23 Essential Rum Cocktails You Have to Taste

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

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. While rum is a very popular base and featured in countless cocktail recipes, a few stand out from the crowd.

These are the rum recipes that you need to taste, and the collection shows off rum's full potential. From the brilliantly simple dark and stormy to the warm and inviting hot buttered rum, there is a drink on this list for every occasion, season, and taste. Drinkers have enjoyed them for decades, and many also inspired other cocktails. By learning the essential recipes, you will soon be on your way to rum bar bliss.

3:52

Watch Now: Beachside to Fireside-6 Essential Rum Cocktails

  • 01 of 23

    Daiquiri

    Classic Daiquiri

    The Spruce Eats

    The daiquiri is the first rum drink that everyone should learn how to make. That doesn't mean finding the quickest way to open the ready-to-drink daiquiri bottle, either. No, this is a fresh daiquiri mixed up with just three ingredients: rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. It's incredibly simple, and once you learn how to make the basic daiquiri, the flavor possibilities are endless.

  • 02 of 23

    Strawberry Daiquiri

    Strawberry Daiquiri

     The Spruce Eats

    Typically, cocktail variations don't outshine the original, though this may be one exception. The strawberry daiquiri is arguably just as famous as the lime daiquiri, particularly when it comes to the blended version of the two drinks. It's sweet, it's fruity, and it's boozy, so there's really nothing you won't love about this iconic summer cocktail.

  • 03 of 23

    Mojito

    Mojito

    The Spruce Eats / Claire Cohen

    The mojito is one of the most refreshing cocktails you'll have the pleasure of drinking. It's another easy drink that requires only a few ingredients: rum, mint, lime, sugar, and soda. You will also need a muddler, but that's a modest and worthy investment for your bar. After one sip, you'll discover why it's one of the best cocktails of all time, and soon, you'll be tossing all sorts of fruit into your mojitos.

  • 04 of 23

    Hurricane

    Hurricane Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats

    The hurricane is both tasty and potent because it has an abundance of rum. It is also a perfect introduction to tiki cocktails, which are known for complex flavors. The recipe includes light and dark rums, passion fruit, orange, and lime juices, simple syrup, and grenadine. Not only is this an iconic rum cocktail, but it's also a signature drink of New Orleans, created at the famous Pat O'Brien's bar in the 1940s. It remains the drink to order anytime you visit.

    Continue to 5 of 23 below.
  • 05 of 23

    Piña Colada

    Two pina coladas with pineapple and cherry garnish

    The Spruce Eats

    Whether you blend it or shake it, few drinks say "summer" like a piña colada. This tropical dream in a glass 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. Every sip takes you on a mental journey to the islands, so relax and enjoy!

  • 06 of 23

    Scorpion Bowl With Fresh Fruit

    Scorpion bowl rum punch with pineapple and mango
    S&C Design Studios

    This scorpion bowl with fresh fruit is a rum-based tiki cocktail that includes brandy, orange and lemon juices, and orgeat syrup. Pineapple and mango cubes are blended with the other ingredients to make a delicious punch that serves four.

  • 07 of 23

    Hot Buttered Rum

    Hot Buttered Rum

    The Spruce Eats

    Rum is also perfect for cozy cocktails. When the cold months of winter hit, forget the fruit and make hot buttered rum. It's not as difficult as some people make it seem. All you need is a dark rum and a few kitchen pantry staples. If you find yourself enamored with this sweet, spicy winter warmer, make a large batch of the batter, so the next round of drinks is even quicker.

  • 08 of 23

    Easy Rum Eggnog

    Easy Rum Eggnog

    The Spruce

    When it comes to classic rum cocktails, none hold a candle to eggnog. Widely thought to have originated in medieval England, the drink became especially popular in America. Rum was a key ingredient, being distilled in the colonies—and, at one time, rum was New England's most prosperous industry. George Washington famously had his own favorite eggnog recipe, with rum featuring predominantly. (Hint: it was strong.) This classic recipe is as traditional as it gets: rum, port wine, egg, simple syrup, and nutmeg. If you haven't made a cocktail with an egg before, don't be intimidated. With a strainer and a solid shaker, it's easy to do, and tastes far, far better than even the highest quality store-bought version.

    Continue to 9 of 23 below.
  • 09 of 23

    Planter's Punch

    Planter's Punch

    The Spruce Eats

    Rum and punch go hand-in-hand, and it doesn't always fill a punch bowl. In most cases, a "rum punch" is a tall mixed drink with a lot of fruit juices, such as the classic planter's punch. Which fruits go into it is a matter of personal taste. Some drinkers prefer pineapple, others like passion fruit, while others like to pour a medley of fruits. If needed, the recipe is easy to convert into a party-sized punch.

  • 10 of 23

    Jungle Bird

    Jungle Bird Cocktail

    S&C Design Studios

    What makes this rum tiki cocktail so special is the garnish. You'll use a pineapple wedge and a few leaves along with a cherry to create a "jungle bird" adornment for the glass. This drink also stands apart because while it is made with traditional rum, pineapple, and lime, it also has the addition of Campari for just the right touch of bitterness this drink needs.

  • 11 of 23

    Dark & Stormy

    Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    After a long day at work, happy hour is the time for a tall, refreshing drink that's super easy to pour. The dark and stormy is perfect for such times because it uses just two ingredients. Ginger beer is the drink's star attraction. To keep it authentic, pour Goslings Black Seal Rum and Barritt's Ginger Beer.

  • 12 of 23

    Rum and Coke

    Rum and Coke

    The Spruce Eats / Claire Cohen

    Ah, the rum and Coke; It's almost too easy to warrant a recipe. However, even the easiest drinks can become a disaster. The primary issue with this two-ingredient favorite is that people like to overpour the rum, which burns the flavor. To maintain balance, stick with a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3, and you'll never be disappointed.

    Continue to 13 of 23 below.
  • 13 of 23

    Jean Harlow Cocktail

    Jean Harlow Cocktail - Classic Rum Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Each of the six base liquors has a version of the martini. For rum, that recipe is found in the Jean Harlow cocktail. Named after the first platinum blonde movie star, this classic is a perfect dinner companion. Be sure to dress up the light rum and sweet vermouth duo with a lemon twist and express its oils into the glass.

  • 14 of 23

    Knickerbocker

    Knickerbocker Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    When you taste the Knickerbocker, it's hard to believe that this is a recipe from the mid-1800s. It's sweet and fruity, a flavor profile that many modern bartenders continue to replicate. That's why this classic cocktail remains a favorite. The rum, curaçao, and lime are sweetened with raspberry syrup, though today, it's common to use a liqueur like Chambord.

  • 15 of 23

    Cable Car

    Tony Abou-Ganim's Cable Car - Spiced Rum Cocktail Recipe

    Robert Benson / Aurora / Getty Images

    For an impressive rum sour, mix up a cable car. This modern classic uses spiced rum and requires a fresh lemon sour, which you'll have no trouble making and find quite useful for other drinks. Like many sours, it also calls for orange curaçao, though any orange liqueur will do.

  • 16 of 23

    Yaka Hula Hickey Dula

    Yaka Hula Hickey Dula Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    While you may not have heard of this drink, it's one you won't forget. Every time you make one, you get to say "Yaka Hula Dickey Dula," and that alone is a reason to mix it up. The taste is pretty amazing, too. It's a fascinating combination of rum and dry vermouth​ accented with pineapple. That's a bit unusual, but the pairing works very well.

    Continue to 17 of 23 below.
  • 17 of 23

    Caipirinha

    Caipirinha

    The Spruce Eats

    It would be impossible to discuss the best rum cocktails without including the caipirinha. It features cachaça, and while it's technically not rum, it's often thought of as Brazilian rum. No matter how you look at it, this is one of the hottest drinks in the world, and it's beyond simple: muddle lime and sugar, then add cachaça. The formula opens the door for an array of variations and it's often as easy as using different fruits.

  • 18 of 23

    Rum Runner

    Rum Runner

    The Spruce Eats

    A shining star in the tiki scene since the 1950s, the rum runner is always a fun drink to mix up. Like many of its tropical counterparts, there are many ways to make it, though you're always assured of finding a good dose of rum and lots of fruity flavors. Since no one can decide on the original recipe, you'll have to try them all to discover which you like best.

  • 19 of 23

    Surfer on Acid

    Surfer on Acid Mixed Drink With Jagermeister

    The Spruce Eats

    The best use for that bottle of coconut rum that you need to use up? Undoubtedly, it's the surfer on acid. This leisurely mixed drink has a surprisingly splendid flavor. It requires equal parts of the rum, Jägermeister, and pineapple juice, which makes it easy to remember and ensures you can't screw up the pour.

  • 20 of 23

    Chicago Fizz

    Chicago Fizz Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    The Chicago fizz is a high-class drink that offers a taste adventure like few others can provide. This pre-Prohibition cocktail recipe is a classic fizz, featuring an egg white and a touch of club soda. Underneath is an intriguing mix of dark rum and ruby port accented by a little sweet and sour.

    Continue to 21 of 23 below.
  • 21 of 23

    Nevada Cocktail

    The Nevada Cocktail
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    The Nevada cocktail is a pretty little drink and a refreshing gem. Think of it as a rum and grapefruit martini with an ideal balance of sweet and sour. Serve it up at a backyard barbecue or a spring brunch, and it's sure to delight all your guests.

  • 22 of 23

    Bacardi Cocktail

    Bacardi Cocktail

     The Spruce Eats

    In the history of rum, Bacardi played a significant role. Many of the first bartending guides specifically called for the brand or used the name when referring to rum in general. The Bacardi cocktail recipe helped make it a household name and, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, you need to pour Bacardi. It's a tasty drink, made with light rum, either lemon or lime juice, and grenadine.

  • 23 of 23

    Hot Gold Apple Cider

    Hot Gold Apple Cider

     zi3000 / Getty Images

    Invite a few friends over on a cold winter day and heat up a pot of hot gold apple cider. Spiced rum, cinnamon schnapps, and cider create an intoxicating brew that is guaranteed to warm everyone up. With a sachet of spices added, this warm drink also fills your home with a cozy, inviting aroma.