5 Delicious Rum and Tequila Cocktails

June 20, 2024 by

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Rum and tequila cocktails? Yes, cocktail besties, it is 100% a thing, and this unlikely combo opens a world of unique drinks and flavourful possibilities. With their distinct profiles, these two popular liquors set the scene for extraordinary drinks that offer both tropical warmth and agave freshness.  

In this article, we delve into the basics of rum and tequila, showcase some must-try cocktails, and provide insider tips on perfecting your mixes. Get ready to impress your friends with these gorgeous recipes and learn how to balance flavours, choose the right ingredients, and garnish like a pro. Cheers to delightful tequila and rum drinks! 

Rum and tequila basics

Glasses of mezcal

In the 17th century, the Caribbean gave birth to the distillation of rum from sugarcane or molasses. It is known for its sweet, rich flavour profile, which ranges from light and fruity to dark and spiced. The blue agave plant, with roots in Mexico dating back to the Aztecs, is the source of tequila. Its flavour is distinctively earthy and often peppery.  

When combined in cocktails, rum’s sweetness balances tequila’s boldness, paving the way for a harmonious partnership that adds depth and complexity to mixed drinks. This unique pairing brings together tropical warmth and agave freshness, perfect for innovative and delightful cocktail experiences. 

The 5 best rum and tequila cocktails

1. Long Island Iced Tea

Front image of three homemade Long Island Ice Tea Cocktails with Lemon garnish

Cocktail trends come and go, but the Long Island Iced Tea recipe has endured the test of time. In fact, it’s been a big part of global drink culture for decades. This white rum and tequila cocktail is strong, tasty, and best enjoyed as a slow sipper.  

Make it with: Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum    

Also see: 12 Summer Drinks with Rum Perfect for a BBQ at Home 

2. Mai Tai Margaritas

Two Mai Tai Margaritas with pineapple spear garnish

We love a Mai Tai, and adore a Margarita, so this crossover was inevitable. To whip up a Mai Tai Margarita, add 30 ml blanco tequila, 20 ml lime juice, 15 ml orange liqueur, 15ml agave nectar, 2 drops of almond extract, and 45 ml pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  

Shake until frosty, finely strain into a salt-rimmed glass over fresh ice, float 30 ml spiced rum on top, and garnish with a lime wedge and pineapple spear. This is probably one of our favourite tequila and spiced rum drinks at the moment, and one you’ve got to try at least once.

Make it with: Grand Marnier 

Read next: 12 Spiced Rum Cocktails to Spice Up Your Next Event 

3. Coconut Paloma

Two Coconut Paloma with shredded coconut rims and rosemary garnish

The Paloma already has a respectable line-up of spin-offs, and this version is another keeper! To make a Coconut Paloma, combine 30 ml coconut rum, 115 ml blanco tequila, and 90 ml grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a serving glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and mint sprig  

Feeling fancy? Rim your serving glasses with shredded coconut. 

Make it with: Espolòn Tequila Blanco 

Easy does it! The Ultimate List of 2-Ingredient Rum Drinks 

4. Tequila Pineapple Punch

Four Pineapple Tequila Rum Punch cocktails with lemon wheel garnish

Rum Punch is a time-honoured beach holiday drink. To make a pineapple version of this seaside sipper, combine 60 ml reposado tequila, 30 ml coconut rum, 45 ml pineapple juice, and 15 ml lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, fine strain into a serving glass over fresh ice, top off with 90 ml sparkling water, and garnish with a lemon wedge. 

Tropical treats: 9 Pineapple and Tequila Cocktails for a Taste of Paradise 

5. Tokyo Tea

Two bright green Tokyo Tea cocktails with Luxardo cherry garnish

Keen to try a twist on the traditional Long Island Iced Tea? Then it’s time to take your taste buds to Tokyo. To make a Tokyo tea, add 15 ml gin, 15 ml melon liqueur, 15ml white rum, 15 ml blanco tequila, 15ml orange liqueur, 15 ml vodka, and 30 ml sweet-and-sour mix into a highball glass with ice and stir to combine. Top with a splash of soda water, and garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry. 

Make it with: Bulldog Gin 

¡Ariba! 20 Easy Tequila Summer Cocktails for Beginners

Top tips for mixing rum and tequila in cocktails

Creating delicious rum and tequila cocktails is all about using the right ingredients, balancing flavours, and adding the perfect garnish. Here are some top tips to help you craft the best cocktails: 

Choosing the right ingredients  

A bottle of rum on a kitchen counter

  • White rum: Choose white rum for light cocktails. Its clean, crisp flavour, with subtle notes of sweetness and a hint of citrus, pairs well with citrus and tropical fruits. 
  • Golden rum: When you want a richer, more complex flavour, opt for golden rum. It has subtle caramel and vanilla notes from ageing, along with hints of toffee and spices, making it ideal for adding depth. 
  • Aged rum: Use premium, aged rum for depth and smoothness. Its flavour profile includes rich notes of caramel, vanilla, and sometimes chocolate or dried fruits, adding complexity to your drinks. 
  • Blanco tequila: Ideal for cocktails where you want to showcase a fresh and vibrant agave flavour. Its bright, peppery notes and hints of citrus and herbs make it a versatile choice. 
  • Reposado tequila: For a well-rounded, balanced flavour with a hint of oak, choose reposado tequila. Aged for at least two months, it offers smooth flavours with notes of vanilla, caramel, and a touch of spice. 
  • Añejo tequila:  Añejo tequila has a rich, deep flavour, perfect for adding complexity to a mixed drink. Aged for at least one year, it boasts flavours of dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate, with a smooth, lingering finish. 
  • Mixers and complementary ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality mixers like fresh citrus juices and homemade syrups. Experiment with complementary ingredients like coconut, pineapple, and spicy elements to enhance the overall flavour profile. 

Cin cin! 10 Best Tequila and Aperol Cocktails to Sip at Sunset 

Balancing flavours and sweetness

Fresh Cocktail Making Ingredients

  • Balance the sweetness of rum with the earthy notes of tequila. Rum often has a natural sweetness due to its sugarcane origins, while tequila brings earthy, sometimes peppery flavours from the agave plant. By carefully adjusting the ratio, you can create a harmonious blend that highlights the best qualities of each spirit. 
  • Use fresh lime or lemon juice to add acidity and brightness. Citrus juices like lime or lemon provide a tangy acidity that cuts through the richness of rum and tequila, adding a brightness to your cocktail. This acidity helps to balance the flavours, ensuring neither spirit overwhelms the other. 
  • To achieve your desired sweetness, use agave or simple syrup. Syrups are essential for balancing the tartness of citrus and the boldness of the spirits. Agave syrup complements tequila’s natural flavours, while sugar syrup offers a neutral sweetness that pairs well with both rum and tequila. Adjust the amount to suit your taste and achieve the perfect level of sweetness. 
  • Add bitters to enhance complexity and depth. Bitters are concentrated flavour extracts that can add layers of complexity to your cocktail. A few dashes of aromatic or citrus bitters can enhance the overall flavour profile, adding depth and balance to the mix of rum and tequila. They work particularly well to counterbalance the sweetness and bring all the elements together. 

Garnishing tips

Close up of three cocktails garnished with pansies, surrounded by a scattering of pretty edible flowers for cocktails

  • Use fresh fruit slices, like lime or orange, for a vibrant touch. 
  • Add mint sprigs or basil leaves for a fresh, aromatic element. 
  • Rim glasses with salt, sugar, or spice blends to complement the cocktail’s flavours. 
  • Consider edible flowers or a twist of citrus peel for an elegant finish. 

Classic sips: 14 Best Drinks to Mix with Tequila in 2024 

We’d love to see your creations! Share this article and your favourite recipes on social media. Don’t forget to tag us! To learn more about incorporating high-quality spirits in your DIY cocktails, visit Espolòn for tequila inspiration and Wray and Nephew for premium rum insights.  


Absolutely! Mixing rum and tequila can create deliciously complex cocktails. The Long Island Iced Tea is a classic example, blending rum, tequila, vodka, gin, and orange liqueur with a splash of cola. For a tropical twist, try a Mai Tai Margarita, which combines the tropical flavours of a Mai Tai with the tangy punch of a Margarita. Another great option is the Coconut Paloma, which mixes rum and tequila with grapefruit juice for a vibrant drink.

Balancing rum and tequila in a cocktail involve harmonising their distinct flavour profiles. Start with equal parts of each liquor then adjust based on your preference. Use fresh citrus juices like lime or lemon to add acidity and brightness, which helps balance the sweetness of rum and the earthy notes of tequila. Incorporate syrups like agave or simple syrup for desired sweetness and consider adding bitters for extra complexity. Experiment with ratios until you find the perfect blend.

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