Rum has a distinct taste that comes through any beverage with which it’s mixed, no matter how bold the flavor. It is one of the oldest types of liquor, comes in light and dark varieties and, in recent years, is available with assorted added flavorings. What constitutes the best rum drink depends on your affinity for fruit, soft drinks and other liquors, which are frequently combined with rum to add depth to cocktails.

Classic Favorites

Rum and Coke is one of the simplest, most-ordered rum drinks and usually has a stemmed cherry in it. When it has a squeeze of fresh lime juice added, it is called a Cuba Libre. Mojitos are a mixture of rum, plain or spiced, lime juice and muddled fresh mint leaves. Tom and Jerry cocktails are frequently served during cold weather and are made by combining eggs, sugar, butter, spices and hot milk. Mai-Tais contain a mixture of white rum, dark rum, Amaretto, Triple Sec and orange and pineapple juice.

Best Blender Drinks

Many of the icy, slushy drinks people sip poolside or at the beach have rum bases. Daiquiris, a simple concoction of rum, simple syrup (made by dissolving granulated sugar in an equal amount of water), and lime juice are frequently dressed up with fresh strawberries or bananas and pulverized in a blender with an ample amount of crushed ice. Pina Coladas require the same technique and include ice, rum, crushed pineapple or pineapple juice and sweetened, canned coconut milk or cream, like Coco Lopez.

Punches and Nogs

Rum punches and nogs can be made in traditional punch bowls to serve a crowd or made individually. Planter’s Punch combines rum, grenadine and a mixture of sweet and sour mix, pineapple juice and orange juice and is often topped with a splash of club soda. The Scorpion Bowl, a punch served with Polynesian or spicy Asian food, mixes dark, light and extra high proof rum, like 151, with gin, vodka, grenadine and orange, pineapple and lemon juices. Although holiday Egg Nog recipes in vary what alcohol to use, many traditional versions list rum as the sole liquor to mix with the cream, sugar and eggs.

The Best Rums

Many recipes are specific in what rums to use for cocktails. Taste light and dark rums by themselves to discern the subtle taste differences and understand why some work better with specific ingredients. If using spiced or flavored rums, adjust the other ingredients to create a balanced cocktail that is not overpowered by one taste.