With the recent explosion of small batch bourbons and craft tequilas, it’s easy to see how rum has been moved to the back of the bar. However, when it comes to entertaining, having a bottle of rum on hand means you can whip up fancy cocktails with only a few ingredients. Get your shaker ready and get mixing – rum’s back in for summer.

Buying Rum: Where to Start

So you’re standing at the liquor store trying to figure out which rum deserves your attention. Depending on what kind of cocktail you’re planning on making – as well as your taste preferences – you have some choices to make.

  • White or Light Rum
    White, or light rum, is your basic go-to bottle. Though it’s suffered from a bad reputation (cast your mind back to those terrible college parties), this classic is actually perfect for its light taste and pairs well with fruity drinks.
  • Gold Rum
    Aged in amber oak barrels, gold rum offers the decerning drinker tastes of caramel, almond and an oaky finish. Make gold rum your go-to for Cuba Libres or other soda-based cocktails.
  • Dark Rum
    Consider this the “rum drinker’s rum.” Generally aged in oak barrels for a longer time than golden rum, this dark concoction is great served simply over ice, or even use it in place of whiskey in your favorite cocktails. Think smoky flavors with hits of vanilla.
  • Spiced Rum
    While it’s true that spicing rum was once used as a way to mask inferior quality booze, those days are gone. Spiced rum can have flavors ranging from natural herbs all the way to sweet vanilla and caramel. Great over ice or mixed in with a beverage.

Classic Rum Cocktail: The Daiquiri

Forget those sickly sweet slushy drinks you had back in college – a daiquiri can actually be a true thing of beauty. With only three simple ingredients, you can knock these out like a bartending pro.

  • 2 ounces rum
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a coup glass, serve straight up.

A Favorite Rum Cocktail: Rum and Coke

Do we really need to explain this? Try getting fancy with this classic by referring to it by its Cuban moniker, the Cuba Libre.

  • 4 ounces Coca-Cola
  • 2 ounces rum
  • Lime wedge

Pour the ingredients over a tall glass of ice, sit back and start sipping.

The Intriguing Rum Cocktail: Dark and Stormy

Maximize your rum drink repitoir just by switching out cola for refreshing ginger ale. Bam – you’ve got a whole new cocktail to impress your guests with.

  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • Lime wedge

The Latin Rum Cocktail: Mojito

Give your party the flavors of Cuba with a mojito.  1 1/2 oz White rum, 6 leaves of Mint, Soda Water, 1 oz Fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 6 leaves of fresh mint
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz white rum
  • soda water
Muddle your mint springs with sugar and lime juice. Add ice, rum and top with soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves and serve with a straw.

Rum Cocktail for Parties: Basic Rum Punch

This is easy to multiply: whip up a pitcher or more for whatever size group you are hosting.

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces rum

Shake and serve over ice. Repeat.

Have we missed your favorite rum drink? What are you serving at your cocktail parties? Get social with us and let us know!

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