Liquorama's Guide to Classic Rum Cocktails
This guide is the final installment in our series of classic cocktails! For now, at least!
This post is all about rum! Some of the most fun and festive drinks have a rum base, and we'll learn everything we need to know about these delicious rum cocktails!
They say that rum is the oldest spirit to be discovered. The first rum distillation dates back to the early 1600s. Back then, spirits were used medicinally; however, they say that rum was the first to be manufactured for non-medicinal purposes.
I guess we can say that rum paved the way.
Before we get started, let's learn a bit about the difference between dark and light rum. The more you know, the better your cocktails will taste.
Before we get into the key differences, I should note that there are many other types of rum apart from dark and light.
Different rums include spiced rum, gold rum, navy rum, and many others. But today, let's stick to learning about dark and light rum because that's what most of these recipes will call for!
All rum is made from either sugar cane or molasses!
Now, let's get to know some specifics.
Light rum, otherwise known as white or even silver rum, is typically clear with no color and lighter in flavor than dark rum. Additionally, it's most often prepared in steel barrels.
The aging process doesn't last very long; however, light rum is typically aged for about a year.
Light rum is only clear in color because they usually go through a charcoal filtration process to remove any impurities or color.
Light rum tends to be on the sweeter and smoother side and usually tastes tropical with some light oak flavor.
Overall, the flavor tends to be very subtle and not very strong. Because of this, light rum is usually the rum of choice when it comes to making rum drinks.
It's definitely the right option for those who like their spirit on the lighter side. It's easy on the palate!
Now, on to the dark rum. It's aged for longer than light rum and is much richer in flavor in comparison.
We can thank wooden and charred oak casks for dark rum's rich color and flavor. Often, more ingredients are added to achieve a rich color. These additional ingredients are usually molasses, caramel, or burnt sugar.
There's a common misconception that dark rum automatically assumes it's aged rum. That's not always the case. Aged rum is always going to be a dark rum; however, dark rum is not necessarily an aged rum.
Unlike light rum, dark rum is usually enjoyed straight.
Rum Cocktail Time
Rum works best for those summertime cocktails, so if you miss the summer season, pop out your favorite rum and make some appetizing tropical rum cocktails.
Transport yourself to the middle of summer with one of these cocktails!
First up, we have a Mai Tai.
Let's start by giving a quick thanks to Victor J. Bergeron for inventing this classic cocktail.
The Mai Tai has been around since 1944. While many people seem to believe that the cocktail originates from Hawaii, it was actually first invented in Oakland, California, at the Trader Vic's restaurant.
For this one, you'll need the following:
- 1.5 oz white rum
- 1/2 oz orange curaçao
- 1/2 oz orgeat
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz dark rum
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 sprig of mint
Start by preparing a glass with crushed ice. Then, in a cocktail shaker, add your white rum, orange curaçao, orgeat, and lime juice. Shake well until adequately chilled. Strain into your prepared glass.
To get the classic Mai Tai gradient effect, pour your dark rum over slowly for the back of a spoon. Doing so will keep the two separated.
Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint. Serve and enjoy!
If you're a fan of blended cocktails that are creamy and bursting with pineapple goodness, you've got to make yourself this Piña Colada recipe! You won't regret it! You'll need:
- 4 oz pineapple juice
- 2 oz light rum
- 2 oz cream of coconut
- 1 pineapple wedge
- 1 maraschino cherry
You'll need to get your blender out for this one! Add your pineapple juice, light rum, cream of coconut, and roughly a cup of crushed ice in your blender. Blend thoroughly until smooth
Pour your blend into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry. If you want to make your cocktail look even more festive and fabulous, throw in an umbrella garnish.
Serve and enjoy!
It's daiquiri time! I think that daiquiris are often times misconstrued. It's a lot easier than you might think. It's also insanely refreshing! For a classic Daiquiri, you're going to need:
- 1.5 oz light rum
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- 1 lime wedge or lime twist
Some prep work! Chill a cocktail glass before starting on your cocktail.
Grab your cocktail shaker and add your light rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and a handful of ice. Shake thoroughly until the mix is well chilled. Strain into your prepared cocktail glass.
Garnish with a wedge of lime or lime twist. Serve and enjoy!
Some Daiquiri side notes
If you find yourself outdoors in the summer and want a spin on the classic, try blending your daiquiri. You can even throw in some fresh strawberries into your blender and make a delicious strawberry blender daiquiri. This may not be the classic way to make a daiquiri, but it's definitely a great way to dress your cocktail game up if you happen to have guests over poolside.
Get your serving jug out because this Rum Punch is going to have all your guests wanting refills. For this crowd-pleaser, you're going to need:
- 16 oz pineapple juice
- 16 oz orange juice
- 16 oz dark rum
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz of grenadine or simple syrup
In a jug, pitcher, or even a bowl, add your pineapple juice, orange juice, dark rum, fresh lime juice, and grenadine or simple syrup. Mix well. Let it sit in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. Let it sit for at least a couple of hours.
Pour your mixture into a glass of ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or an orange slice. Serve and watch your guests enjoy!
Some rum punch side notes
If you only happen to have light rum, don't worry. A lot of recipes call for light rum instead of dark rum, so you'll be fine swapping them out. You can also use a cup of dark rum and a cup of light rum instead of the two cups of dark rum. It's up to you!
Dark N Stormy
Now, if you're anything like me, you're probably wondering why it's called Dark and Stormy. Here's the story behind it.
The cocktail originates in Bermuda, where a sailor commented on how the color of the cocktail resembled the color of stormy rain clouds.
And one thing led to another, and the Dark N Stormy cocktail name stuck. It all feels fitting, considering Bermuda is the shipwreck capital of the world.
If you're curious about what rum was originally used in the cocktail, it was Gosling's Black Seal Rum.
Enough about the name. If you're looking for a cocktail that showcases the rum itself, a Dark N Stormy cocktail will be the one for you! Here's what you'll need for your Dark N Stormy cocktail:
- 2 oz dark rum
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- Some ginger beer
- A sprig of mint or a lime wedge
Start by chilling a cocktail glass. Once your glass is chilled, add your freshly squeezed lime juice, dark rum, and ice. Mix until well chilled. Top off with as much or as little ginger beer as you wish.
Garnish with a sprig of mint or a lime wedge. Serve and enjoy!
Remember Prohibition? Well, you know those guys that smuggled alcohol by sea and overland? Those guys were called rum runners.
And the Rum Runner cocktail was named after them!
Now let's see what the Rum Runner cocktail is all about. For this one, you'll need:
- 1 oz dark rum
- 1 oz light rum
- 2 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz banana liqueur
- 1/2 oz blackberry liqueur
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 oz grenadine
- 1 pineapple wedge
Get your cocktail shaker out for this one. In a cocktail shaker, combine your dark rum, light rum, pineapple juice, banana liqueur, blackberry liqueur, fresh lime juice, grenadine, and a handful of ice. Shake well until your mixture is chilled nicely.
Strain into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
A Hurricane is similar to a Rum Runner with some exceptions. Here's what you'll need for a tropical Hurricane cocktail:
- 1 oz light rum
- 1 oz dark rum
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1/2 oz passion fruit juice
- 1/2 oz grenadine
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (adjust to taste)
Grab your cocktail shaker. In your cocktail shaker, add your light rum, dark rum, lime juice, orange juice, passion fruit juice, grenadine, simple syrup, and ice. Shake thoroughly until well chilled. Pour over a tall glass with crushed ice.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy this tropical goodness.
You can make a Mojito with almost any spirit out there. But the original, the very first ever, was made with white rum. So here we are. This is what we'll need for a classic Rum Mojito:
- 2 oz white rum
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- Some club soda
- Roughly 5 sprigs of mint
In a shaker, muddle a few sprigs of mint and simple syrup. Once you're done muddling, add your white rum and lime juice into the shaker and give it a brief shake. Strain into a glass of ice. Top off with club soda.
Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve and enjoy!
The Blue Hawaiian, a festive, bright blue cocktail, was featured in our 4th of July Cocktails blog post, and I felt like it needed to be reintroduced. If you're looking for more vibrant cocktail recipes, check out our blog post, 14 Fun & Festive 4th of July Drinks.
If you want to make an eye-catching cocktail, try out this Blue Hawaiian.
The Blue Hawaiian is a fun and tropical option! You're going to need the following:
- 2 parts pineapple juice
- 1 part light rum
- 1 part blue curaçao
- 1 part cream of coconut
- Some pineapple slices
- Some maraschino cherries
In a blender, combine your pineapple juice, light rum, blue curaçao, cream of coconut, and ice! Pour into your serving glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry!
If you don't feel like blending anything, you could also mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and top over ice! Mix well for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are well combined.
A lot of these cocktails are bright and tropical. If you're looking for something less tropical and classic, try this Rum Old-Fashioned recipe. You'll need the following:
- 2 oz aged rum
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 orange twist
In a rocks glass, add your sugar cube and Angostura bitters. Muddle until a paste-like consistency forms. Then, add your ice and aged rum. Stir for a few seconds until chilled.
Garnish with an orange twist! Serve and enjoy!
Get Your Rum
Eager to make some delicious and refreshing rum cocktails? Me too!
Get your hands on some rum today! It's as easy as browsing the Liquorama website. We have a wide selection of rum, including light, dark, aged, spiced, flavored, premium, and many more!
Are you looking for something other than rum? At Liquorama, we have a broad range of all your favorite spirits, including vodka, tequila, whiskey, wine, and beer. And there's more where that came from!
Make an order online, or visit us in Upland! We're here for your convenience!