The Essential Rum Cocktails You Have to Taste

They're popular, they're delicious, and they're filled with rum

Frozen daiquiri
Johner Images/Getty Images

Have you enjoyed a made-from-scratch Daiquiri lately? What about a real Mojito? If not, then you're missing out on some of the best rum cocktails ever created. Sure, there are thousands of cocktails with a rum base, yet only a few stand out from the crowd and these are cocktails that you really need to taste.

It is not just that you can order these popular rum drinks at most bars. It's also not the fact that almost all of these recipes are very easy to make at home.

No, this collection of simple drinks shows off rum's full potential. From the brilliantly simple Dark & Stormy to the warm and inviting Hot Buttered Rum, there is a drink on this list for every occasion, season, and taste.

These rum-filled favorites have been enjoyed by drinkers for decades and show no signs of losing their appeal. Many of them have also inspired many other cocktails and by learning the basic recipes, you will soon be on your way to rum bar bliss.


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  • 01 of 10

    Fresh is Best: Daiquiri

    Classic Daiquiri

    The Spruce

    The Daiquiri is the first rum drink everyone should learn how to make. That doesn't mean finding the quickest way to open the ready-to-drink Daiquiri bottle or pouch, either.

    No, we're talking about a fresh Daiquiri mixed up the way it was meant to be. The basic recipe uses just three simple ingredients: rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. There really is no excuse not to try it for yourself.

    Though this cocktail is not complicated, it is the best example of how a great rum shines when mixed with fresh fruits. Once you learn how to make the basic Daiquiri, the flavor possibilities are endless.

  • 02 of 10

    Muddlers Ready: Mojito

    Claire Cohen

    After you have perfected the Daiquiri, it is time to try out the Mojito. It is another easy drink that requires only a few ingredients: rum, mint, lime, sugar, and soda

    If you are looking for a refreshing cocktail, this is the one for you. Few drinks can touch it in terms of freshness because of the cooling mint. After one sip, you will agree that this is one of the best cocktails of all time.

    Be sure to pull out the good rum for this cocktail (and any on this list, for that matter). You will also need a muddler, but that's a cheap and worthy investment for your bar. Soon, you'll be tossing all sorts of fruit into your Mojitos.

  • 03 of 10

    It's Tiki Time: Hurricane

    Hurricane Cocktail

    The Spruce

    Let's break away from the basic cocktails for a minute, as this favorite has an extensive ingredient list. It is filled with flavor and includes both light and dark rums, passion fruit, orange, and lime juices, simple syrup, and grenadine.

    The Hurricane is both refreshing and powerful because of the abundance of rum. It is also a perfect introduction to tiki cocktails, which are known for their complex flavors.

    Not only is the Hurricane an iconic rum cocktail, it is a signature drink of New Orleans as well. It was created at the famous Pat O'Brien's bar in the 1940's and it remains the drink to order anytime you visit.

  • 04 of 10

    Coconut-Lover's Delight: Piña Colada

    Two pina coladas with pineapple and cherry garnish

    The Spruce 

    There are two ways to make a fresh Piña Colada: blend it or shake it. Either is a fantastic summertime cocktail that can quickly become a new-old favorite.

    This tropical dream of a drink includes light rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream. While you can cheat and buy a pre-made Piña Colada, it is so much more delicious when made fresh.

    The combination of coconut and pineapple is a hit in many rum cocktails. With every sip, you'll be sent on a mental journey to the islands, so relax and enjoy!

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Warm and Cozy: Hot Buttered Rum

    Hot Buttered Rum

    The Spruce

    Rum may be associated with the tropics, but it is also known for its ability to warm the body. When the cold months of winter hit, you'll want to forget the fruit and enjoy rum in a nice, cozy cocktail or two.

    The Hot Buttered Rum has long been a favorite and it's not as difficult as some people make it out to be. Essentially, all you need is a dark rum, vanilla extract, brown sugar, butter, and a combination of winter spices. Most of that is probably in your kitchen, so you're good to go!

    If you find yourself enamored with this sweet, spicy winter warmer you can also make a large batch of the base mix. This allows you to mix up a Hot Buttered Rum anytime you need to take the chill out of your bones.

  • 06 of 10

    Iconic Rum Punch: Planter's Punch

    Planter's Punch

    The Spruce

    Rum and punch go hand in hand and we're not so concerned about quantity when we talk about punch here. Instead, in most cases, a rum punch is a tall, refreshing mixed drink that includes a lot of fruit juices.

    The classic Planter's Punch is a perfect example and which fruits go into it is really a matter of personal taste. Some punch fans prefer pineapple, others like passion fruit, while others like to pour a medley of fruits.

    No matter how you decide to flavor your Planter's Punch, it's a great summertime drink. And, yes, any of these rum punch recipes can easily be converted into a party-sized punch.

  • 07 of 10

    Happy Hour Drinks: Dark & Stormy

    Dark and stormy cocktail
    Jamie Grill/Getty Images

    What do you want when you sit down after a long day in the office? A tall, refreshing drink that's super easy to pour. That is why rum drinks like the Dark & Stormy are the perfect candidates for happy hour.

    Ginger beer is the star attraction of the Dark & Stormy. ​The snappy spice plays so well with the sweetness of Gosling's Black Seal Rum that you would swear the two were meant for each other. 

    This drink is a must for any rum lover, especially when laziness comes creeping in. It does not get much easier than pouring two ingredients into a glass.

  • 08 of 10

    Enjoy a Rum Sour: Cable Car

    Tony Abou-Ganim's Cable Car - Spiced Rum Cocktail Recipe
    A modern classic, the Cable Car Cocktail is a great spiced rum sour. Robert Benson/Aurora/Getty Images

    We have covered almost every style of popular rum cocktail the rum sour. This drink family is exactly what it sounds like and one of the great examples is a modern classic known as the Cable Car.

    This recipe uses spiced rum - specifically Captain Morgan - as the base. It also requires a fresh lemon sour, which you'll have no trouble making and find quite useful for other drinks. Like many modern sours, it also calls for orange curacao, though any orange liqueur will do.

    What defines a sour drink? Essentially, it is a base liquor - whiskey, rum, etc. - with a sour and a sweet element. As you can see in these other recipes, rum is the perfect candidate for this flavor combination.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Fun and Fancy: Yaka Hula Hickey Dula

    Yaka Hula Hickey Dula Cocktail Recipe
    A fun name and an easy rum and pineapple martini, the Yaka Hula Hickey Dula is a cocktail you can't miss. Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

    It's likely that you haven't heard of this drink, yet it's one that you won't soon forget for a number of reasons. First of all, you get to say 'Yaka Hula Dickey Dula' and that alone is reason enough to mix it up.

    Then, you get to consider the fascinating combination of rum and dry vermouth​, only this time, it's accented with pineapple. You may not think so right now, but this pairing works very well.

    Rum does not get mixed with vermouth often because we typically don't associate it with dry aperitif-worthy drinks. And yet, as any of these recipes prove, it is a viable option and this is great news for rum lovers who want to enjoy a martini-like drink that is not sweet.

  • 10 of 10

    It's Not Rum, It's Cachaca: Caipirinha


    The Spruce


    It would be impossible to share the best rum cocktails without including the Caipirinha. It features cachaca, another sugar-based distilled spirit that is often considered a Brazilian style of rum. The difference is that cachaca is made from raw sugar cane juice rather than processed molasses.

    Either way you look at it, the Caipirinha is one of the hottest drinks in the world and it has long been considered Brazil's national drink. It is to cachaca what the Mint Julep is to bourbon and that is why it's so important.

    The drink itself is beyond simple: muddle lime and sugar, then add cachaca. In its simplicity, the Caipirinha opens the door for an array of variations. By using different fruits, it can take on an entirely unique flavor profile and it is a lot of fun to play with.