Rum is a favorite cocktail mixer and it makes an appearance in an uncountable number of drinks. Before you tackle the ever-growing list of rum cocktails, give these a try. They are the most popular rum cocktails, those that have been enjoyed by drinkers for decades and show no signs of losing their appeal. Many of these have also served as the inspiration for a number of other cocktails, so with learning these you will have a good base to begin mixing more rum cocktails.
The Daiquiri is the first rum drink everyone should learn how to make and that doesn't mean finding the best way to open the ready-to-drink Daiquiri bottle or pouch. No, we're talking about a Daiquiri the way it was meant to be using three simple ingredients: rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Though this cocktail is not complicated, it is the best example of how a great rum shines when mixed with fruits. Within the recipe's page you will also find the many adaptations of the Daiquiri, including those of the frozen variety.
When you have the Daiquiri perfected, it is time to try out the Mojito. This is another easy drink that requires only a few ingredients: rum, mint, lime, sugar, soda water. If you are looking for a refreshing cocktail, this is the one and few can touch it in terms of freshness. Just be sure to pull out the good rum for this cocktail (and any on this list for that matter).
Break away from the basic cocktail for a minute, as this favorite has an extensive ingredient list. It is filled with flavor and includes light and dark rums, passion fruit and orange juices, lime juice, simple syrup, and grenadine. It is both refreshing and powerful because of the abundance of rum, but it is also a good introduction to tiki cocktails.
The recipe in the link is to the frozen variation of this summertime favorite, though it is an equally tasty cocktail when shaken (recipe here). This tropical dream of a drink includes light rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and heavy cream.
Rum may be a tropical favorite, but it is also known for its warming properties and is delightful in hot cocktails such as the favorite Hot Buttered Rum and Hot Toddy. If you find yourself enamored with this sweet, spicy winter warmer you can also make a large batch of the base mix and have it on hand, making the drink even easier to build on a cold evening.
I consider Dale DeGroff's Anejo Highball to be a modern classic and it should get more attention than it does. The base is a fun combination of aged rum, curacao, lime, and bitters, but it is the ginger beer that really kicks this cocktail into gear, adding a whole other level and creating a really snappy drink.
Here is another modern classic created by another great mixologist of our time, Tony Abou-Ganim. It is also one of the best drinks ever to make use of spiced rum, in this case Captain Morgan. To that he added orange curacao and fresh-made sour mix and a star was born.
The Caipirinha is the cocktail with which we can introduce ourselves to the Brazilian version of rum known as cachaca. The drink itself is beyond simple: muddle lime and sugar, add cachaca. Though in its simplicity, it opens the door for an array of variations, many of which are included on the recipe page. By using a different fruit or a combination of fruits, the Caipirinha can take on an entirely unique flavor profile and it is a lot of fun to play with.
I mentioned the snap ginger beer adds to the Anejo Highball above. Well in the Dark and Stormy ginger beer is the star attraction and it plays so well with Gosling's Black Seal Rum that you would swear the two were meant for each other. This drink is a must, especially when laziness comes creeping in: two ingredients poured into a glass... easy peasy.
You may not have heard of this cocktail, but I include it in this list of essentials because it displays the fascinating play of rum with vermouth. In Manhattan fashion, we have a two-ingredient drink of light rum and sweet vermouth. An aged rum can be used as well, though I caution you that using a premium rum is going to give you the best results in this drink because it is so transparent. Give this one a try and see how it compares to the other Martini variations to see if it works for you.