Rum makes many people think of fruity, tropical drinks. After all, it is the preferred libation of pirates and is the main ingredient in a mai tai, daiquiri, mojito, and several similar recipes.
But I’ve found it a highly versatile liquor that mixes well with various juices, sodas, and other beverages. Moreover, there are many types of rum, and each tastes unique.
Below, read about my tried-and-true best rum mixers.
These run the gamut from traditional pairings like pineapple juice to lesser-known combinations like root beer. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have many tasty ideas for your next rum drink.
Mix these juices, sodas, and more with your favorite rum to create delicious cocktails.
Coconut water is one of the healthiest drinks to mix with rum.
Coconut water is the liquid found inside the coconut; it is not the same as coconut milk.
Scientists sometimes compare coconut water to sports drinks because it keeps you hydrated and is full of critical vitamins and nutrients.
It’s even better because it’s low-sugar and low-calorie. That’s all excellent news for rum drinkers hoping to avoid a dreaded hangover.
The best rum mixers don’t need to be fancy, and it doesn’t get much simpler than club soda!
This flavorless, no-calorie mixer adds bubbles to your rum and waters down the taste if it’s too much for you.
If you’ve been trying to enjoy sipping rum, club soda makes a great additive because it doesn’t change the flavor, just dulls it.
Ginger beer isn’t actually beer (similar to root beer); it’s aromatic and spicy, but most brands receive sweetening to make it less potent.
Pineapple juice is one of the best things to mix with rum.
Since most rum originates from molasses, the fruity sweetness of pineapple brings out the natural sugars in the rum.
The texture also pairs well since it’s thick without being syrupy.
If you want the most delicious cocktail, blend fresh pineapple with some water and mix it with something top-shelf.
Tonic water may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a rum mixer, but this clear, carbonated beverage goes well.
It contains quinine, which imparts a bitter taste.
That slight bitterness helps balance the sweetness of the rum and even becomes a bit citrusy on my palate.
Coca-Cola is a classic all by itself. When you add rum and lime, it becomes a Cuba Libre.
US military officials probably coined the name in the late 19th or early 20th century when they actively tried to free Cuba from Spain and bring it under US control.
You may not initially think of cranberry juice as a rum mixer, but it’s delicious with white or light rum.
The tartness of the cranberry balances the sweetness of the liquor.
You can opt for 100% cranberry juice or a sweetened cranberry juice cocktail.
If your grocery store is like mine, you’ve got a whole aisle of flavored seltzer water.
Play around with the flavors and see what you like with rum.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Rum and coconut LaCroix
- Lime sparkling water with light rum and mint syrup (cheater mojito!)
- Mango sparkling water
Just as the spiciness of ginger beer tastes good with rum, so does ginger ale.
Since ginger ale is carbonated and sweetened, it takes some of the edge off, especially if you’re drinking a lower-quality rum.
Serve it in a highball glass with ice.
By itself, grapefruit juice and rum might not sound as tasty as it is.
But I’ve tried it, and it’s good. Plus, grapefruit is good for you.
If you feel wary about it, try mixing them with other ingredients, like a splash of grenadine for sweetness and flavor or club soda to dilute the taste.
You might be familiar with OJ’s more traditional alcoholic pairing, vodka.
But rum is good as well! In the same way that grapefruit and pineapple both work, orange juice’s intense citrus flavor tastes terrific next to rum’s sugary fermentation.
Best of all, most of us have it in our fridge as a staple.
Lemon and Limes
An experienced bartender knows what a difference lemon and lime make; I grab a few of each every time I get groceries.
With rum, you can’t go wrong with lime and cola. Either (or both) also make excellent additions to rum mixed with seltzer, juice, and other ingredients.
Or, enjoy sipping your rum with a small squeeze of these sour fruits.
If you think hot chocolate warms you up on a cold day, you should try adding rum to it!
I recommend spiced rum with hot chocolate since the chocolate brings out the spicy aromatics and flavors.
Try regular powdered hot chocolate or treat yourself to a decadent gourmet treat. This is a great holiday cocktail!
Many people like to mix apple juice and Hennessy, but rum is almost as good.
It’s refreshing year-round but makes a refreshing treat year-round.
Add some fresh ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick to make it festive.
In many cases, the sugar of fruit punch covers the flavor of alcohol, and it’s pretty effective with white rum.
I prefer white rum with fruit punch over vodka because I think the double sweetness works.
Like ginger ale, root beer is spicy and aromatic, which means it pairs well with spiced rum.
It’s somewhat similar to mixing it with cola, but you get a deeper, more complex flavor that’s more interesting to drink.
I think you taste the spices in the rum better with root beer.
Like apple juice, apple cider goes excellent with rum.
One of the best ways to enjoy it is warmed up gently on the stove.
To avoid burning off alcohol, heat only the cider and add it to your room-temperature rum in a thermal mug to keep it hot. Spiked apple cider is a delicious fall cocktail!
Rum first appeared in the 1600s in the Caribbean during the age of exploration. You can explore all the ways to pair this delicious and versatile liquor.
Start with this list of best rum mixers and explore more of our rum recipes. Before you know it, you’ll be a rum expert!
If you prefer dark rum, check out our favorite dark rum cocktails to make.