11 Easy Rum Recipes To Memorize for Bartenders

Before I started bartending, my knowledge of rum cocktails stopped at Malibu and party punch. Other, crazier things have happened but my rum knowledge was limited.

Since our fine art of crafting cocktails and bartending requires more than just pouring coconut flavored rum into a solo cup, you’ll need to know a few of the most popular, top, and essential rum drinks.

Today, we’ll explore classic rum cocktails, a powerful tiki drink, and other recipes that will be sure to impress during your first interview, day on the job, or regulars.

1. Jungle Bird

Recipe via The Spruce Eats | Image via Canva

The Jungle Bird’s appearance is as vibrant as its backstory and flavor.

It was first served to Kuala Lumpur Hilton guests as a welcome drink in the 1970s. This Jungle Bird was made at the hotel’s Aviary Bar by a resident bartender. And since it was served out of a bird-shaped porcelain mug, we think it’s perfectly named.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces dark rum
  • .75 ounce Campari
  • 5 ounces pineapple juice
  • .5 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • .5 ounce simple syrup
  • Pineapple wedge and leaves, garnish
  • Maraschino cherry, garnish

Instructions

  • Pour the rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Strain over a big, fresh rock in a rocks glass. Make it look like a jungle bird with pineapple wedges adorned with cherries and pineapple leaves.

2. Daiquiri

Recipe via Liquor.com | Image via Canva

Baby bartenders, don’t let the daiquiri intimate you. Save that for the veteran bartender who always makes you nervous.

Besides being easy to make, it’s also one of the most refreshing rum cocktails a bartender should know (and try)!

When it comes to Cuban Daiquiri, use only powdered sugar, lime juice, rum, and cracked ice. Use strawberry puree for a sweeter drink.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • .75 ounce demerara syrup
  • Lime twist, garnish

Instructions

  • Shake the rum, lime juice, and demerara sugar syrup until well chilled in a shaker with ice. Strain and garnish!

3. Rum Punch

Recipe via Creative Culinary | Image via Times Food

Punch actually comes from a Sanskrit word derived from “five”. Traditionally, punch drinks were made with five ingredients; alcohol, sugar, lemon juice, water, and tea or spices.

In time, the drink made its way to the West Indies where it adopted its more tropical flavors. The natural sweetness of native island fruits made them an ideal match for most kinds of rum.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1 ounce coconut rum
  • 1 ounce spiced rum
  • Grenadine
  • Lime and cherry, garnish

Instructions

  • Add pineapple juice, orange juice, and rum to an ice-filled glass. Stir to combine. Pour in grenadine slowly. This will result in the grenadine sinking to the bottom. Top with 1/2 ounce of dark rum (optional). With a slice of lime and a cherry, garnish.

4. Dark ‘n Stormy

Recipe via Food and Wine | Image via Canva

This drink’s three ingredients–dark rum, ginger beer, and lime–provide a refreshing taste that everyone will enjoy. The name honestly doesn’t fit the bill and tends to scare people away so you may need to reassure your regulars if this is a new drink for them.

Tell your vodka fans that it is a close cousin of the Moscow Mule (one of the top vodka recipes you should know) and should be a pleasurable new experience for them!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • .5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 candied ginger slice
  • 3 ounces ginger beer
  • Lime wheel

Instructions

  • Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Combine the rum and lime juice. Shake well. Strain over fresh rocks into serving glass. Top off with ginger beer. Garnish with ginger slice and lime wheel.

5. Mai Tai

Recipe via Bon Appetit | Image via Canva

When you have a guest who’s having a rough day or craving a summer cocktail, the Mai Tai is a perfect rum drink to transport them straight to the beach.

Over the years, as bartenders employed bottled juices and mixers, the Mai Tai lost its original goal of showcasing top-quality rum flavors. This led to cocktails that were either overly sweet or neon in color. As a fresh, balanced, rum-forward cocktail, the Mai Tai has again found prominence with a renewed interest in Tiki cocktails.

Use dark rum to make a Rum Swizzle!

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce aged rum
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, a squeezed lime half reserved
  • .5 ounce curaçao or Grand Marnier
  • .25 ounce orgeat
  • .25 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 large mint sprig

Instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine both rums, lime juice, curaçao, Orgeat, simple syrup, and the remaining half of a lime. Add ice to shaker, cover, and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into a glass full of crushed ice. Finish with a lime wedge and mint sprig.

6. Piña Colada

Recipe via Thirsty Bartenders | Image via Canva

Another one-way ticket to paradise in your mouth is the piña colada. Vegan, vegetarian, and extra creamy, this blended beauty is perfect for summer.

To make the very best piña colada (better than bartenders who have been doing this for years!) use frozen pineapple plus your ice.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • .5 ounces pineapple juice
  • Pineapple leaves or wedges and cherry, garnish

Instructions

  • Pour the rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice into a blender. Add ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a hurricane glass. You can garnish with pineapple leaf, pineapple wedge, and cherry.

7. Hurricane

Recipe via Liquor.com | Image via Canva

You might have read a bit more about the Hurricane over on our summer cocktail list. We can’t help it—rum is simply better in the summer.

Straight out of New Orleans to your bar top’s mouth, here’s a recipe for the Hurricane.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • .5 ounce passion fruit puree
  • .5 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • Orange half-wheel and cherry, garnish
  • Cherry

Instructions

  • Combine the rums, juices, puree, syrup, and grenadine in a shaker with ice; shake until combined well-chilled. Serve over ice in a large Hurricane glass. To garnish, add an orange half-wheel and a preserved cherry.

8. Mojito

Recipe via All Recipes | Image via Canva

Today, mojitos are one of the most popular rum cocktails available around the world, which is exactly why it makes our list and why you need to master this recipe.

The origins of the mojito go back to Cuba (after all, it is considered to be its national drink) and a super old cocktail named El Draque. In honor of Sir Francis Drake, El Draque is composed of aguardiente (a cane-only spirit precursor to rum), lime, mint, and sugar.

You can get pretty creative with the mojito! It lends well to a variety of flavor profiles such as raspberry, blackberry, or strawberry.

Ingredients

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • Lime wedges (approx. 4)
  • Simple syrup, to taste
  • 5 ounces white rum
  • Soda water

Instructions

  • In your mixing glass, add mint leaves and one lime wedge. Using a muddler, crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Muddle again with two more lime wedges and simple syrup to release lime juice. Avoid straining. Add ice to almost fill the glass. Over the ice, pour the rum and soda water. Finish it off with the lime wedge.

9. Planter's Punch

Recipe via Sugar and Soul | Image via Canva

Planter’s Punch is a recipe that varies. Old recipes call for “one sour, two sweet, three strong, and four weak,” and the latter is usually water or ice, but modern recipes adjust the ratios or change it completely. You can make it however you want, so don’t be afraid to be creative.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • .5 ounce lime juice
  • .5 ounce grenadine
  • Splash club soda, optional
  • Orange slice, garnish
  • Pineapple slice, garnish
  • Maraschino cherry, garnish

Instructions

  • With ice in a cocktail shaker, add rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine. Shake well. Strain the contents of the shaker into a tall glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with orange, pineapple, and cherry, if you want.

10. Hot Buttered Rum

Recipe from Delish | Image via Canva

Just the mention of this rum cocktail will make your regular feel warm during those winter months.

The drink consists of dark rum, cider, butter, sugar, and spices. It’s been around since the 1650s, when rum distilleries began opening in New England and colonists began adding it to drinks. In this era, hot toddies, milk punches, and eggnog were also made. Many families developed their own “house” versions of these warming drinks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup rum
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • .5 cup vanilla ice cream
  • .5 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

Instructions

  • Make the Batter
    • Beat butter and sugar until it’s fluffy. Add in ice cream and cinnamon, beat it. Put it in a baggie or jar, then store it in your freezer for a few hours. Or until you’re ready.
  • Prepare Your Drink
    • Heat apple cider. Then grab your mugs and put a few spoonfuls of your rum in each. Take your rum and fill the cup about a third of the way, the rest with warm apple cider. Stir and sip!

11. Zombie

Recipe via The Spruce Eats | Image via Canva

Zombie Cocktails are delicious, delicious, but extremely potent mixed drinks. Many say that if your guest consumes multiple servings, they will turn into a zombie.

This is a classic tiki cocktail with many variations. The traditional recipe calls for three types of rum, tropical juices, and falernum.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1 ounce gold rum
  • 1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 1 ounce passion fruit syrup
  • .5 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters
  • 1 ounce 151-proof dark rum
  • Mint sprig, for garnish

Instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker, pour the light and dark rums, pineapple and citrus juices, passion fruit syrup, simple syrup, and bitters. Add the high-proof rum now, or reserve it for a float. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh rocks. Optionally, float the high-proof rum on top of the drink by slowly pouring it over the back of a bar spoon. Use mint for a garnish.

No More Rum-inating, You’re Ready to Make Some Drinks

Congratulations! You’ve leveled up in the world of bartending. You now know the top rum recipes and are ready to start practicing and mastering.

Want a hands-on approach to learning all the cocktail recipes? Local Bartending School is currently accepting students. You can learn at home through online courses or they can even come to you. Either way, you’ll be certified in less than a week—or it’s free!

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Carrie Jean Lipe

Carrie Lipe has been writing creatively since childhood but jump-started her professional writing after college. She's an Indiana native, Ball State Hospitality graduate, and a bartender with over 10+ years in the industry. You can find her making basil Moscow mules when she's not writing. Follow her professional journey on Instagram! @contentbycarriejean

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