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12 Summer Rum Cocktails Perfect for a BBQ at Home

May 17, 2024 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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As summer sashays onto the scene, one thing is on everyone’s mind—long, cool sips and chilling out with friends! That’s right, besties, the season of laid-back summer drinks with rum has arrived. From classic Mojitos to inventive tropical clinkers, rum reigns supreme during the warm-weather months, offering a perfect blend of sweetness, versatility, and that unmistakable island charm.  

So, let The Mixer be your compass through the sea of possibilities. Discover a treasure trove of summer rum drinks for effortless enjoyment, and let’s raise a glass to balmy days and cool breezes! 

Classic rum cocktails for summer

1. Mojito

Two Mojito cocktails on a picnic table next to a charcuterie platter under a tree on a sunny day

The minty fresh Mojito is one of our favorite summer rum cocktails. By simply combining a few ingredients, you get a sweet, sparkly sip. It’s so easy; all you need is white rum, lime, mint, sugar and a little club soda for a fizzy finish. Can you feel the sunshine on your face yet, honey? 

Make it with: Trois Rivières White Rum

Also see: 36 Easy Summer Cocktails That Look Super Fancy 

2. Hurricane

Two Hurricane cocktails on a table between two striped deck chairs outside on a sunny day

A Hurricane cocktail offers a lively burst of bold tropical flavors. Dark and light rum create a dynamic base, their richness tempered by passion fruit and orange juices. Grenadine adds a touch of sweetness, while a hint of lime provides a subtle tartness. In short, these refreshing rum drinks are a whirlwind of bold, fruity notes with a pleasing depth of rummy goodness.  

Make it with: Appleton Estate Rum

3. Zombie Cocktail

Two Zombie cocktails with lime wheel garnish

Arguably one of the best rum drinks for summer, the Zombie cocktail is a potent fusion of light and dark rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine. The boldness of rum harmonizes with the bright fruity notes of the juice, resulting in a spirited cocktail with layers of flavor. Sip slowly and enjoy!  

Tropical-inspired rum creations

4. Watermelon Daiquiri

Close up of two Watermelon Daiquiri cocktails with watermelon wedge garnish

If you love your summer mixed drinks with rum on the fruity end of the spectrum, you’ve got to whip up some Watermelon Daiquiris, darling. Traditionally, a Daiquiri is a mixture of rum muddled with a little simple syrup, but fruity Daiquiris feature a hero fruit that’s blended in for extra huzzah. This Watermelon Daiquiri also includes a measure of watermelon liqueur to boost the fruity deliciousness. 

5. Rum Punch

A jug of Rum Punch and two glasses on a serving platter on a table outside overlooking a beach scene in the late afternoon on a sunny day

Pondering how to drink rum in the summer when you’re serving a crowd? Then Rum Punch is your answer, friend! It comes together very easily and goes down smoothly on a hot day—perfect for pool parties, BBQs, and sunny days. We love pairing it with snacks like coconut shrimp, jerk chicken, and ceviche served with crunchy nachos.   

6. Mai Tai

A Grand Mai Tai garnished with a pineapple wedge and fronds, served in a modern bar

If you love easy rum cocktails with some serious tropical swagger, the Mai Tai should be at the top of your list of poolside rum drinks. This cool clinker comes to the party with hints of sweet orange liqueur and a subtle tartness from the lime juice. You can also easily scale this recipe into a crowd-pleaser by making a pitcher in advance. Combine all ingredients (except the ice) and chill in the fridge before serving.  

Caribbean Inspiration: 10 Falernum Cocktails to Try   

Easy rum drinks for laid-back vibes

7. Italian Breeze

Editorial style image of two Italian Breeze cocktails on a table outside with a typical scene in Cinque Terre on a sunny day as backdrop

This low-prep cocktail is ideal for sultry afternoons that call for a tropical twist. Make an Italian Breeze by mixing equal parts rum and amaretto with pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and ice. Serve over ice in a highball glass with a pineapple wedge to garnish. You might be tempted to add a little paper umbrella—we say, go for it! Tart, sweet, and super sippable, it’s the only drink you’ll want this summer.     

8. Cuba Libre 

Two Cuba Libre cocktails on a table in a modern home kitchen with a window overlooking a lush summer garden

Rum and cola are best friends, and you can make this drink with white or dark rum. To make a classic Cuba Libre, add lime to the mix. Here’s a quick recipe: Pour 1 part rum and 2 parts cola into an ice-filled glass. Add a squeeze of lime juice, then drop the wedge into the drink. Classic and delicious.      

Take it easy: The Ultimate List of 2-Ingredient Rum Drinks 

9. Dark ‘n Stormy

Close up of two glasses of Mojito with Dark Rum on a table overlooking an oceanscape beyond on a clear and sunny day

The Dark ‘n Stormy is a true blue time-honored rum drink. With a storied history that harks back more than a century, it’s a drink best enjoyed with your toes in the sand. No beach in sight? Don’t worry.  It will get you in a tropical state of mind even if you happen to be slap-bang in the middle of a concrete jungle.   

You might also like: 14 Dark Rum Cocktails to Try in 2024 

Low-alcohol rum alternatives & mocktails

10.  Virgin Piña Colada

Two Virgin Pina Colada cocktails on a window sill overlooking a summery beach scene on a summer day

A Virgin Piña Colada is a delightful non-alcoholic blend of coconut cream, pineapple juice, and crushed ice. It offers the same tropical sweetness and creamy texture as its alcoholic counterpart, sans the rum. With its refreshing taste reminiscent of a beach getaway, this mocktail is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a taste of the tropics without the buzz. 

11.  Spiced & Soda

Two Spiced & Soda cocktails on a countertop overlooking a pool on a sunny day

Have you ever had a Spiced and Soda? That’s the name for spiced rum mixed with club soda. These 2-ingredient rum drinks are delicious if you enjoy a lower-calorie, rum-forward drink. Simply add 2 oz spiced rum to a tall glass with ice and top it off with as much club soda as you like. Bubbly and delicious, adding a squeeze of lime will elevate this easy clinker to a whole new level.  

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

12.  Rum & Coconut Water

Two whiskey and coconut water cocktails on a table in a beach house overlooking an ocean scene outside the window

Coconut and rum have always been a classic combo, so a rum-based coconut water drink just makes sense. We suggest using a rum with strong vanilla notes for a little extra sweetness or choosing a gold rum for an infusion of fun, fruity flavors.    

These cocktails sound amazing, don’t they? Let us know which summer mixed drinks with rum you try first and remember to tag us on Instagram when you share your pics. PS. There are more amazing summer rum cocktails to be found on the Appleton Estate website, so head over there if you’re in the mood for even more inspo.  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Lightening up your rum drinks for summer is a breeze. Start by using fresh fruit juices, like pineapple or lime, instead of heavy mixers. Opt for clear sodas or sparkling water to add fizz without added calories. Consider swapping out sugary syrups for natural sweeteners like agave or honey. Don't forget plenty of ice—it not only chills your drink but dilutes it slightly, making it lighter and more refreshing. Experiment with herbs like mint or basil for an extra burst of flavor.

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