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15 Classic Rum Drinks You Need to Add to Your Repertoire

Rum is for more than cruise ships and beach houses! Dust off your shakers and gather your limes, because these classic rum drinks are back on the scene in a big way.

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Pina Colada

The pina colada is fabled to have been invented by Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi in an effort to boost his ship’s morale. You can boost the morale at home when you celebrate National Piña Colada Day on July 10!

Like the daiquiri, modern versions of the pina colada are fresh from a blender. But here’s how to make the real deal.

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Traditional cocktail daiquiriShyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock


This classic rum cocktail owes its origins to American mining engineer Jennings Cox. Legend has it that Cox was making gin sours for his guests, and upon running out of gin, decided to substitute rum rather than ruin the party.

Though many beachfront bars serve this cocktail as a slush, the classic version contains only 1-1/2 ounces of white rum, 3/4 ounce of lime and 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, shaken, strained and served in a chilled glass. For something fruity, check out this peach daiquiri.

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Dark and Stormy Rum Cocktail with Lime and Ginger BeerBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

Born in Bermuda, this cocktail was a match between the British Royal Navy’s endeavor in brewing ginger beer (a last-ditch effort to stop sailors from drinking so much) and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

Think of the Dark ‘n’ Stormy as a slightly elevated rum and cola. It’s 2 ounces of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and a splash of ginger beer. That’s it. It can be this easy all the time! Find more recipes for cocktails that only use two ingredients.

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Mojito cocktail with lime and mint in highball glass on a wood table. Blue background.voloshin311/Shutterstock


The best thing about this cocktail is its versatility. The original was invented in Havana, Cuba, but you can now find fresh takes like the maple blackberry mojitoblueberry mojito and Dirty Mojito made with gold rum and raw sugar.

If you’re old-school, the classic mojito recipe calls for lime wedges, sugar, mint sprigs, light rum and club soda. Here’s how to make a garnish, too.

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Hemingway Special, an any time cocktail.Maurese/Shutterstock

El Floridita Daiquiri

Invented by the legendary Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, who poured 10 million daiquiris, this cocktail is also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri. Ernest Hemingway loved daiquiris so much, he would order doubles, earning his order the name “Papa Doble.” (Drink too many Papa Dobles and you might need these hangover cures the next morning.)

Hemingway liked his drinks served blended or frozen, but today the Hemingway Daiquiri is usually served straight up. Combine 2 ounces of white rum, 1/4 ounce of maraschino liqueur, 3/4 ounce of grapefruit juice, 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice and a splash of simple syrup. Then, shake and strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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Bartender finished decorating his cocktail with mint and orange sliceMaksym Fesenko/Shutterstock

Planter’s Punch

Making its way to America from Jamaica, this cocktail’s recipe was inexplicably written in verse in every magazine that published the drink. Here’s the recipe from the Kansas Star in 1903: “One of sour, one of sweet, two of strong, and one of weak.”

In case that means nothing to you, the recipe calls for 3 ounces of dark rum, 3/4 ounces of fresh lime juice, 1 ounce of simple syrup, 1 spoonful of grenadine and 3 dashes of bitters. The drink is shaken and served over crushed ice in a Collins glass, finished off with a dash of soda water and a mint sprig.

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Homemade Alcoholic Hurricane Cocktail Drink with Rum and Orange JuiceBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock


This rum drink is so popular in New Orleans, it’s become an icon for Mardi Gras. Pat O’Brien claims to have invented this drink at his speakeasy, where the password to get in was “storm’s brewin’.” He created the Hurricane because he had to move through the rum he was forced to buy from his liquor distributor before he could get more scotch and whiskey.

Despite its castoff origins, this drink is delicious. Here’s how to make the original Hurricane drink.

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Lemon Fruit Lime Caipirinha of Brazilgephoto/Shutterstock


It’s not technically a rum-based drink, but the caipirinha is made with rum’s close cousin: cachaça. Rum is made from molasses, a by-product of sugar cane juice, while cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane. It’s slightly funkier than rum, with grassy notes and a herbaceous smell. The caipirinha was originally invented as a drink to ward off the flu, made with lemon, garlic and honey.

To make a caipirinha, cut half a lime into wedges and muddle the lime with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Then, fill your glass with ice and add 2 ounces of cachaça. Easy!

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Mai Tai, classic cocktaillhmfoto/Shutterstock

Mai Tai

When Victor Jules Bergeron (also known as Trader Vic) first served this drink to friends from Tahiti, one of them exclaimed “Mai tai-roa aé!” which translates to “Out of this world! The best!” It was all mai tai from then on. Some people say Trader Vic didn’t invent the original Mai Tai, to which he has responded: “Anybody who says I didn’t create this drink is a dirty stinker.” So there!

Don’t let modern-day versions of this cocktail fool you. This is how to make a real mai tai. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a fresh lime peel, which symbolize a palm tree and an island.

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Cuba Libre or long island iced tea cocktail with strong drinksSunny Forest/Shutterstock

Long Island Iced Tea

Look, we can’t make a list of classic rum drinks and not include this cocktail. Invented by a gentleman named “Old Man Bishop” during Prohibition, you too will feel like an old man after a couple of these.

To make a Long Island Iced Tea, you’ll need 1 ounce each of light rum, vodka, tequila and gin. Here’s the complete step-by-step guide for home bartenders.

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The Cable CarAndreas Argirakis/Shutterstock

Cable Car

It’s not all tiki drinks and coconut concoctions for rum. The Cable Car is a classic rum sour, elegant and delicious. Invented by Tony Abou-Ganim, it’s named after the cable car tracks by the bar he worked at in San Francisco.

Pour 1-1/2 ounces of Captain Morgan spiced rum, 1 ounce of lemon juice, 3/4 ounces of curaçao and 0.5 ounces of simple syrup into a shaker. Then, shake with ice and strain into a coupe rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. Garnish with an orange peel spiral. Don’t forget to check out our collection of the best coconut rum drinks.

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Club cocktail El President's cocktail is on the bar in the nightclub. Shyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock

El Presidente

Depending on your politics, this cocktail is either named after Cuban president Mario García Menocal, who was in office from 1913-1921, or Gerardo Machado, president from 1925-1933. In any case, it’s a sophisticated rum cocktail.

To mix one at home, pour 1-1/2 ounces of rum, 3/4 ounces of orange curaçao, 3/4 ounces of dry vermouth and a dash of grenadine into a shaker. Then shake, strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. Find more vintage cocktails deserve a comeback.

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Painkiller fruity tropical rum drink on the beach in St. John, USVI, Virgin Islands, CaribbeanAmy Laughinghouse/Shutterstock


This classic tiki cocktail was invented by English bartender Daphne Henderson at her bar “The Soggy Dollar,” so-called because the only way you could get to it was to swim there.

Combine 2 ounces of Pusser’s Rum, 4 ounces of pineapple juice, 1 ounce orange juice and 1 ounce cream of coconut in a cocktail shaker.  Shake and pour into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and let your soggy sorrows melt away!

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Three Dots and a DashCourtesy Jeff Marini

Three Dots and a Dash

This cocktail is an absolute tiki classic. Invented by Donn Beach, the name means “Victory” in morse code. It’s also the namesake of the incredibly popular tiki bar in Chicago.

It contains three types of rum, so might be a tough one to make at home. But take a closer look at the garnish: three maraschino cherries and a piece of pineapple. It’s a symbol of the drink’s namesake.

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Cold cocktail drink with ice and pieces of juicy lime in a glass on a dark brown background.Natali Ximich/Shutterstock

Corn ‘n’ Oil

What a name, what a drink. This cocktail gets its dubious title from the Cruzan Black Strap Rum that is floated on the top of the drink, making it look like a dark oil spill. Don’t be turned off by the name—this cocktail is all molasses-goodness.

Combine 1 ounce of dark rum, 1-1/2 ounces of falernum and 3/4 ounce of lime into a shaker. Shake with ice, and strain into a chilled Collins glass. Add crushed ice, and then float one ounce of Black Strap Rum and a dash of bitters on top.

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Maggie Ward
Maggie’s background in the arts gave her a penchant for collaborative communication and the pursuit of conveying ideas in a clear, striking way. Outside of writing for Taste of Home, Maggie loves playing the piano and writing music, as well as performing with various bands and theatre productions around the city of Chicago.