Elevate Your Next Summer Cocktail with These 6 Rum Drinks

The Venezuelan | Allie Pakrosnis/Thrillist
The Venezuelan | Allie Pakrosnis/Thrillist

Rum is the spirit of choice when it comes to summer cocktails, thanks to its drinkability and associations with sunny latitudes and beachy climates. That being said, rum’s warm-weather friendliness can also lead drinkers to underestimate it as a serious ingredient, throwing together cocktails that drown rum’s rich flavors in super-sweet mixes. Serious aficionados know better. The key starting point: a great rum. Using a quality base like Santa Teresa 1796 will give your rum cocktails a much deeper flavor, and it’s rich enough to sip neat. Plus, they offer personalized bottles to add an extra touch of class to that Father's day gift or party favor. To help you take your summer cocktails to the next level, we're sharing these cocktails from Santa Teresa to refine your tastes.  Enough chit-chat, let’s get to the recipes:

The Venezuelan

Named after Santa Teresa’s history in Venezuela, this cocktail combines margarita-y citrus flavors with a change-up of vanilla and bitters. It has an eye-popping color and a mix of flavors and textures that will keep guests guessing. Mix up a batch to serve at your next function so that everyone can ooh and ahh as you top off the glasses with sparkling wine. Just be prepared to share the recipe, too.

  • 1½ ounces Santa Teresa 1796
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce demerara syrup
  • 1 dropper of vanilla extract (about 20 drops)
  • 3 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1½ ounces sparkling wine

Add all ingredients except for the wine into a shaker. Shake, double strain into a glass, then top with wine.

Courtesy of Santa Teresa

Spicy Mango Daiquiri

Summer means fruity flavors, balanced out with fresh lime and a kick. Santa Teresa grounds this drink to keep it complex, but it’s still all about excitement. This is the ideal cocktail for backyard parties during the sweltering summer months.

  • 1 ½ ounces Santa Teresa 1796
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce Monin Mango syrup
  • 1-2 dashes Scrappy’s Hellfire bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice, shake. Garnish a chilled coupe glass with a Tajin rim and finely strain while pouring. Add a lime wedge to the rim and serve.

Iced Cafecito Old Fashioned

Boozy brunches can be more refined than your usual Bloody or mimosa. This brisk drink combines coffee notes and Old-Fashioned flavors in a package that doesn’t overwhelm the rum. It’s not actually caffeinated, so it can serve double-duty as an after-dinner digestif that won’t keep you up.

  • 2 ounces Santa Teresa 1796
  • ¼ ounce demerara syrup
  • 4 dashes Cantinero Coffee Bitters

Build all ingredients in a mixing glass. Stir for 30-40 seconds. Pour over ice in an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Santa Teresa 1796, neat

Rum neat or on the rocks is overlooked, but it’s often exactly what the situation calls for. Historically, darker rums were designed to be enjoyed as simply as possible, since the aging process imbues complex flavors and tannins that can be overwhelmed by mixers. Rums like Santa Teresa 1796 are made from blending up to 30 casks of different distillates, giving it a tasting profile that continues to surprise with each sip. When enjoying a fine rum, note the appearance, palate flavor, and aroma in the same way that you would appreciate a whiskey or wine, and be sure to taste for subtle notes. Who knows, you could end up inventing your new favorite cocktail from the flavor inspiration.

Courtesy of Santa Teresa


Kick the piña to the curb and get funky with this guava version instead. Any drink over crushed ice is a winner when the temperature gets high enough, but the guava and coconut also keep this cocktail on-theme for your future high-concept Tiki parties.

  • 1 ½ ounces Santa Teresa 1796
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • ¾ ounce Monin guava syrup
  • ¾ ounce Coco Lopez coconut cream

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake, and strain. Pour into a collins or hurricane glass over crushed ice, then garnish with a cinnamon stick and lime wheel.

Sail Me Back Home

If a Dark and Stormy is your tried-and-true go-to, mix one up a bit with this pineapple cinnamon remix. It’s both more fun and more fancy than the usual, with a sweet-spice finish that adds a little je ne sais quoi.

  • 1 ½ ounces Santa Teresa 1796
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ½ ounces ginger beer
  • 2 chunks of pineapple
  • Pinch of granulated cinnamon

Muddle pineapple in a shaker, then add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice. Double-strain over ice in a tall glass, then top with ginger beer and garnish with a mint sprig and slice of pineapple.