For those of us who like to imbibe, there are few things in life that scream tropical vacation louder than a refreshing rum cocktail. Just picture landing on a Caribbean island, checking into your hotel, and immediately being offered a complimentary cocktail. Chances are it's a piña colada, a rum punch, or maybe even a simple shaken daiquiri. If you're itching to get away but simply can't find the time, try one of these simple rum cocktails to mentally transport yourself to a sugary, sandy beach somewhere.
These 15 curated cocktails are fizzy, sweet, and tangy—and all around delicious. From a blackberry mojito to a cantaloupe daiquiri, and even a minty grapefruit caipirinha, these simple rum cocktails will deliver a summer state of mind, whether you are perched high on a rooftop on a sunny Saturday, lazing around a beach somewhere, or simply enjoying a happy hour in your own backyard. We promise they're easier to make than they look.
Keep scrolling for our favorite rum cocktails to try tonight.
Frozen Brunch Punch
This refreshing frozen rum punch from Half Baked Harvest is made in large batches, which leaves more time for brunching. It's fresh, fruity, and filled with delicious pineapple. "Fill a pitcher with Campari, rum, orange juice, and lime juice," says blogger Tieghan Gerard. "From here, you can either chill the mix until ready to serve or blend it up into a frozen bliss. When you’re ready to blend, you’ll add lots of pineapple, tons of ice, and a pinch of ginger."
Pro Tip: Amp up the look with fresh lime wedges and edible flowers.
Skinny Piña Colada With Coconut Water
This uplifting cocktail by Hello Glow is the ultimate classic tropical beverage, minus all of the extra sugar and calories. This three-ingredient piña colada can be shaken or blended with ice, and the best part: It's one-fourth the calories of the traditional version.
Pro Tip: "Not only is coconut water delicious, it’s low in calories, cholesterol free, aids in digestion, and is extra hydrating thanks to all the minerals it contains," explains Stephanie Gerber of Hello Glow.
Blackberry Lilac Mojito
Though the classic recipe is refreshing enough on its own, this blackberry mojito from Half Baked Harvest gives it an unexpected twist by adding blackberries and fresh lilac, which Gerard turns into a syrup. This ingredient isn't necessary to the recipe; however, Gerard writes that it adds a special touch.
Pro Tip: Says Gerard, "If you don't have access to fresh lilacs, you can swap in dried lavender or just sweeten your drink with a spoonful of sugar or a drizzle of honey."
Daiquiris can get a bad rap, but it's largely misconstrued. This simple cocktail is much more sophisticated than the large frozen cups you might find aboard Caribbean cruises. The proof: This elegant cantaloupe daiquiri cocktail from Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats. Merchant's version combines rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice, as well as fresh cantaloupe juice, maraschino cherry juice, and a splash of seltzer.
Pro Tip: Complete the look with a lime wedge and a few festive cantaloupe balls.
Tropical Strawberry Hibiscus Rum Smash
This refreshing-looking rum smash by Half Baked Harvest may look tricky to make, but it's actually quite simple. "The bottom layer is a mix of mint, lime, mango juice, coconut water, and rum," explains Gerard. "Then, that top red layer—that’s the hibiscus tea."
Pro Tip: Though she explains how to make the hibiscus tea from fresh blooms, a store-bought tea would work equally well and make the process much simpler.
For a refreshing twist on a classic mojito, try adding grapefruit, like in this version from Melanie Makes. "Fresh mint and limes are muddled together before being drowned in grapefruit juice, simple syrup, white rum and club soda," explains the recipe.
Pro Tip: Make simple syrup in large batches to keep in the fridge: "Simple syrup is simply a combination of equal amounts of sugar and water heated in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved completely," explains Melanie of Melanie Makes.
Persimmon Spiced Rum Old Fashioned
This cocktail recipe by Hello Glow takes a traditional old fashioned and upgrades it with puréed persimmon, which makes the cocktail-making process simpler: "For this Spiced Rum Old Fashioned, I decided to use the purée because muddling it in a glass is a bit messy and requires a shaker with a strainer," explains Gerber.
Pro Tip: Keep purée in the freezer in single serving portions—"An ice cube tray works great for that," recommends Gerber.
Minty Grapefruit Caipirinha
Classic caipirinhas are great, but this one from Half Baked Harvest is even better. In this recipe, Gerard took Brazil's national cocktail and substituted sugar for tangy grapefruit. "As a substitute to sugar, I found that using freshly squeezed grapefruit juice added just the right amount of sweetness," she explains.
Pro Tip: If you prefer a sweeter drink, Gerard advises, "Feel free to add a teaspoon or two of white sugar or possibly honey."
Peach Tea and Rum Cocktail
Sugar and Charm's peach tea and rum cocktail was inspired by an 18th-century Charleston punch recipe. Create your own with peach tea, rum, peach liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
Pro Tip: Serve over one big ice cube. "This way," writes Sugar and Charm, "The ice does not dilute the drink too fast."
Hurricane Punch Bowl
Lean on Windy City Dinner Fairy's hurricane punch bowl recipe when you're looking to entertain a crowd. This New Orleans-inspired, large format cocktail recipe calls for light and dark rum, orange juice concentrate, limeade, and fruit punch.
Pro Tip: Garnish with blood orange, lemon, and lime slices. Plus, add a pour of blood orange syrup for a layered look.
Apple Cider Cocktail
Channel fall vibes with Sugar & Cloth's easy apple cider cocktail recipe. Add apple cider, dark rum, maple syrup, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and spices.
Pro Tip: Complete the cocktail with half a cinnamon stick and an apple slice.
Esmeralda Fizz Cocktail
This rum-based cocktail recipe from Sugar & Cloth is citrusy and effervescent. You'll need rum, orange juice, peach brandy, absinthe, Angostura bitters, lime juice, honey, and Champagne (or sparkling wine).
Pro Tip: Add something extra with orange slices and fresh mint sprigs.
Inspite of all of the various rum cocktail options, sometimes a classic mojito just hits the spot. Julie Blanner's traditional mojito recipe features white rum, muddled mint, simple syrup, and a spray of club soda.
Pro Tip: Garnish with a lime slice and extra mint.
Rum and Ginger Beer Float Cocktail
Salt & Wind's twist on the Boston Cooler includes ginger beer, dark rum, vanilla bean or lemon cookie ice cream, and sea salt for "nautical flair." Top it all off with a lemon wafer cookie for extra pizzazz.
Pro Tip: This recipe serves four.