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The rum swizzle is a refreshing, fruity cocktail that’s the national drink of Bermuda! Build it right in the glass for a truly simple drink.

Rum swizzle
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Recently we got a note from a reader that they’re an avid fan of our cocktail recipes, but they noticed we were missing one. Its name: the Rum Swizzle, the national drink of Bermuda! So we set about to fix that right away. The Rum Swizzle is delightfully fruity and tropical, and it’s the type of drink you can build right in the glass: making it extremely simple to whip up! You’ll use a “swizzle stick” to quickly chill the drink, which is just as fun as the name is charming. We fell in love right away and we think you will, too.

Ingredients in a rum swizzle

The Rum Swizzle is the official drink of Bermuda, made with rum, fruit juices, and either grenadine or a sweetener called falernum. The concept of a swizzle has been around for centuries, with the first swizzles mentioned in literature in the mid 18th century. Today’s rum swizzle is often associated with The Swizzle Inn in Bailey’s Bay, Bermuda, though there are many spin offs and variations.

These original Swizzles were mixed with “swizzle sticks,” long stems snapped off a tropical bush with a few forked branches on the end. Twirling the end of the stick between your hands mixes and chills the drink. The ingredients in a rum swizzle are:

  • Aged rum (añejo)
  • Dark rum
  • Pineapple juice
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Grenadine, all natural if possible
  • Angostura bitters
Rum swizzle

Do you need a swizzle stick?

The original swizzle sticks were sticks snapped off of a tropical bush that you twisted between your hands to mix a drink. These days, modern swizzle sticks are made out of metal. But you don’t need an official “swizzle stick” for this drink. You can use a long bar spoon and it works perfectly. If you don’t have a bar spoon, stir gently with a small spoon or even a chop stick!

Purchased vs homemade grenadine

The rum swizzle uses grenadine or falernum as a sweetener. Since falernum is such a specialty ingredient, we went with grenadine for this recipe. However, we prefer using an all-natural grenadine in cocktails.

Grenadine syrup is a pomegranate-flavored bar syrup that’s used in many popular cocktails and mocktails. Purchased grenadine is a beautiful bright red color, but it often has artificial colors or flavors. Here are the best options when it comes to this bright sweetener:

  • Try homemade grenadine. DIY Grenadine Syrup tastes incredible! Using pomegranate seeds you can get a lovely bright color, though it won’t be quite as bright as the artificial kind.
  • There are all natural grenadines on the market. Keep in mind, the color will not be as bright (which is not an issue with this drink). Most all natural grenadine is more of a muddy dark red color.
Rum swizzle

Variation: make a pitcher!

Want to make the rum swizzle for a crowd? This drink is easy to whip up for 4. Fill a large pitcher about ⅓ of the way full with ice. Take 4 times the drink ingredients and place them in the pitcher. Then use a bar spoon or wooden spoon as the swizzle stick, and stir vigorously to cool the drinks.

Aged vs dark rum

Many rum cocktail recipes use more than one type of rum, which is the case with this rum swizzle. Why? Different types of rum add a lot of nuance in flavor. Taste the different varieties, and you’ll find that they almost taste like different liquors. You can use only one type if it’s all you have, but it’s worth seeking out two types for the flavor difference.

  • Dark rum has a deep, caramel flavor and notes of cinnamon and spices (see Dark Rum Drinks)
  • Aged rum, aka golden or añejo rum, has notes of vanilla, coconut, almond, citrus, or caramel

Use both in your drink, and you’ll notice it each sip has a deliciously nuanced flavor! It’s fruity and caramelly, with even more complexity from a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Special thanks to reader David for requesting this drink!

More rum drinks

Got rum? Here are a few more top rum cocktails to try:

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Rum swizzle

Rum Swizzle


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

The rum swizzle is a refreshing, fruity cocktail that’s the national drink of Bermuda! Build it right in the glass for a truly simple drink.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ounce aged rum (añejo)
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce all-natural grenadine*
  • 3 dashes angostura bitters
  • For the garnish: cocktail cherry, pineapple wedge, lime wedge

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large lowball glass. Fill with small ice cubes or crushed ice. Place a swizzle stick or bar spoon in center of glass and rub your hands back and forth on the spoon so that it spins quickly. Continue until glass is frosted. Garnish with cocktail cherry, pineapple wedge and lime wedge.
  2. Pitcher variation: Fill a pitcher ⅓ of the way with ice. Add 4 times the drink ingredients (rums, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, and bitters).  Place a bar spoon or wooden spoon in the center of pitcher and stir vigorously. Pour into glasses and garnish.

Notes

*This ingredient is notoriously artificially flavored, but there are now some all-natural brands on the market. Look at the ingredients list for a grenadine that is made from pomegranate juice, or make your own homemade grenadine.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Cocktail
  • 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 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!