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Alcohol Substitutions for Rum
Options for replacing rum include brandy, gin, sherry or orange liqueur. Cognac works well as a substitute for rum in a mixed drink or punch. Tequila may be used as a substitute for rum, but will change the flavor of the drink significantly. Gold tequila should replace gold rum and white tequila should replace white rum.
Non-Alcoholic Substitutions for Rum
One tbsp. rum extract combined with 1/2 cup of apple juice, water, pineapple juice, or orange juice may be used as a substitute for rum.
Gary Regan of the "San Francisco Chronicle" asserts that the most important aspect of substituting one spirit or flavor for another is making sure to find similar flavor profiles. Replace rum with similar base spirits to convey the same character in the drink. Steering too far away from the original liquor will change the drink entirely.