai is a masterclass in layering flavors, combining orange liqueur (Triple Sec), rich rum, tangy fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup, and subtle almond syrup notes. For an added kick, try floating a dash of dark rum on top. Serve it over crushed ice for a refreshing twist, and don’t forget to garnish with pineapple and maraschino cherries for the perfect tropical touch.

Rum Punch

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The origins of rum punch date back to 1632, when the first printed records of this tropical delight emerged in English documents. Interestingly, the concept of rum punch is believed to have originated from India. As the centuries passed, rum punch evolved, and by the 1650s, Jamaican rum became a key component. Fast forward to the late 1800s, Planter’s Punch, featuring fresh lime juice, gained popularity in Jamaica and eventually made its way into a London magazine in 1878. This modern take on the classic rum punch recipe combines the richness of dark rum and light rum with the sweetness of orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine. To bring this refreshing drink to life, simply combine the ingredients in a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge. For an added touch, serve over crushed ice and float fresh fruit in the punch bowl for a truly festive atmosphere.

Classic Mojito

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While the origins of the classic mojito date back to the 1500s, it wasn’t until the birth of the Bacardi rum company in the 1800s that this refreshing cocktail truly gained popularity. Ernest Hemingway’s fondness for the drink in the 1930s further cemented its place in the pantheon of beloved cocktails. To craft a flawless mojito, one requires just a few essential ingredients: simple syrup or sugar, fresh mint leaves, white rum, and club soda. The key to unlocking this cocktail’s full potential lies in the gentle muddling of those fresh mint leaves using a trusty cocktail muddler. Finally, finish the drink with a sprig of mint for a visually appealing and utterly delightful beverage.

Hemingway Daiquiri

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The Ernest Hemingway daiquiri is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed by many for decades. Its connection to the literary great dates back to his frequent visits to Havana, Cuba’s Floridita bar, where he would often order this very drink. What sets this particular daiquiri apart is its use of Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice, a combination that was reportedly Hemingway’s favorite. In his version of the cocktail, bartenders would typically eschew sugar and double down on the rum, resulting in a potent concoction dubbed the Papa Doble.

Hot Buttered Rum

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The Hot Buttered Rum cocktail has a rich history dating back centuries, with its origins tied to the combination of allspice, cinnamon, and dark rum. The era of colonial America played a significant role in shaping the drink’s evolution, as early rum distilleries emerged in New England during the 1650s. This period also saw the rise of other popular cocktails like eggnog, milk punch, and the hot toddy. Interestingly, each family had its unique take on the Hot Buttered Rum recipe, often incorporating spiced rum for added depth. To recreate this classic drink, you’ll need a combination of brown sugar, salted butter, allspice, grated nutmeg, cinnamon, boiling water, and dark rum.

Jungle Bird

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The Jungle Bird cocktail is an unexpected delight, balancing the bitter notes of Campari with sweet pineapple juice to create a richly complex rum-based drink. This tropical treat is perfect for those who crave fruity flavors with depth. What sets the Jungle Bird apart from other rum cocktails is its innovative use of Campari, typically found in more classic Italian-inspired drinks, alongside fresh and fruity elements. To craft this unique cocktail, you’ll need dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, simple syrup (such as sugar or maple), and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Finish your Jungle Bird with a decorative touch by garnishing it with a sprig of pineapple leaves or a pineapple wedge, evoking the exotic jungle from which it draws its inspiration.

Cuba Libre

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The Cuba Libre’s humble ingredients – just three in total – belie its rich history, which spans over a century. This iconic rum cocktail has been a favorite among many for more than 100 years, ever since it was first mixed with rum, Coca-Cola (or another cola), and a squeeze of lime.

The name ‘Cuba Libre’ translates to ‘Free Cuba’ in Spanish, and it’s no coincidence that this rallying cry emerged as the Cuban people sought independence from Spain. Interestingly, the drink’s origins date back to 1900, when Coca-Cola first arrived on Cuban shores.

While we may not know who specifically crafted the Cuba Libre, one thing is certain: a splash of lime juice is an absolute must. And here’s a fun twist – try substituting regular rum with coconut rum for a unique flavor combination.

Our Best Rum Cocktails (+Between the Sheets Cocktail)

Gather around with loved ones and indulge in these delightful recipes. Share your thoughts on how they turn out! With a total preparation time of just 9 minutes, you can’t go wrong. This American-style drink recipe yields one serving, clocking in at approximately 290 calories per portion.

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