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These essential tropical drinks are deliciously fun! Choose from fruity tropical cocktails featuring pineapple, coconut, rum and more.

Malibu Bay Breeze

Looking for drinks with a tropical vibe? Here’s a full lexicon of classic tropical drinks that use fruity flavors to build deliciously beachy cocktails! There’s 1940’s and 50’s icons like the Pina Colada and Mai Tai, or try the Brazilian national drink sensation, the Caipirinha. There’s no strict definition of tropical cocktail, but these drinks often feature flavors like pineapple, orange, coconut, and passionfruit. The overwhelming majority are tropical rum drinks. Here are the heavy hitters that immediately bring a carefree beach vibe.

And now…the essential tropical drinks to try!

Types of rum for tropical cocktails

When it comes to tropical cocktails, the overwhelming majority are tropical rum drinks! When it comes to stocking this spirit, there are several different types of rum that all have different flavors. They might seem interchangeable, but they’re each unique! You’ll need 4 main types of rum for tropical drinks:

  • White rum: The classic! White rum has a straightforward flavor rum with the signature fruity finish.
  • 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.
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Malibu Bay Breeze

Tropical Bay Breeze (& More!)

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


This Tropical Bay Breeze recipe is a delicious tropical cocktail that pairs coconut rum, cranberry and pineapple. Layer together and enjoy!


  • 2 ounces 100% pineapple juice
  • 1 ½ ounces coconut rum
  • 2 ounces 100% unsweetened cranberry juice*
  • 1 lime wedge or pineapple wedge


  1. Add the pineapple juice and coconut rum to a glass and stir. Fill the glass with ice.
  2. In a shot glass or small pitcher, place the cranberry juice (make sure it is unsweetened; see notes!). Pour the cranberry juice right on top of the ice and it will settle on top.
  3. Garnish with a lime or pineapple wedge and serve.


*Look for 100% unsweetened cranberry juice: it has the best flavor. Sweetened cranberry juice (aka cranberry juice cocktail) has a different density, so it will not layer in the same way.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Tropical drinks

More cocktail recipes

There are so many cocktails to try outside of these beach drinks! Here are 300+ cocktail recipes for every occasion:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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