5 Best Cocktails with Rum and Tequila

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 flavorful possibilities. With their distinct profiles, these two popular spirits 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 flavors, choose the right ingredients, and garnish like a pro. Cheers to delightful tequila and rum drinks! 

Rum and tequila basics

Shots 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 flavor 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 flavor 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 Margarita rum and tequila cocktails 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 1 oz blanco tequila, 0.75 oz lime juice, 0.5 oz orange liqueur, 0.5 oz agave nectar, 2 drops of almond extract, and 1.5 oz pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  

Shake until frosty, finely strain into a salt-rimmed glass over fresh ice, float 1 oz spiced rum on top, and garnish with a lime wedge and pineapple spear. This is probably one of our favorite 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 cocktails with shredded coconut rims and rosemary garnish in a garden setting

The Paloma already has a respectable line-up of spin-offs, and this version is another keeper! To make a Coconut Paloma, combine 1 oz coconut rum, 1.5 oz blanco tequila, and 3 oz 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 Tequila Pineapple Rum Punch cocktails served in lowball glasses with lemon garnish

Rum Punch is a time-honored beach holiday drink. To make a pineapple version of this seaside sipper, combine 2 oz reposado tequila, 1 oz coconut rum, 1.5 oz pineapple juice, and 0.5 oz lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, fine strain into a serving glass over fresh ice, top off with 3 oz sparkling water, and garnish with a lemon wedge. 

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

5. Tokyo Tea

Two 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 on a trip to Tokyo. To make a Tokyo tea, add 0.5 oz gin, 0.5 oz melon liqueur, 0.5 oz rum, 0.5 oz tequila, 0.5 oz orange liqueur, 0.5 oz vodka, and 1 oz sweet-and-sour mix into a highball glass with ice and stir to combine. Top with a splash of club soda, 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 flavors, and adding the perfect garnish. Here are some handy tips and tricks 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 flavor, 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 flavor, opt for golden rum. It has subtle caramel and vanilla notes from aging, along with hints of toffee and spices, making it ideal for adding depth. 
  • Aged rum: Use premium, aged rum for depth and smoothness. Its flavor 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 flavor. Its bright, peppery notes and hints of citrus and herbs make it a versatile choice. 
  • Reposado tequila: For a well-rounded, balanced flavor with a hint of oak, choose reposado tequila. Aged for at least two months, it offers smooth flavors with notes of vanilla, caramel, and a touch of spice. 
  • Añejo tequilaAñejo tequila has a rich, deep flavor, perfect for adding complexity to a mixed drink. Aged for at least one year, it boasts flavors 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 flavor profile. 

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

Balancing flavors 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 flavors from the agave plant. By carefully adjusting the ratio, you can create a harmonious blend that highlights the best qualities of each liquor. 
  • 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 brightness to your cocktail. This acidity helps to balance the flavors, 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 liquor. Agave syrup complements tequila’s natural flavors, while simple 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 flavor extracts that can add layers of complexity to your cocktail. A few dashes of aromatic or citrus bitters can enhance the overall flavor 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 flavors. 
  • 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 favorite recipes on social media. Don’t forget to tag us! To learn more about incorporating high-quality liquor 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 flavors 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 harmonzing their distinct flavor profiles. Start with equal parts of each spirit, 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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