You Don’t Need to be a Pirate to Know These 9 Essential Rum Drinks

Rum is a staple in bars around the world, and for good reason (other than being delicious). Because there are a variety of types of rum, it makes the category incredibly malleable when it comes to drinks. A fine aged rum is a perfect sipper while light rums make a great cocktail ingredient (including, but not limited to Tiki drinks, of course).

With so many rum drinks out there, we decided to cut the list down a little. Below, you’ll find the rum cocktails you need to know how to make. From your standard daiquiri (and Ernest Hemingway’s personal version, the Papa Doble) to the perfect winter warmer, hot buttered rum, we’ve got you covered.

Need rum to make these drinks? Here’s a great list of starter bottles.

essential rum drinks cocktails daquiri jaime gill gettyimages 539669733
Jamie Grill / Getty


  • 1.5 oz white rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz simple syrup
  • Lime wheel, for garnish

Method: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

The Papa Doble

(Recipe found in To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Philip Greene)

  • 3.75 oz white rum
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 6 drops maraschino liqueur

Method: Blend well with ice and pour in a large glass.

essential rum drinks cocktails mai tai south china mrning post gettyimages 1092848818
South China Morning Post / Getty Images

Mai Tai

  • 1.5 oz white rum
  • .75 oz dark rum
  • .5 oz lime juice,
  • .5 oz orange curaçao
  • .5 oz orgeat
  • Mint leaf, for garnish

Method: Shake all ingredients (except dark rum) with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. Float dark rum on top and garnish with a mint leaf.

essential rum drinks cocktails hot buttered edited

Hot Buttered Rum

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 5 oz hot water
  • 1 pat no-salt butter, softened
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • .5 tsp cinnamon
  • .5 tsp vanilla extract
  • .25 tsp nutmeg
  • .25 tsp allspice

Method: Put butter and spices in the bottom of an Irish coffee mug and muddle together. Add rum, vanilla, and hot water. Stir to combine.


  • 1.5 oz white rum
  • 6-8 mint leaves (and an additional sprig for garnish)
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • Club soda, to top

Method: Muddle mint, sugar, and lime juice in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice and rum. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves.

essential rum drinks cocktails pina colada lightrocket roberto machado noa gettyimages 511770174
Robert Machado Noa / Getty Images

Piña Colada

  • 1.5 oz white rum
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz coconut cream
  • Pineapple wedge, for garnish

Method: Shake ingredients together and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge. To make it a blended drink, add ingredients and ice to a blender. Blend and pour into a goblet.

essential rum drinks cocktails darknstormy wikimedia commons
GXBltd / Wikimedia Commons

Rum and Ginger Beer

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 3.25 oz ginger beer
  • Angostura bitters
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Method: In a highball glass filled with ice, add rum and ginger beer. Add a few dashes of bitters and garnish with lime wedge.

Rum Runner

  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • .5 oz banana liqueur
  • .5 oz blackberry brandy
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • .5 oz pineapple juice
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • Dash of grenadine
  • Pineapple leaf, for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Method: Combine all ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and pineapple leaf.

essential rum drinks cocktails cuba libre lighrocket gettyimages 470791544
Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images

Cuba Libre

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 4 oz cola
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Method: Add rum, cola, and lime juice to a tall glass with ice. Stir lightly and garnish with a lime wedge.

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