Top 9 Dark Rum Cocktails To Mix Up

Rum is a specific liquor created through fermentation and distillation of sugarcane juice or sugar Abe molasses. It can be black, red, brown, clear, or golden.

Glasses of cocktail with ice, lime and min

Dark rum has a sweet and dry flavor that comes from aging in the barrel for a much longer timeframe than white and golden rum.

The majority of rums get produced in Northern and Southern American countries and the Caribbean.

However, some well-known regions for sugar production also make rum, like Taiwan and the Philippines.

Whether you like to drink your rum straight or sip it to experience all the bold and distinct flavors, I’ve compiled a list of the best dark rum cocktails that cater to a broad range of tastes.

Dark and Stormy

The Dark and Stormy is a classic cocktail with ginger beer and dark rum, with simple syrup and lime juice added.

You serve it over ice in a highball glass. You might also add bitters with this drink and a lime wedge for the garnish.

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is the most popular brand for the Dark and Stormy. 

It’s a smooth drink with the deep, smoky-sweet flavor from the rum, with the spiciness of the ginger beer. It pairs well with dishes that are rich in fish and vegetables.

The Dark and Stormy also goes great with spicy foods. Add extra lime juice for that citrus kick that puts this already delicious cocktail over the top. 

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is a refreshing, citrusy, and tart cocktail. It uses dark rum, white rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and Curaçao liqueur to create a distinct drink specific to the Tiki culture.

You’ll mix all of those ingredients with ice in the mixer while sitting the dark rum to the side. Strain them into an old-fashioned glass and pour it over ice. 

At this point, you pour the dark rum on top and add a pineapple spear or lime peel for the garnish.

This tropical sensation also has a hint of almond flavor from the orgeat syrup. A Mai Tai tastes great alongside poke bowls, grilled chicken, and macadamia nut hummus.

But don’t be fooled; it packs a boozy punch for sure when made correctly.


The Hurricane is a classic cocktail made from lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, passion fruit juice, light rum, dark rum, and grenadine syrup.

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It’s a sweet alcoholic beverage that is very popular in New Orleans. You usually serve this cocktail in the tall curved “Hurricane” glass. 

The double rum and combination of fruit juices make this a tasty yet potent drink.

You get the fresh citrus taste with the juices, but the grenadine syrup brings it all together, balancing out the dryness of the rum and taming the sweetness.

Serve it over ice and enjoy with hummus and chips or even chicken pasta dishes. 

Painkiller Cocktail

The Painkiller cocktail, trademarked as a signature drink by Pusser’s Rum Ltd, uses dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream, and a sprinkle of nutmeg as a garnish.

You serve this drink on the rocks, as they say, meaning over ice, in a hurricane glass. 

It gives you that tropical citrus taste with the coconut aftertaste. It is similar to a Pinã Colada, but it has a more tart and sophisticated flavor.

Many people think of the British Virgin Isles when you bring up this cocktail, as it is prevalent in that region. 

Bahama Mama

The Bahama Mama is another drink shrouded in mystery regarding its origin. Moreover, the drink’s recipe varies in a myriad of different ways, and for these reasons, there is no original version of the drink.

However, the standard components of the formula are pineapple juice, citrus, and rum. It is typically garnished with a cherry, a whole strawberry, or a pineapple spear.

The other ingredients featured in the drink include coconut rum, coffee liqueur, and banana liqueur.

When making the drink combine standard rum, grenadine, rum with coconut flavoring, pineapple juice, orange juice in an electric blender with crushed ice and blend until you have a slushy consistency.

The drink’s flavor will be different from your ordinary pineapple-coconut tropical punch. The coffee liqueur gives the drink a background note of chocolate.

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum is a mixed drink that consists of rum, hot water or cider, various spices, butter, and a sweetener.

This drink is drunk frequently during fall and winter and is closely associated with the holiday season.

This drink has a rich history in the United States that dates back to the colonial days.

The typically used spices are nutmeg, dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and a bit of salt.

These spices come together to make a warm and deep flavor ideal for the winter months. The honey and sugar add sweetness and a depth of flavor to boot. The drink is served hot in a coffee cup.

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Jungle Bird

This cocktail originated inside the Aviary Bar by the hands of Jeffrey Ong. Bartenders originally served the Jungle Bird inside of a porcelain bird-shaped vessel.

The ingredients needed to prepare this cocktail are rum, Campari, lime, and pineapple. 

Although Campari is not a typical ingredient found in this mix, the bitter aperitif melds very well in this particular mix.

The fruit present in the mixture helps to even out the bitterness, and the simple syrup and the dark rum provide an element of sweetness that brings all the other components together.

To garnish the drink, use a pineapple wedge and some leaves to tap into the jungle theme of the Jungle Bird.

Piña Colada

The piña colada is a mixed drink made with rum, pineapple juice, coconut milk, or cream of coconut, and it’s usually served shaken with ice or blended in a Poco Grande glass.

It has many origin stories, but the most popular one is that a bartender, Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, created it in 1954 when the Caribe Hilton Hotel commissioned him to come up with a signature cocktail.

This is a delicious tropical drink that tastes like coconut and pineapple.

If you decide to blend the mix, it will be smoothie-like, and if you serve it over ice, it’ll be thick and rich. You can garnish the drink with a maraschino cherry, pineapple wedge, or both.

Zombie Cocktail 

The Zombie drink is a Tiki cocktail consisting of liqueurs, rums, and juices. Donn Beach invented the drink at his Hollywood Don the Beachcomber restaurant in 1934.

It would later become popularized in the East after the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

The drink is typically poured over ice when served inside a Zombie glass and cherry garnish.

The drink has a highly fruity taste which masks the cocktail’s very high alcohol content. The taste is mellow yet sweet and tastes like a mix of pineapple and banana.

These classic cocktails are perfect for a brunch, a night out on the town, or a dinner date. Dark rum is a smoky, sweet liquor that pairs wonderfully with cocktails, or it can stand alone. 

You can pair dark rum cocktails with numerous foods and appetizers, and many popular brands have a more robust taste thanks to the distillation process. Overall, you can always look up creative recipes that show you how to replicate the drink, and some have a twist. 

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And if you are looking for some refreshing cocktail ideas, check out this list of the best lemon cocktails.

What is your favorite dark rum cocktail? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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