Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Pool Party



Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

If your happy place is a sunny beach situation with tousled hair and sandy toes, this Rum Runner cocktail recipe deserves a place of honor in your DIY drinks arsenal. Get ready to get that laidback island-style feeling while we teach you how to make a Rum Runner in the easiest way possible. 



Blackberry brandy can be used instead of blackberry liqueur


We love fresh pineapple as a garnish


Pairs wonderfully with pulled pork or jackfruit tacos


Color pencil illustration of a Rum Runner cocktail


1 Person

1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Wray & Nephew light rum
1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Appleton Estate dark rum
1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Banana liqueur
0.5 Oz

15 Ml

0.5 Parts

Blackberry liqueur
1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Pineapple juice
Splash of grenadine
Fresh seasonal fruit to garnish



Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice


Shake until cold and strain into a serving glass


Garnish with fresh fruit and serve

How strong is a Rum Runner?

When you look at what’s in a Rum Runner cocktail it’s quite obvious that this drink is something to be sipped and savored. With two different rums and two liqueurs in the mix, it’s towards the heftier end of the ABV spectrum 

The exact strength of the drink will depend on the ingredients you use. However, rum will normally be around 80% proof, while liqueurs fall between 50 – 60% proof. This will place the Rum Runner at around 25% ABV, or 42% proof, give or take. 

If you want to bring the ABV down somewhat without changing up the flavor, we suggest turning it into a Frozen Rum Runner cocktail recipe. To do so, you simply pour all the ingredients into a blender with a 3/4 cup of ice and blend it until smooth.  

Keen on something lighter? The Unexpected Summer Trend: Low ABV Cocktails 

History of the Rum Runner

The recipe for the Rum Runner drink dates back to the 1970s, when the owner of a holiday bar in Key West, Florida, realized they needed to do something about their sizeable rum stock.  

So, they invented the Rum Runner, which included both light and dark rum, and named it after the shady characters who would smuggle booze to the United States from the Caribbean Islands during the Prohibition era.  

Other recipes for rum lovers

If you love the ingredients in a Rum Runner, we’ve got a few other cocktails that should be on your radar.  After all, now that you know how to make a Rum Runner cocktail at home, it’s time to expand your range, don’t you think…? 

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is the quintessential tiki drink. Poured with both dark and light rum, this tropical sip is tart and sweet, shaken with fresh lime juice, an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, and orgeat syrup. Orgeat is an almond-flavored syrup made with a little orange flower water that makes this tiki cocktail stand out from the crowd.  

Watermelon Daiquiri

Planning a barbecue this summer? Make sure you’ve got this tasty Watermelon Daiquiri on the menu to really get the party started. This rum cocktail has summer entertaining written all over it and it will make a great addition to beach parties and garden gatherings. It’s also very easy to turn this refreshing drink into a fantastic mocktail the whole family can enjoy. 

More moreish mocktails? 8 Easy Mocktails for Simple and Clean Sipping 

Piña Colada

The indulgent Piña Colada is packed with tropical and white rum flavor, and is arguably one of the tastiest cocktails you’ll ever sip. Perfect for beach vibes, pool parties, and lazy summer days! 

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A Rum Runner cocktail contains light rum, dark rum, banana liqueur, blackberry liqueur, pineapple juice, and grenadine.

A terrific tropical drink that's on the stronger side, the Rum Runner cocktail is sweet and fruity filled with fruit liqueurs, juices, and a sneaky kick.

A Rum Runner is the name of a very tasty rum-based cocktail. However, the term was initially used to describe alcohol smugglers who would bring booze to the United States from the Caribbean Islands during the Prohibition era.