Rum is a liquor made from sugarcane products. It is first distilled and fermented, then aged in barrels or casks where it develops its characteristic caramel color. Light rum, which is sweeter and lighter than aged rum, is the popular choice for most cocktails. Dark rum is aged longer, heavier than light rum and often served over ice or enjoyed straight. Drinks made from rum can be very complicated, sometimes involving more than eight ingredients. There are, however, some simple and delicious drinks that compliment the liquor’s heavy, slightly sweet flavor.

Recipes Using Light Rum

Make a mojito by mixing 2 oz. light rum with the juice of half a lime, 1 tsp. sugar, 6 fresh mint leaves and 2 oz. soda water. Combine the sugar and juice in a glass and stir vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Fill the glass with crushed ice and rum, and stir well. Top the cocktail off with the soda water and garnish with the mint leaves.

The mai tai is another popular rum drink. To make, combine 2 oz. light rum, 2 oz. dark rum, a splash of amaretto, 1 oz. Triple Sec, 1 oz. orange juice and 1 oz. pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake the beverage vigorously and strain into a glass filled with ice.

Eggnog is a classic holiday favorite. Mix 2 oz. of light rum with 5 oz. of eggnog. Stir the beverage well, then sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon on top.

Make a pina colada, yet another popular drink, by blending 3 oz. white rum, 3 tbsp. coconut milk, 3 tbsp. crushed pineapple and 2 cups of ice in a blender. Strain the cocktail into a margarita glass and serve with a garnish of pineapple.

Recipes Using Dark Rum

Rum and Coke is a classic bar drink made by combining 1 1/2 oz. dark rum with 5 oz. Coca Cola. Stir and serve in a glass with ice.

A stone fence is spiked cider, a delicious and festive drink. Mix 2 oz. dark rum with 5 oz. hot cider. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top and serve in a mug.

A batiste is a French drink made by combining 2 oz. dark with 2 oz. Grand Marnier. Serve on ice or straight.

For a party, rum punch is a tropical treat. Combine 46 oz. orange juice, 46 oz. pineapple juice, 16 oz. coconut milk and 16 oz. dark rum in a large punch bowl. Chill the rum punch before serving and garnish with pineapple chunks.