Cocktails Lists Spirits

Five Essential Rum Cocktails

Rum is a bartender’s best friend. It’s a spirit that has a ton of potential, serving as the base for cocktails that can range from incredibly boozy and strong, to sweet and fruity.

For any home bartender, we’d recommend having two different types of rum on hand: a classic white rum, and a dark rum. Both will offer something a little different in your cocktails, and some tiki classics even require light and dark rum together.

For those that are just getting started using rum, here are five classic rum based cocktails that every home bartender should know.

Classic Daiquiri

the absolute measure of a good bartender. Truth is, the daiquiri is one of the simplest cocktails imaginable, but can also be one of the greatest; it all comes down to preparation.


  • 2 oz of WHITE rum (a true daiquiri uses white rum and nothing else)
  • 3/4 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp of organic cane sugar

Method: Add lime juice and sugar to a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve. Add rum and ice, shake vigorously and pour into a chilled coupe glass, you want the daiquiri to be cold.


Another hugely popular drink that is very easy to get wrong. The secret is in the preparation of both the limes and the mint. By muddling the limes first with the sugar, and then ‘clapping’ the mint, you open up the flavours and give the mojito a real refreshing taste.


  • 2oz white rum (Cuban rum is the preference)
  • 1/2oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 mint leaves
  • Club soda

Method: Muddle lime juice with the sugars in a highball glass. Clap, or smack, the mint leaves and place them in the glass. Add rum, and crushed ice (must be crushed) and stir vigorously ; top with club soda and garnish with spent lime wedges and sprigs of mint.

Piña colada

The piña colada is a classic Puerto Rican cocktail made with pineapple juice, white rum and cream of coconut. The classic version from the 1950s is blended, but modern interpretations have also taken to shaking the mix as well. This recipe sticks with the classic version, and serves up a batch of around six drinks, after all piña colada’s are meant for a party!


  • 2 1/4 cups of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 can (15 oz) cream of coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups white rum
  • 6 cups crushed ice
  • pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry for garnish

Method: In a pitcher combine pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled. For individual servings, add a generous cup of mixture and 1 cup ice to a blender; or if using a large blender you can add the whole mixture and six cups of ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into chilled highball glasses. Add pineapple wedge and cherry for garnish.

Mai Tai

The perfect embodiment of tropical paradise in a glass, but if done poorly can be overly sweet and nearly undrinkable. Stick to the basics with this one, it doesn’t need any variations on the classic. The hardest part of a Mai Tai will be finding the Orgeat.


  • 2oz aged dark rum
  • 3/4oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2oz orange curacao
  • 1/4oz rich simple syrup (easy to make at home, 2 parts sugar to 1 part water)
  • 1/4oz Orgeat
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Method: Mix all ingredients except for the mint into a cocktail shaker and top with crushed ice. Shake vigorously and pour the entire contents (ice included) into a double old fashioned glass. Top with mint sprig as a garnish, as with the mojito ‘clap’ the mint to release more flavour.


The Hurricane is a classic New Orleans cocktail dating back to the 1940s. The first Hurricane was concocted at Pat O’Brien’s  where the bartenders devised the creation when looking for ways to reduce their overwhelming surplus of rum. It was an instant hit!


  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine
  • Orange slice and cherry, for garnish

Method: Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well. Fill a Hurricane Glass 3/4 full of ice and strain the cocktail mixture into the glass. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

1 comment

  1. These five classic rum-based cocktails are a good way to start for a beginner home bartender. Piña colada and Mojito are particularly wonderful. This article is amazing. Also, having two different types of rum on hand is a wonderful suggestion. Many people will find this useful. Thank you very much.


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