Try the top classic dark rum cocktails that highlight this unique type of rum! These drinks make the most of its deep caramel flavor.
All rum is not the same. In fact, dark rum should be considered an entirely different type of liquor from the light variety! Dark rum is aged, so it has a deep, caramel smoky sweet flavor. It’s entirely unlike the light, fruity flavor of white rum. So it’s not surprising that drink recipes call specifically for the alcohol based on color.
Here are all the essential dark rum cocktails that highlight the unique flavor of this type of liquor! There are classics from the 1940’s, tropical drinks perfect for the beach, and even a centuries old drink for sipping on chilly evenings.
One of the most popular dark rum cocktails: the classic Mai Tai! This drink is a classic cocktail from the 1940’s that's breathtakingly complex, featuring type types of rum, orange liqueur, and fancy almond syrup. It’s just sweet enough, with nutty and vanilla notes against the sharp citrus. Float a little dark rum on top, and you get to the core of a Mai Tai: it’s sophisticated, nuanced, and might we say…extraordinarily special.
Ingredients: Dark rum, aged rum, Cointreau, lime juice, orgeat syrup
Here’s a cocktail recipe that’s so pristine, it’s no wonder it’s got a long history. Try this Rum Punch recipe! The concept of rum punch goes back to the 1600's, though this one is similar to a spin from the 1900's. The balance of the ingredients is ideal: instead of overly saccharine is perfectly sweet tart, fruity, and tropical. In fact, it’s so good you won’t be able to resist another sip.
Ingredients: White rum, dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine
Arguably the most famous and easiest of all dark rum cocktails? The Dark and Stormy! Each of its 3 ingredients has lots of personality: the rich, earthy dark rum, with vanilla and brown sugar notes. Add to that spicy ginger beer, fruity and filled with effervescent bubbles. Top it off with a squeeze of tangy lime.
Love fruity drinks but want something more complex? Here’s the dark rum drink for you: the Jungle Bird! It’s one of the few rum cocktails to pair tropical flavors with an Italian bitter: Campari. You might know Campari from the ubiquitous Negroni: an ultra dry and bitter drink. But add it to a tropical drink and the effect is surprising. Campari perfectly balances the drink and gives the finish an intriguing complexity. (This one's our personal favorite in the list.)
Ingredients: Dark rum, pineapple juice, Campari, lime juice, simple syrup
It’s fruity, it’s extra boozy, and it’s 100% fun: meet this Hurricane cocktail recipe! This New Orleans special from the 1940's is a bit of a splurge: and that’s exactly what it’s intended for. Loaded with two types of rum, it’s got a tropical nuance from passion fruit. A hint of grenadine gives it extra sweetness and a rosy-golden color. It’s a unique dark rum cocktail that’s festive and fun.
Ingredients: dark rum, white rum, orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, grenadine
Need a dark rum drink that’s refreshing, frosty, and all about tropical flavor? Try the Bahama Mama! This beachy drink is all about carefree vibes, featuring not one but two types of rum with pineapple juice and lime. An unexpected move gives it a rosy color: grenadine syrup! Drink it straight on the rocks, or our favorite way: blended into an icy slush. Our spin on it is perfectly balanced: not too sweet and silkily sippable.
Ingredients: Dark rum, coconut rum. pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine
So you love piña coladas? Then you absolutely must try a Painkiller cocktail! This 1970’s tropical drink is a spin on the classic piña colada, but even better. It stars dark rum (or aged rum) cream of coconut, and orange juice, which add intrigue and nuance to this sophisticated drink. Top it off with a little grated nutmeg, and wow! It’s fruity, tropical, and just darn tasty.
Ingredients: Dark rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice, grated nutmeg
Here’s a dark rum cocktail that’s completely over the top…but worth it if you’re an adventurous home bartender. Meet the Zombie cocktail! This drink packs a potent punch, with four types of rum, three fruit juices and two fruit syrups. It’s totally unnecessary…but then again, that makes it more fun! While it’s got a 1970’s vibe, this cocktail actually comes from the 1930’s and was one of the first of its kind.
Ingredients: white rum, spiced rum, dark rum, 151 rum (optional), lime juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, orange bitters, grenadine
Looking for an easy dark rum drink with 1970’s vibes? The Brass Monkey drink has it all! This rum and OJ combo was a premixed cocktail back in the day, so popular it even inspired a song. It’s quick and simple to mix up, with a beautifully golden hue.
Here's a dark rum cocktail that's the exact opposite of these fruity, tropical drinks: Hot Buttered Rum! It's a historic drink has been around for centuries, ideal for sipping by the fire on a chilly evening. We’ve gone back to its roots to bring you the “real” way to make it: subtly sweet, cozy-spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and spirit-forward with boozy dark rum.
Ingredients: Salted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, dark rum
Last up, the most iconic of all rum drinks: the Rum and Coke! The rum and coke is one of the world’s most popular cocktails: because it’s one of the easiest mixed drinks on the planet. Using dark rum here gives it an even more deep, caramely flavor. Garnish with lime juice to give it a citrusy kick!
Ingredients: Dark rum, cola, lime
More rum drinks
There are lots more drinks to try outside of these dark rum cocktails, especially if you’ve got bottles of white or aged rum! Here are a few more lists of cocktail ideas: