Let’s be honest. Rum is not fully appreciated for the delightfully versatile spirit it is. It’s as at home in frivolously fruity drinks as it is just being savoured on the rocks. So to answer Jack Sparrow’s eternally relevant question: “Why is the rum gone?” – it’s gone into many, many delicious rum cocktails.
Here’s a quick guide to rum mixers:
Classic Cuba Libre
When talking about rum and mixers, it would be amiss not to start with cola. This classic mix calls for 2 parts cola to 1 part rum, but you can get away with a 1:3 ratio if you must. Spiced rum and dark rum are particularly well-suited to this pairing. Enjoy it over ice and with a wedge of lime for a dash of sophistication.
If you want to branch away from the classic cola combination, other carbonated mixers that go really well with rum include ginger beer, lemonade and even tonic. In fact, the sweetness of rum means it pairs well with just about anything – so it’s all up to your own personal taste. If you want to try Cream Soda and rum, go for it, no-one’s going to stop you.
As a spirit borne of the tropics, rum and fruit are natural companions. Pineapple juice, orange juice, grape juice, lime juice, passionfruit juice, cranberry juice, even blended banana all make for tasty mixers. You can even mix them all together to make your own tropical punch. And whether you opt for fruit juice, or whole fruit pulsed in a blender – it’s all tasty.
To make your own piña colada, just add spiced rum, coconut milk, chopped pineapple and pineapple juice into a blender with some ice. Blend until smooth, pour into a glass and garnish with more pineapple – perfection.
For something equally tropical, but less fruity, aged rum pairs excellently with coconut water, for a subtle but delicious flavour.
Some like it hot
We weren’t kidding when we said you can mix rum with just about anything. From hot buttered rum to eggnog, rum makes for delectable warm wintery drinks. Add a little kick to your hot chocolate or coffee with some rum and a topping of whipped cream.
To make your own hot buttered rum, mix together dark rum, a tablespoon of brown sugar and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Top up the cup with boiling water, add a teaspoon of unsalted butter and stir with a cinnamon stick.
Nice and simple
Another great mix for rum is actually just more rum. No, seriously. Different rum variants can have very different profiles and combining them can really work. If you’d like to enjoy rum like it was enjoyed by pirates and sailors, just add some water to make what was known as ‘grog’. If you prefer a bit more sweetness, add sugar and nutmeg along with water to make ‘bumbo’. Shiver me timbers, that’s good.
The joy of rum lies in its endless versatility. So experiment. Taste a bit of everything and find your favourite flavour.