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What Flavors Mix Well With Rum?

Cuba libre alcohol cocktail with golden rum, lemon juice, cola, lime and ice, dark bar counter background, bar tool

The flavors of rum include toasted sugar, sweet molasses, smooth caramel, and spiced nectars. The sugary base remains even after the complex distillation process, and as it ages, the rum often develops undertones of spices, candied fruit, and even leather tobacco.1

But what do you pair with such a distinct, delicious flavor profile?

This list breaks down the best flavors to combine with rum as well as the best mixers and rum cocktail drinks that capitalize on these match-made-in-heaven pairings.

#1 Lime

At the top of the list for a reason, lime is one of the go-to flavors to highlight the body and complexity of various rums. While pure lime juice might be a bit too strong of a choice for a simple mixed drink, there are plenty of delicious cocktails and drinks that rely heavily on the citrus tastes of fresh lime juice—and sometimes, hints of lemon, too.  

Mixed drinks and cocktails that utilize this flavor combo:

  • Lemon-Lime Soda & Rum
  • Lime Juice, Light Rum, & Soda Water
  • Lime Daiquiri
  • Lime Mojito

#2 Pineapple

Not unlike the shocking citrus flavors of lemon and lime, pineapple’s tangy taste can help balance out the natural, spiced undertones of darker rums. It’s one of the most popular flavors to incorporate into rum cocktails (and for a very good reason), but it also stands up against scrutiny all on its own.

Mixed drinks and cocktails that utilize this flavor combo:

  • Pineapple Juice & Rum
  • Pineapple Breeze
  • Rum Cannonball
  • Hawaiian Mai Tai
  • Pineapple Daiquiri

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#3 Coconut

Coconut clearly pairs well with rum—so well that you can probably imagine the sweet taste just by hearing the two words paired together.

Coconut is such a common additive to many crowd favorite rum drinks that, in many cases it’s not necessarily the main course, but an important side dish that enhances the existing tropical tastes of other popular flavors like lime and pineapple.

Mixed drinks and cocktails that utilize this flavor combo:

  • Coconut Water & Rum
  • Piña Colada
  • Coconut Mojito
  • Rum Sunset
  • Coconut Rum Punch
  • Coconut-Lime Daiquiri

#4 Cola

Is there anything more ubiquitous than a rum and cola? This classic rum cocktail has withstood the test of time, dating back to the early 1900s when it first entered the scene as a “Cuba Libre” during the free Cuba movement.2 Although the Cuba Libre of that time was a tad more complex than it is today, the two basic ingredients—rum and cola—are here to stay.  

Mixed drinks and cocktails that utilize this flavor combo:

  • Rum & Cola
  • Buttery Kraken
  • Cuba Libre

#5 Ginger

The spice of ginger pairs perfectly with the spice of, well, spiced rum. Rather than providing a stark contrast to play off of, these two flavors are similar in both their warm sweetness and earthy, natural zest. The type of ginger-flavored mixer you use will depend on your rum of choice.

Mixed drinks and cocktails that utilize this flavor combo:

  • Ginger Beer & Spiced Rum
  • Ginger Ale & White Rum
  • Dark ‘n’ Stormy
  • Ginger Rum Fizz
  • Ginger Daiquiri

#6 Orange

A glass of Negroni cocktail with orange. Alcoholic drink with rum and vermouth on dark stone table.

This underrated combination is worth a try, especially if you enjoy the tart flavors of lime or pineapple juice with your rum. The citrus tastes of orange juice similarly balance out the sugar and spice of rum without masking its complex undertones. 

Mixed drinks and cocktails that utilize this flavor combo:

  • Orange Juice & Rum
  • Rum Sunset
  • Orange Daiquiri
  • Rumdriver
  • Orange Sunrise
  • Hawaiian Champagne Punch

What Simple Mixers Can I Combine With Rum?

If you’re less interested in complex flavor profiles and more interested in quick and easy mixed drinks to throw together, stock up on these convenient mixers. When the time is right, you can whip up something good as a treat for one or as a batch for all to enjoy. 

#7 Fruit Punch

You already know that pineapple, orange, and lime pair well with rum—why not take it a step further and throw the entire fruit bowl in your cup? Tropical and citrus fruit juices are some of your best options for a well-rounded, flavor-packed rum drink.

#8 Tonic Water

You’ve heard of a G & T, so why not an R & T? In the same way that the bitter tonic complements gin, it serves to balance out the sweetness of aged rum, too. For a slightly more flavorful rum drink, use lightly flavored tonic water. A hint of fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, or lemon juice can easily elevate the drinking experience. 

#9 Iced Tea

What’s better than the refreshing glass of ice tea filled with crushed ice? That same great flavor but with a little splash of aged rum. 

Black tea has many of the same undertones as rum—earthy spices with hints of caramel and sugar—but the best iced tea for your drink depends on your choice of rum:

  • Sweetened iced tea – With a drink as tasty as this, any rum will do! However, white rum will create a simpler, subtler beverage, while dark rum will leave you with a more potent aroma and aftertaste.
  • Unsweetened iced tea – When you subtract the sugar content from your mixer, spiced or dark rum becomes your best option. The flavored rum’s subtle hints will be able to take center stage.

#10 Hot Chocolate

Before you reject the idea altogether, give this one a shot. It may not be the most conventional choice but hot chocolate pairs perfectly with the caramel, sugar, and molasses undertones of rum. Whether it’s a cozy Sunday morning or an evening spent by the fire, there’s nothing better than spiked hot chocolate—this time, with rum instead of the coffee liqueur or whipped cream vodka you usually reach for.

SLIQ Spirited Ice: The Best Flavor Pairings With Rum—Already Mixed

The good news? Now you know what to mix with rum, whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing or full-bodied and sophisticated. 

The better news? You don’t have to do any work at all to enjoy delicious mixed rum drinks.

SLIQ’s frozen rum ice pop daiquiris come ready-to-drink in three of the best flavor combinations: coconut & lime, pineapple, and strawberry—your favorite frozen beverages, now in a convenient box in your freezer. The fun doesn’t stop with just rum pops, though, as we also offer frozen vodka pops and margarita ice pops

Looking for more info on how to make delicious cocktails for good time occasions? Explore our blogs on “Best Frozen Rum Drinks” and “What are the Different Types of Rum?” 

Sources:

  1. Bespoke Unit. What Is Rum & What Does Rum Taste Like? https://bespokeunit.com/rum/#taste 
  2. Old Liquors Magazine. Cuba Libre: the Rich History of the Rum and Coke. https://www.oldliquorsmagazine.com/cuba-libre-the-rich-history-of-the-rum-and-coke/ 

 

 

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