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The Rum and Tonic is a quick and easy rum drink! Two ingredients make a refreshing spin on the classic G&T.

Rum and Tonic
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Got rum and need a quick and easy cocktail? Try the Rum and Tonic! This spin on the classic G&T is bubbly and refreshing, with a hint of fruity rum on the finish. It’s almost like a subtle version of the Dark and Stormy, less spicy sweetness and more intriguing nuance. Either way, it’s a deliciously simple rum drink that’s perfect for sipping anytime. While we prefer a G&T or Vodka Tonic flavor-wise, rum and tonic is absolutely worth a try!

What’s a Rum and Tonic?

The Rum and Tonic is a spin on the Gin and Tonic that mixes rum with tonic water. You can use any type of rum in this one! It’s a highball cocktail, a family of drinks that pair liquor with a larger portion of a non-alcoholic mixer. Mixing tonic water with a spirit is an age-old practice, and you can use any liquor: mix up a Tequila TonicVodka Tonic or Whiskey Tonic. The ingredients for a Rum and Tonic are:

  • Rum
  • Tonic water
  • Lime wedges
Rum and tonic

Use any type of rum!

You can use any type of rum in a Rum and Tonic, you’ll get different results! We prefer using aged rum or dark rum, because of the nuanced flavors you’ll get in the drink. To us, white rum is a little too subtle (read: boring). Here’s an outline of different types of rum to use in this drink, in order of preference:

  • Aged rum: Also known as golden rum or añejo rum. Aging gives it notes of vanilla, coconut, almond, citrus, or caramel.
  • Dark rum: Also aged, it has a deep, caramel flavor and sometimes notes of cinnamon and spices (see Dark Rum Cocktails)
  • Coconut rum: Malibu is the most common: a sweet coconut-flavored liqueur made with Caribbean rum.
  • White rum: The most common type, with a straightforward flavor rum with the signature fruity finish.

All about tonic water

What is tonic water, exactly? Tonic water is a carbonated water that contains quinine and is lightly sweetened. Its flavor is bubbly, bitter, sweet and sour, and it’s a popular cocktail mixer going back hundreds of years.

Quinine was historically prescribed as a medicine to fight malaria, and mixing it with carbonated water and sugar helped to mask its bitter flavor. It was first sold in the 1850’s. Today, the level of quinine is much lower than historical tonic water and is safe to consume. Our favorite brand is Q Tonic: it has great flavor and is sold in small cans, just enough for a few drinks.

Tonic water

Other mixers for rum

What else to mix with rum outside of a Rum and Tonic? Rum is best with bold flavors, but it also works with bubbly tonic water. Here are a few more ideas for rum mixers:

When to serve a Rum and Tonic

The Rum and Tonic is a classic and carefree summer rum cocktail. It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Rum and Tonic

Rum and Tonic

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Rum and Tonic is a quick and easy rum drink! Two ingredients make a refreshing spin on the classic G&T.


  • 2 ounces* aged or dark rum
  • 4 ounces tonic water
  • 1 squeeze lime wedge
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)


  1. Add lots of ice to a highball glass. Pour in the rum. Pour the tonic water onto a bar spoon into the glass (to increase the bubbles).
  2. Stir once and serve with squeeze of a lime wedge. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Chris says:

    Hi, is spiced rum useable for this recipe and other recipes that may call for dark or amber rums?

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!