Skip to main content

The Best Rum Cocktails to Make With All Of Your Favorite Rum Brands

Get the Ice, the Shakers, and the Tropical Fruit Ready For These Delicious Rum Cocktails

Congress may have declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit” in 1964, but another spirit ruled the Americas for over a hundred years before bottling fermented corn mash was even a sparkle in Kentuckian eyes.

In the 17th century, New World colonizers discovered that instead of discarding molasses, the after product of sugar cane production, they could distill it. Originally called “rumbullion” (derived from rum bouse — “good liquor”) and “kill devil” for its high alcohol content and less than savory taste, few products had more of an effect on the early history of this country. As fermenting molasses became more sophisticated, the spirit grew more refined and eminently more enjoyable.

Related Videos

To celebrate this invention and evolution, National Rum Day (observed on August 16) now extends to the entire month. August, National Rum Month, is an appropriately hot and sticky time to enjoy rum libations. Here to help us mix some of the Earth’s best rum cocktails are some of the best New World rum makers. Get your shakers ready, knives sharp, and cocktail glasses chilled. It’s time to learn the coolest rum drinks to allay the hottest days (or warm up any time of year).

Bridgetown Sour, Mount Gay

A Mount Gay Bridgetown Sour.
Mount Gay

Barbados was the likely originator of the spiced grog. It’s therefore proper to begin an article on rum month with a rum from the Caribbean island. Bottled since 1703, Mount Gay’s Black Barrel is an intense, aromatic choice aged in “deeply-charred” bourbon casks.

Contrast this bold juice with citrus and you’ve got a potent cocktail worthy to be dubbed after Barbados’ capital.


  • 1.5oz Black Barrel
  • 0.75oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.5oz vanilla syrup
  • 0.5oz almond syrup
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Method: Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Add ice, and shake. Fine strain into a chilled coupette glass.

Piña Colada, SelvaRey Rum

White, silky, and smooth with delicate notes of citrus and vanilla, SelvaRey Rum is the perfect mixer to make tropical drinks sing — Mai Tai’s, daiquiris, and the classic Piña Colada.


  • 1.5 oz. SelvaRey Coconut Rum
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • squeeze of lime

Method: Pour over ice in a rocks glass and stir.

Easy Spiced Mai Tai, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

A Sailor Jerry spiced mai thai.
Sailor Jerry

Sailor Jerry gets rum cocktail fans in on the classic Caribbean drinks with a twist on the mai tai. A true Caribbean rum, the spirit’s bold and rich spiced character offers notes of cinnamon and nutmeg with a subdued, sweet dry finish. It’s perfect for watching brilliant sunsets on the bright blue sea in the West Indies.


  • 1 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.25 oz. Orgeat (almond syrup)
  • 0.5 oz. dry Curacao

Method: Add all ingredients into a tin with a small scoop of crushed ice. Whip shake and dump into glass. Top with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Ocho Old Fashioned, Bacardí Reserva Ocho

Ocho Old Fashioned.
Bacardí Ocho

Bacardí Reserva Ocho is a higher-end version of its white rum made for both sipping and mixed cocktail. Based on the original recipe from the Bacardí family rum reserves from 1862, Bacardí Reserva Ocho has warming notes of butterscotch, nutmeg, and dried apricots. Barrel-aged for a minimum of eight years, the rum turns gold in the process. The end product’s rich, velvety body in the simple yet classic Bacardí Ocho Old Fashioned.


  • 2 oz. Bacardí Reserva Ocho
  • 0.25 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Method: Add all ingredients into a rocks glass, fill with ice and stir until well mixed and very cold. Garnish with orange peel.

Old Havana, Papa’s Pilar Rum

Old Havana from Papa's Pilar.
Papa's Pilar

It wouldn’t be an article about American rum without mention of its most famous aficionado, great American writer Ernest Hemingway.

In honor of the man who spent much of his adult life in the American tropics, Papa’s Pilar rum mixes hand-selected rums from North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean to marry them together with a proprietary solera (barreling) process. Try a sip with a nod to early 20th-century life in Cuba.


  • 1.5 oz Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Ginger beer

Method: Add rum and vermouth over rocks in an Old Fashioned glass. Fill with ginger beer. Garnish with grapefruit.

Bianca-Tini, Bianca Sweet Wine Vinegar

Bianca Sweet White Wine Vinegar and a Bianca-tini

A counterpoint to balsamic vinegar drinks, crafter Carandini has introduced Bianca, a sweet wine vinegar. Its bright and versatile flavor profile elevates original drink recipes from master mixologist Jillian Vose. In this case, the smooth, spicy flavor of Bacardí Ocho Rum entwines with sweet liqueurs to deliver a distinct twist on maybe the classic drink: the martini.

  • 0.5 tspn. passionfruit syrup
  • 0.5 oz Carandini Bianca Sweet White Vinegar
  • 0.75 oz Martini & Rossi Ambruata Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Pineau des Charentes
  • 1 oz. Bacardí Ocho Rum

Method: In a mixing glass, add liquids and fill with ice. Stir well and strain ice with a julep strainer into a Nick and Nora Glass. Express lemon oils over the top of the finished drink and discard the peel.

Daiquiri No. 88, Brugal 1888

A Daiquiri No. 88 from Brugal 1888 Rum.
Brugal 1888 Rum

Produced in the Dominican Republic for the last five generations, Brugal 1888 Doblemente Añejado premium rum offers balanced depth and smooth complexity. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks for six to eight years, the rum’s woody dryness combines with caramel, vanilla, coffee, and toffee notes.

These flavors fold in wonderfully mixed with the fruity, tart Caribbean flavors in the Daiquiri No. 88, “A daiquiri for the people.”


  • 1.5 oz. Brugal 1888
  • 0.75 oz. Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Garnish with lemon and lime twists

Pour ingredients over ice in a shaker. Pop the top on and give it a good jiggle. Serve in a cocktail glass.

Put a Bow on It

Now that you’ve got the keys, make sure to get the paper umbrellas, the tiki torches, and the lawn chairs ready for a relaxing, humid day over sweating classic rum mixers.

Editors' Recommendations

A guide to Jamaican food beyond just jerk chicken
Jamaican food is way more than just jerk chicken. Here are some staple dishes from the Caribbean nation
Ackee and saltfish, the national dish of Jamaica.

Jamaican food is often unfairly labeled as being jerk chicken and not much else, but that's hyper-generalizing a rich culinary tradition born in the heart of the Caribbean. Like Cajun food, Jamaican cuisine is a mashup of numerous great cultures, traditions, and cooking styles.

There's a tremendous mix of influences on the Jamaican table, from African cuisine to the culinary ways of places like Portugal, India, Spain, and England. Over the generations, Jamaicans have taken on a lot of these influences and turned them into something entirely distinctive with local ingredients and cooking methods. Come with us on this journey through the colorful variety of Jamaican dishes.

Read more
The 10 best cheap beers money can buy in 2023
These are the best beers for your buck
best cheap beer beers 2021

A popular, well-crafted wine is fine and liquor may be quicker, but sometimes only a beer will do. But the beer aisle can be a scary place. With hundreds of microbreweries and dozens of styles vying for space, the beer run has become a daunting errand full of acronymic complexities like ABVs and IBUs. And while we can all agree that great beer is delicious, it can also be expensive, and certain sacred occasions (such as game day) demand quantity and dependability over discovering the best new brew on the market.

This is why economically minded beer isn't going anywhere. In a world of hop-snobbery, macro brews offer a sudsy solution you don't have to think too hard about. Brewed by big, old companies with enormous marketing budgets, these well-known beer selections are thrifty and ubiquitous -- with reliably low cost, alcohol, and flavor. Refreshing for both your palate and your wallet, they're not pretending to be anything other than what they are: good, cheap beer.

Read more
Your guide to reducing inflammation: 7 essential tips
Learn about the causes of, and solutions to, inflammation
man talking to doctor diagnosis

Chemical reactions constantly take place in the human body. This is referred to as the biochemical reaction process that is needed to sustain life. It's also known as metabolism, but this is more to do with chemical reactions in the cells that help convert food into energy that the body can utilize to carry out various bodily functions.

Inflammation is an essential biochemical process that has positive and negative effects on the human body. It can be part of the healing process following infection or injury, or it can cause conditions such as arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. But what is inflammation, what causes inflammation, and how can it be reduced in the body?  
What is inflammation?

Read more