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4 Fun Cocktails That Go Beyond Mojitos and Punch for National Rum Day

Celebrate with creative twists on traditional concoctions

spinner image a jamaican rum mai tai drink
Burnt Ends Tiki Bar

Rum always brings the party. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, chilled or mixed, this smooth liquor is a classic behind the bar.

But you don't have to stick to a mojito or rum punch to get the most out of the sweet-flavored alcohol — on National Rum Day, Aug. 16, or on any day,

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Spice up your standard cocktail routine with these four creative rum drinks that make it easy to think outside of the standard rum box and surprise your guests.

Jamaican rum mai tai

It's worth building out your liquor cabinet with the heady rums required for this magical take on the mai tai from Burnt Ends Tiki Bar in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The original drink was said to have been so popular in the 1940s and ‘50s that it depleted world rum supplies. And it's still going strong on tiki bar menus everywhere.

"The mai tai has a punch with full flavor and a kick with high alcohol,” says Burnt Ends Tiki Bar beverage director Dean Hurst. “Fresh lime juice is a must."

Don't overlook the Orgeat — a sweet syrup essential to a classic mai tai, made from almonds and orange flower water. You can find it in most liquor stores (and online).

Remember the golden rule when mixing, Hurst says “The better the rum, the better the drink.”

Mai Tai

  • 1 ounce Coruba Dark Rum
  • 1/2 ounce Appleton Estate Extra 12 YO rum
  • 1/2 ounce Smith & Cross rum
  • 1/2 ounce Pierre-Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce Orgeat (almond and orange flower water)


1. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

2. Add a medium-sized scoop of crushed ice.

3. Empty unstrained into a mai tai glass.

4. Garnish with a lime shell and mint sprigs.

spinner image three rum drinks a bloody goslings the rum dragon and the el floridita
From left: A Bloody Goslings; The Rum Dragon; The El Floridita
Goslings Rum; Fort Lauderdale Harbor Marriott Beach Resort & Spa; The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

A Bloody Mary with a twist

In a surprisingly tasty twist on a classic cocktail, the Bloody Mary gets remade with the addition of this Bermudian rum distilled in charred American oak casks, resulting in a fuller-flavored Bloody.

"It's a unique and delicious accompaniment to the bold tomato and spice,” says Emily Gosling, the global brand ambassador for Goslings Rum and an eighth-generation member of the family.

Surprising guests with the flavor of rum is half the fun in serving this one.

Bloody Goslings

  • 2 ounces Goslings Black Seal Rum
  • 4 ounces tomato juice or Clamato
  • Dash each of fresh horseradish, celery salt, black pepper, Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco
  • 1/4 ounce freshly squeeze lemon juice


1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously

2. Strain over fresh ice in a pint glass

3. Garnish with a lemon slice and celery stalk

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A pretty-in-pink twist on a daquiri

If you've never seen dragon fruit before, picture a Dr. Seuss-style magenta-hued fruit and you'll have an idea of what this exotic ingredient looks like.

In season in Florida during the summer, dragon fruit can be found in the produce section of many mainstream grocery stores across the country as well as Latin and Asian markets (the fruit is native to Mexico and Central America).

It's the essential ingredient in this showstopper cocktail from the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa that lead mixologist Diana Jimenez says pairs well with a delicious rum thanks to its sweetness alongside the spice of jalapeño.

St. Germain liqueur adds a floral quality to the drink that rounds everything out.

"This is essentially a classic daiquiri with more of a sweet flair to it,” Jimenez says.

Rum Dragon

  • 1/2 dragon fruit cut in chunks (set aside one piece for garnish)
  • 2 ounces Bacardi Superior Rum
  • 1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 slices jalapeño (two for muddling, one for garnish)


1. Muddle together three chunks of dragon fruit (skin on for color) with two thin slices of jalapeño with seeds.

2. Add rum, St. Germain, lime juice, simple syrup and ice to a shaker and shake vigorously.

3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with fresh dragon fruit slice and a jalapeño wheel.

Guava puree and lime pair for a fine sip

The traditional version of the El Floridita, also known as the Hemingway Daquiri, is named after a bar in Havana, Cuba. But this modern take comes from the Rumbar at The Ritz-Carlton Key-Biscayne in Miami, Florida, where you can sip it overlooking the deep blue hues of the Atlantic Ocean.

This El Floridita cocktail is served straight up as opposed to the crushed ice version and tastes just as transporting in your own backyard, thanks to the freshness of guava puree (find it the frozen fruit section of most grocery stores or Latin supermarkets), orange blossom water and lime juice.

El Floridita

  • 1.5 ounces Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
  • 2 ounces guava puree
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Orange flower water (which you can find online or in some specialty stores)


1. Add rum, guava puree, lime juice and bitters to shaker with crushed ice and shake until well-chilled.

2. Spray orange flower water into chilled martini glass before straining ingredients into it.

3. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.

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