Mixing Rum

Mention mixing rum in the company of a “rum enthusiast” and you should immediately prepare yourself for a storm. Purists everywhere will argue that rum is created to drink “neat” or at most on the rocks. They are correct in the fact that over the years, many aged rums have become a thing of beauty to be sipped neat. However, there are plenty of rums out there that beg to be mixed, and many that even the distillers say is for mixing.

Mixing Rum

Case in point, Caribbean white rums.

It was in fact Christopher Columbus who could be called the “Father of Rum” inadvertently. It was Columbus that introduced the Caribbean on his second trip to the new world in 1643, to sugarcane, and unknowingly led to the creation of rum. Those early years before it was learned by accident that ageing smoothed out the rum, mixing was almost mandatory. The rum was so rough that the only way to drink it, with exception to the burly roughneck sailors, was mixing.

Over the years rum has changed from what it was originally thought to be a poor mans drink to probably the most popular mixed cocktail choice in the world. If you can believe it, it’s more popular mixed than whiskey. Land on any Caribbean Island, or Hawaiian Island, and what you are greeted with is made with rum. Mai Tai, Rum Runner, Rum Punch, Mojito, it’s always rum.

Today as you walk the long isle of rums, you notice that there are many more flavored white types of rum today. This is a trend in Vodka and Gin as well, opening the door to heaven for all bartenders. Lets take a peak at what you can do to tempt your taste buds with rum.

Simple Rum cocktails

The simplest and highly favored “simple” mixed rum cocktail is of course the rum and coke. You can dress it up with lime or a little umbrella, but it’s still simple. This cocktail works well with white rum, dark rum and spiced rum.

Spiced Rum cocktails

One of the most called out drinks in bars today is “Captain and Coke”, made with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum has held the market share for many years, but lately is getting boarded and plundered by some of the “new guys”. These new-spiced rums aren’t as sweet as the Captains, mainly because they are produced with mellow aged rums or blended un-aged with aged. Not to “name drop” but two of those new guys in town are Cruzan 9 and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.

Here are couple spiced rum cocktails for you to try. Keep in mind, these are a couple of 100’s, so reach out to your favorite bartender, and he surly can make a suggestion or two.

A Pirate’s Grog

Combine a shot (or two) of spiced rum with ½ oz. of sour mix, 1 tsp. Sugar, couple dashes of bitters, 3 oz.’s of cold lemon tea, and soda water. Give her a toss in a shaker with ice and pour over fresh ice in a glass. Guaranteed to prepare anyone for walking the plank.

More than likely your parents and or grandparents were familiar with the “sidecar”. Today this classic is spiced up (pun intended), to todays version, The Swizzle”.

Combine shot or two of spiced rum, once of pineapple juice, half ounce of simple syrup and fresh lime juice, splash of port wine and a couple hits of bitters in a glass and “swizzle”. Add a wedge of pineapple and sip to your nearest island.

Rum Punch

There are so very many renditions of the rum punch, as anyone that has vacationed in the Caribbean or enjoyed a cruise can tell you. This is an easy cocktail to drink, especially when temperatures start to rise. With some reggae music like Bob Marley, these drinks can completely change view of the world, something we all could use lately. Let’s take a look at a couple mixes that you might not have encountered before.

First however, it’s only fair to describe the basic Rum Punch for you. You’ll see why this is such a easy drink for the island resorts to offer, because it is made in batches.

Combine 2 liters of ginger ale, 2 cups spiced rum, quart of fruit punch, a quart of orange or pineapple juice, a splash of lemon juice, and a big chunk of ice, or ice cubes in a punch bowl.

A Day in Paradise is another Caribbean spiced rum favorite.

Mix 4 ounces of a light spiced rum with an ounce of Pineapple rum, like Cruzan, a dash of grenadine, an ounce or so of fresh orange juice (without the pulp) and pour over ice in a fancy glass with a stemmed cherry.


There are two well-known and quite delicious cocktails made with dark rums of the world, the Piña Colada, and the Hurricane. Rumor has it that the Piña Colada was created in Puerto Rico back in 1954 by a bartender named Ramon, and it took three months for him to “perfect it?” One can only wonder how many he had to “try” until he got it right?

The Piña Colada is made combining 1-½ ounces of dark rum with 2 ounces of Pineapple Juice combined with an ounce of Coconut Crème. This is all poured into a blender of crushed ice, blended into a “smoothie”, poured in a tulip glass with straw and pineapple wedge. Sip responsibly my friend, “brain freeze” is a horrible death.

Then there’s the classic “Hurricane” made famous in the Caribbean as well as the Florida Keys. In the United States, specifically the “Party Capitol” of the Deep South, New Orleans, and the Hurricane became famous by Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter. Back in the 1940’s Pat created this drink and served it in glasses shaped like hurricane lamps. The rest is history.