While the Cuba Libre—a refreshing mix of rum, Coca-Cola and lime juice—is a near perfect libation, there are many more ways to enjoy rum that don’t involved the caramelly soda. Whether you’re a fan of sweet tropical libations or enjoy something a little spicier, there are a ton of simple ways to make a great cocktail with the sugarcane spirit. Here, seven mixers for rum that go way beyond Coke.
Name a more iconic duo than rum and pineapple juice—we’ll wait. Seriously though, some of the best tropical-tinged drinks on Earth are made using the combo, from the Piña Colada to the Painkiller to the Jungle Bird. But even if you don’t have a lot of other fancy ingredients to shake up these beachy libations, plain pineapple juice dosed with a couple shots of rum is a perfectly delicious cocktail.
There are few things more wonderful than pouring a shot of rum into a freshly cracked coconut, whether you’re chilling on the beach or trying to stay cool at a summer rooftop shindig. But even if you don’t have fresh coconuts laying around, a good quality bottled coconut water has the same delicious effect when mixed with the sugarcane spirit. Bonus: coconut water is super hydrating and full of potassium, so it’s a slightly healthier way to get your cocktail fix.
Rum’s molasses-heavy tropical notes aren’t just for summer imbibing. In fact, it’s the perfect spirit to mix in thick, rich hot chocolate for a cold-weather treat at the end of a long day. Simply spike your favorite hot cocoa mix with one and half to two ounces of rum, or get a little fancier and add some coffee or orange liqueur like in the You Oat To Know.
While you really need to love the taste of rum to mix it with plain soda, it’s a perfect Highball for experienced rum drinkers who want the spirit to shine. While the two ingredients are perfectly good on their own, all they need is a spritz of lime to elevate the drink tenfold. At that point, you’re halfway to a Mojito—just add simple syrup and mint to whip up the classic.
Rum’s sweet, molasses-y notes perfectly complement a quality ginger beer’s tangy sweet spice. Go heavy on the rum or light, either way it’s a great drink. Throw in some lime juice and voilà—you have a beloved classic cocktail, the Dark ‘N’ Stormy.
If you want to throw it back to your college days with a sweet treat, grab the first fruit punch you see and dump in a couple ounces of rum. While we have recipes for more balanced rum punch concoctions, there’s no shame in loving sugary, store-bought fruit punch. But always exercise caution–this mix can be secretly strong if you have a heavy hand.
As the most decadent mixer ever, we don’t suggest making ice cream your everyday rum companion. But as a special treat, rum and ice cream is one of the most delicious cocktail combos ever. Blend it with butter pecan for a Southern-inspired treat; throw it in the blender with vanilla and RumChata for a grown-up version of your childhood favorite; or get funky by mixing it with ube ice cream, a bright purple Filipino treat that’s as ‘Grammable as it is delicious.