Rum Runner: 3 Easy Recipes for the Fruity Tiki Cocktail

Rum Runner
The Spruce
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
209 Calories
0g Fat
19g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 209
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 1g
Calcium 11mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Rum Runner was created in the 1950's at the Tiki Bar of Holiday Isle in Islamorada, Florida. It's popular drink, filled with fruits and rum. It can either be shaken or blended and no matter how you decide to mix up your Rum Runner, it is a delicious tiki cocktail.

As we often see with tropical drinks, it seems like there are a million ways to make the same cocktail and rarely do two recipes agree. The Rum Runner is no exception though there are a few elements that most (certainly not all) recipes do agree on: rum and banana and blackberry liqueurs, and grenadine.

From there, we see can pineapple or orange juices (or both), one or two rums (sometimes spiced or coconut), and the occasional use of falernum, among other things. For this reason, I've included three of my favorite Rum Runner recipes. They are each unique, and you may find that you enjoy one more than the others.

It doesn't matter which Rum Runner is 'original' or 'the best,' because the journey in finding your perfect Rum Runner recipe is half the fun!


Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together

An Easy and Fruity Rum Runner

This Rum Runner recipe may have one of the longest ingredient lists, but notice that each is poured equally. That makes it an easy drink to remember and make!

Two styles of rum are used in this recipe, which adds a nice foundation for all the fruits. Some drinkers may prefer to use a spiced rum rather than a dark and others may like a coconut rum like Malibu instead of a light rum.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Rum Runner Ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    pour ingredients into shaker
     The Spruce
  3. Shake well and strain into a hurricane glass over fresh ice.

  4. Garnish with fruit!

    Rum Runner
    The Spruce


  • If you're throwing a party, set all of these ingredients out on the bar counter and simply pour 1 shot from each bottle (except the grenadine). It makes serving this Rum Runner super easy!

Recipe Variation

  • Make this rum runner a blended beverage by pouring the ingredients into a blender with about 3/4 cup of ice and blending until smooth.

Watch Now: A Refreshing Rum Runner Heavy on the OJ

A Rum Runner Heavy on the OJ

Whether or not you enjoy this Rum Runner recipe more is going to depend on your taste for orange juice. That is the dominant flavor of this drink as it outweighs all of the other ingredients combined. You might think of this as a rum take on the Tequila Sunrise.

It is a nice drink, though. The rum, blackberry brandy, and banana liqueur nicely complement the fresh orange, and their sweetness offsets the tart citrus.

I also enjoy this recipe because it's super easy and requires far fewer ingredients. Try it in the blender as well; it makes a fantastic frozen drink!

To make this drink, combine 1 1/2 ounces rum with 1/2 ounce each blackberry brandy and crème de banana with 3 ounces orange juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add a dash of falernum, shake, and strain into a chilled hurricane glass.

Tip: If you cannot find falernum - an almond, ginger, lime, and spiced sugar syrup - that is used in many rum cocktails, use grenadine instead.


Watch Now: Degroff's Classic Rum Runner Recipe

A Rum Runner With Classic Style

If you do not own a copy of Dale DeGroff's The Craft of the Cocktailyou are missing out on great recipes like this Rum Runner. It is completely different than all others, but that's what makes it so great!

You will find that DeGroff's recipe is decidedly lighter because it skips the heaviness of orange juice and opts for refreshing pineapple instead. It also features two rums - of which I recommend choosing wisely and use the 'good stuff' - and brings in that rich texture of an egg white.

All of these elements give DeGroff's Rum Runner a classic style that is untouched in most modern renditions of this cocktail. Whip this version up when you want to impress your guests.

To make this drink, muddle a piece of lime in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, so it is lightly bruised. Add 1 ounce each light and medium rums, pineapple juice, and simple syrup as well as 1/2 ounce lime juice and an egg white. Shake vigorously (more than usual to properly mix the egg) and strain into a tall glass with ice. Garnish with tropical fruit.

How Strong Are the Rum Runner Cocktails?

Rum-filled tiki cocktails are not known to be the lightest drinks though they will be as strong as you want to make them. If you pour stronger rum or use less juice, you will naturally get a stronger drink.

To make the math simple, let's assume we pour each of these Rum Runner recipes with only 80-proof rums, a 60-proof banana liqueur, and a 50-proof blackberry liqueur. This is how they weigh in on alcohol content:

  • Rum Runner (first listed): 21 percent ABV (42 proof)
  • Rum Runner (heavy on the OJ): 14 percent ABV (28 proof)
  • Rum Runner (Dale DeGroff): 14 percent ABV (28 proof)

What's the difference? The first recipe uses an equal amount of everything and includes two rums with two liqueurs. The juices in the other recipes make up most of the volume and bring the drinks' potency down significantly.