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Our Favorite Rum for Making Pina Coladas

The best rum, makes the best pina colada

The Pina Colada is a cocktail that can only be described as classic. Enjoyed in bars around the world, this fruity cocktail remains a firm favorite with cocktail lovers and tourists alike.

Blending together the smooth flavors of pineapple juice, coconut milk and rum – the Pina Colada is also a relatively simple cocktail to make. So simple in fact, that you can make it from the comfort of your own home. 

Pina colada on dark background

Although pineapple juice and coconut milk are relatively easy ingredients to purchase, you need to make sure that you are also buying the right rum for the job.

Currently, there are hundreds of different rums that can be used to make this delicious cocktail – so narrowing down your choices could prove a little difficult. 

So to help aid you in your search, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best rums for Pina Coladas that money can buy.

While this tropical cocktail can work well with almost any rum, the ones we have picked promise to elevate the recipe to new and exciting heights. 

The Best Rum for Pina Coladas

  1. Malibu
  2. Rum Fire
  3. Zaya
  4. Ron Barcelo Gran Platinum
  5. Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum
  6. Stroh 160
  7. Cruzan Estate Diamond
  8. Bati Fijian White Rum
  9. Smith & Cross
  10. Mount Gay Eclipse

Malibu

Malibu Rum On Wood background

For our first entry, we have a classic rum that we think everyone was expecting to see. When it comes to making your own Pina Coladas at home, you most definitely cannot go wrong with using Malibu as your base.

This Caribbean rum has been infused with coconut liqueur to create a spirit that is smooth, warm and refreshing.

If you want to mix up a Pina Colada that accentuates the creamy tones and coconuty flavor of the recipe – then this is the perfect rum for you.

As a bonus, Malibu is a relatively tame rum with only 42 proof. This means you can enjoy a few cocktails before beginning to feel tipsy or drunk. 


Rum Fire

Rum fire on white background

A particular favorite among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike, Rum Fire promises to deliver a Pina Colada that truly captures the classic tropical taste.

Packed full of tropical hogo, this Jamaican rum blends beautifully with pineapple and coconut to create a cocktail that tastes both elevated and professional.

Rum Fire is an overproof rum, which means it contains a higher-than-normal proof. This makes it one of the strongest rums on our list with an ABV of 63 per cent. 


Zaya

Zaya Rum on white background

Originating from Trinidad and Tobago, this rich and heavy rum is the perfect choice when making more indulgent Pina Colada recipes.

The dark rum is said to have a smooth and fruity flavor, which is then offset by the addition of a decadent and oaky influence.

The rum also implements spice to give it an aromatic note, which works particularly well when blended with creamier flavors such as coconut and pineapple.

Zaya comes aged 12 years and is one of the stronger entries on our list with an ABV of 40 per cent. 


Ron Barcelo Gran Platinum

Ron Barcelo Gin On White Background

Ron Barcelo Gran Platinum is a rum that should always be kept in the cupboard for special occasions.

Considered by many to be one of the most delicious and smoothest rums on the market, this particular spirit is favored when making lighter cocktails such as Daiquiris.

However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t deliver a crisp and sweet Pina Colada as well. Gran Platinum is made by ageing rum in bourbon barrels before filtering the liquid to remove any darkness or hue.

The final result is a rum that glows with notes of caramel and spice, the perfect combination when offset by the creaminess of coconut and pineapple. 


Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum

5. Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum

Currently, there are scores of flavored rums on the market that can help to elevate the overall quality of your Pina Colada. But if you’re looking for something more on the fruity side, then we highly recommend giving Plantation rum a shot!

This infused rum comes to us from Barbados, where it has been infused with a rich and burnt pineapple flavor.

When added to a traditional Pina Colada, this rum helps to give the cocktail a caramelized undertone and an overall juicy boost.

So if you are looking for a way to pack more fruity flavor into your cocktails, we suggest going out and purchasing this rum today! 


Stroh 160

Stroh 160 on White Background

Sometimes it’s good to give a creamy cocktail some much-needed spice, and there’s no better rum for the job than Stroh 160.

After being aged for 3 years in oak barrels, this Austrian spiced rum delivers a rich flavor that is sweet and floral on the tongue.

However, when it has been added to a traditional Pina Colada, the spicy notes help to highlight the classic ingredients. Mixing the flavors of coconut and pineapple with ghostly touches of butterscotch and vanilla.

This rum is also 160 proof and promises to add some extra heat to the tropical cocktail, giving it a warm and almost festive feel.

We highly recommend purchasing this rum if you enjoy a Pina Colada that packs a punch while remaining sweet and delicious. 


Cruzan Estate Diamond

Cruzan Estate Diamond

Produced in the Virgin Islands, Cruzan Estate Diamond is regarded as one of the go-to rums when it comes to mixing a perfect Pina Colada.

The vibrant spirit is an aged dark rum that combines notes of chocolate, vanilla and banana with a rich and oaky essence to create a rum that is sweet, pungent and memorable.

Once you have added this dark rum to your classic Pina Colada recipe, you will see a marked difference in the quality and flavor of your cocktail.

This rum is capable of brightening up the classic Pina Colada flavors to create something more intriguing, delicious and unique.

Cruzan Estate Diamond comes with an ABV of 40 per cent and can be used in a variety of other cocktails. 


Bati Fijian White Rum

Bati Fijian White Rum on White Background

While most highly recommended rums are produced in the Caribbean, our next entry comes to us all the way from the small oceanic island of Fiji.

Made from hand-grown sugar cane and aged for 2 years in oak wood caskets, this white rum is filtered through coconut shell carbon before being bottled and sold.

The end result is a crystalline rum that is rich, sweet and truly embodies the essence of its small island home.

Distinctive in its buttery smoothness and rich vanilla flavor, this particular rum blends beautifully with the classic Pina Colada ingredients to create an elevated cocktail that looks and tastes amazing. 


Smith & Cross

Smith and Cross

Another rum that makes its home on the island of Jamaica, Smith & Cross is the rum you need if you want to elevate your Pina Colada to an almost professional level of flavor.

This particular rum blend can trace its lineage back to 1788 and has been produced using a combination of traditional Jamaican ingredients such as molasses, cane juice, skimmings and sugar syrup.

The final result is a dark rum that is combined with the rich notes of fruit and spice, to create a drink that is earthy, aromatic and sweet in tone.

When added to a classic Pina Colada, the caramelized banana flavor of the rum helps to elevate the tropical ingredients – giving it a more traditional and authentic twist.

The rum has an APV of 57 per cent and promises to deliver tones of smoke and honey to your palette.


Mount Gay Eclipse

A view of a bottle of Mount Gay Barbabos Rum.

Mount Gay Eclipse is a rum that helms from the island of Barbados, where it is favored for its character, body and smokey nature.

The amber-colored rum is noticeable for its full and rounded flavor, which is said to include notes of fresh flowers, honey, tropical fruit and even a hint of vanilla.

When mixed into a traditional Pina Colada cocktail these notes are heightened, with the smooth flavors of apricot and banana blending beautifully with the pineapple juice and coconut milk.

As a rum, Mount Gay Eclipse adds a level of maturity to the Pina Colada, finishing it off with a smokey aftertaste that is exciting and new.

With an APV of 40 per cent, this particular rum takes its name from the double phenomenon of the total solar eclipse and the passage of Halley’s comet in 1910. 

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Written by Brian N

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.