Rum Runner Cocktail

Rum Runner
The Spruce
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
332 Calories
0g Fat
37g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 332
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 32mg 159%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 139mg 3%
*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 1950s at the Tiki Bar of Holiday Isle in Islamorada, Florida. It's a popular tropical cocktail filled with fruits and rum. You can either shake or blend it, and no matter how you mix it up, the rum runner's always a delicious drink.

With tropical drinks, it's very common that the mix is reinterpreted in many different ways, and rarely do two recipes agree. The rum runner is a perfect example, though there are a few elements that most (not all) recipes agree on: rum, banana and blackberry liqueurs, and grenadine. From there, recipes include pineapple or orange juices (or both), one or two rums (sometimes spiced or coconut), and the occasional use of falernum, among other things. 

Since they are diverse, here you'll find three unique rum runner recipes to try. It really doesn't matter which rum runner is "original" or "the best" because the journey to finding your ideal rum runner is half the fun.

0:40

Click Play to See This Fruity Rum Runner Recipe Come Together

An Easy Fruity Rum Runner

This rum runner recipe may have one of the longest ingredient lists, but most are poured equally, so it's an easy drink to remember and make. It combines two styles of rum, which is a nice foundation for the fruity combination of banana, blackberry, orange, and pineapple. Some drinkers like to replace the dark rum with spiced rum or switch to a coconut rum instead of pouring light rum.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce light rum

  • 1 ounce dark or aged rum

  • 1 ounce banana liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce blackberry liqueur, or blackberry brandy

  • 1 ounce pineapple juice

  • 1 splash grenadine

  • Variety of fresh fruit, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Rum runner ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Pour ingredients into a shaker
     The Spruce
  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a hurricane glass over fresh ice.

  5. Garnish with fruit and enjoy.

    Rum runner with ice and garnished with fruit
    The Spruce

Recipe Variation

0:32

Watch Now: A Refreshing Rum Runner Heavy on the OJ

A Rum Runner Heavy on the OJ

If you enjoy orange juice cocktails, this is a great rum runner recipe. It requires fewer ingredients, so it's super easy to make. The rum, blackberry brandy, and banana liqueur complement the fresh orange nicely, and their combined sweetness offsets the tart citrus. Try it in the blender as well; it makes a fantastic frozen cocktail.

To make this drink, combine 1 1/2 ounces of rum with 1/2 ounce each of blackberry brandy and crème de banana, and 3 ounces of 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.
0:39

Watch Now: DeGroff's Classic Rum Runner Recipe

A Classically Styled Rum Runner

Dale DeGroff's "The Craft of the Cocktail" is a book filled with amazing recipes like this rum runner. It's entirely different than all others, and that's what makes it great.

This drink has a lighter profile because it skips the heaviness of orange juice and opts for refreshing pineapple instead. It also features two rums and introduces the rich texture of an egg white. All of these elements give DeGroff's rum runner a classic style that's lost in most modern renditions of the cocktail.

To make this drink, muddle a piece of lime in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until lightly bruised. Add 1 ounce each of light and medium rums, pineapple juice, and simple syrup, as well as 1/2 ounce of 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.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk for foodborne illness.

How Strong Are the Rum Runner Cocktails?

Rum-filled tropical cocktails are generally not light drinks, though they can 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 estimate the alcohol content of these rum runner recipes, let's assume you pour 80-proof rums, a 60-proof banana liqueur, and a 50-proof blackberry liqueur. The first recipe includes two rums and two liqueurs, so it comes in at a rather potent 25 percent ABV (42 proof), or similar to a fruity martini. The other recipes include more juice per volume and are a more relaxing 14 percent ABV (28 proof). That's more like drinking a glass of wine.

Who Invented the Rum Runner?

The Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in Key West, Florida, claims to be the originator of the rum runner cocktail. Rumor has it, the bar was overstocked with rums and a bartender invented the fruity drink in 1972 to use up both light and dark rums. It was likely named after the individuals and their ships that transported illegal liquor, especially during Prohibition.