20 Inventive Tropical Rum Cocktails For Summer

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Do you have an inkling for a delicious cocktail reminiscent of the warmer seasons? Our selection of the best tropical rum cocktails for summer this year can help you find the ultimate drink.

A classic alcohol spirit, many rum-based cocktails have been associated with the summer season, particularly for their mostly tropical ingredients.

With such a versatile alcohol base, you can curate everything from creamy to crisp clean tasting cocktails using rum. So, whether you want to whip up something at home to remind you of your trip to the islands or want to try one the next time you go out, our list won’t disappoint.

20 Best Tropical Rum Cocktails For Summer

Here are our 20 drinker recommendations for the best tropical rum cocktails for summer.

1. Classic Pina Colada

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A classic, creamy rum-based cocktail, Pina Colada is the first to come to mind when you think of tropical alcoholic cocktails. The Puerto Rican-invented cocktail gets its creamy consistency and subtle tropical fruit flavors from mixing cream of coconut (not coconut cream) and pineapple juice.

On the other hand, the rum adds its smooth alcoholic kick from white rum. Using white rum means that it doesn’t add such a strong taste as the aged gold rum. But, many bartenders today add frozen pineapple, and lime juice for more creaminess and to add more nuanced tanginess.

Toss your ingredients in a blender and add ice cubes for a throat-cooling drink on a warmer day. After blending, pour the blended cocktail into an empty pineapple for that true tropical island holiday feel to escape the hustles and bustles of a big, noisy city for a couple of hours!

Tip: The best part of making the drink on your own is that you can tweak it however you want. The use of the cream of coconut gives it a creamy and richer consistency. But, you can substitute cream of coconut with coconut milk for a finer-tuned sweet and not-so-intense flavor.

2. Painkiller

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Pina Coladas are undoubtedly delicious. But, drinking them alone all summer long can be boring. So, how about a spin – and what better spin than the 1970s-invented Painkiller?

A spinoff of the pina colada, this tropical summer drink uses aged rum instead of white rum to give its flavor more personality. The rum is mixed with cream of coconut and orange juice for a creamy yet, tangy balance.

Top it off with freshly grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder for a fantastic spicy, desert-ish finish.

3. Lava Flow

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Delivering a more fruity and creamy burst of flavors, the Lava Flow cocktail is an upgraded fruity wonderland of the classic pina colada. The cocktail features two extra fresh and decadent ingredients to give it its signature Lava Flow look.

In addition to blending the frozen strawberries and bananas with classic pina colada ingredients, you want to layer the mix to achieve the lava flow appearance.

Tip: Add frozen pineapples to the cocktail mixture for an even creamier and rich consistency with a burst of tropical flavors.

4. Ultra Classic Mojito

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A classic and iconic Cuban cocktail, Mojito is one of the best and among the most popular rum-based cocktails you can enjoy all year round. Whether you sip it poolside during the summer season or pretend it’s summer in the dead of winter using your furnace, a mojito never disappoints.

The rum-based drink delivers a not-so-sweet, yet, bubbly, crisp clean, fresh minty sensation. Unlike what you will find in pre-mixed mojito on grocery or liquor store shelves, classic mojito features a more nuanced sweet flavor thanks to the more controlled sugars.

To make your mojito at home, start by muddling mint, and then add lime juice, rum, and a dash of simple syrup before transferring the mixture to a cocktail shaker. After thoroughly mixing, pour the mixture into a highball glass with some mint springs in it and top it off with club soda.

5. Frozen Mojito

 

 
 
 
 
 
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On an extremely warm day, how about you curb the summer heat with a frozen mojito? This elevated summer cocktail uses the same ingredients as a classic mojito. But, ice replaces soda water and instead of a topping, it is added to a blender with the rest of the ingredients for a frozen slushier consistency.

Tip: Add a fruity element to this tropical summer heat by adding fresh raspberries to the blending mixture for an instant fruity frozen raspberry mojito.

6. Daiquiri

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A classic summer drink, daiquiri should definitely be on your menu for the next summer get-together with friends. After all, this delicious cocktail is pretty simple to make. In a cocktail shaker, mix white Cuban rum with fresh lime juice and fine sugar.

Then, strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime slice for an instantly delicious summer cocktail.

7. Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

Or, you can add life to your classic daiquiri with a tropical fruit twist. Making it at home allows you to enjoy a more fine-tuned and natural taste than the pre-mixed crap you get at the store or the syrupy drinks at the bar. Blend classic daiquiri ingredients with as many frozen strawberries for a rich, creamy, and smooth, yet, fresh drink.

8. Hemingway Daiquiri

 

 
 
 
 
 
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As the name suggests, the Hemingway daiquiri is a spin-off version of the classic daiquiri inspired by none other than the famed writer, Ernest Hemingway. Dubbed Papa Doble by the barmen at the El Floridita bar in Havana the writer frequented, this version of daiquiri has a slight change.

The amount of rum is doubled while the sugar is completely eliminated in the Hemingway daiquiri. But, with zero sugar, the cocktail didn’t appeal to anyone else other than the writer.

So, the bar made slight tweaks to the recipe to a more palatable version that included grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur. The rest is history – Hemingway daiquiri has become one of the most popular tropical cocktails.

9. Mai Tai

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A classic Mai Tai doesn’t typically offer the traditional or mainstream tropical flavor. Yet, it remains one of the best rum cocktails for summer. It boasts a classic citrusy orange flavor it gets from its smart blend of ingredients. The cocktail is traditionally made using two types of rum, Curacao orange liqueur, and Orgeat syrup.

10. Popularized Mai Tai

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The popularized mai tai has become a more common drink in many bars as opposed to the classic mai tai. This slightly elevated cocktail uses two types of rum, and curacao just like the classic.

But, this popularized version adds lime juice and almond syrup to the mix for a nuttier, orangey flavor profile. This popularized version achieves a more regal, warm, and tamed sophisticated flavor that still appeals during the warmer, summer season.

11. Bahama Mama

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Informally known as an adult slushie, Bahama mama is the ultimate tropical rum cocktail for summer. The cocktail features a rich source of tropical ingredients – including rum, coconut rum, orange juice, and pineapple juice. The ingredients are mixed with grenadine and blended with ice for a mouthwatering slushy consistency.

Tip: Add to the richness of the cocktail by replacing plain ice with frozen oranges and pineapples.

12. Rum Punch

A party favorite, the rum punch is what you make for a fun gathering with friends. The tropical summer rum cocktail combines rum and several tropical fruit juices with grenadine. Spiced or dark rum is a great option and blends well with fresh orange, pineapple, and lime juices for well balanced sweetness and tartness.

Since you don’t use a large number of syrups or artificial sugars, the punch doesn’t contain that overly sugary taste. On the other hand, the rum complements the fruit juice mix well without that overpowering alcoholic taste.

13. Bushwacker

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Not your typical rum cocktail with fruity flavor notes, the Bushwacker takes a more inventive approach. Invented in the 70s, the Bushwacker cocktail combines a unique blend of classic pina colada and a chocolate milkshake.

As a result, you get a rich and decadent chocolatey, coffee, and vanilla taste with faint hints of tropical coconut and pineapple. The richness it offers makes it perfect for all year round enjoyment, whether on a warm night out or a chilly winter weekend. It’s certainly a tropical cocktail taste to remember!

14. Dirty Banana

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Dirty Banana is a popular rum cocktail among beach bars, cruises, and island resorts. so, what better way to relive the fun summer vacation than with a nice glass of rich homemade dirty banana cocktail?

After all, the only big machine you need to make this swim-up bar favorite is a blender. To make a dirty banana, you want to have in hand rum, banana liqueur, coffee liqueur, and a half and half. Aged rum makes a great alcohol base as it adds that caramel edge that blends pretty well with the sweetness of the bananas.

If you can’t get your hands on aged rum, spiced rum does an equally great job with its spiciness adding depth to the drink. In this cocktail, light or white rum aren’t the best options as they compromise the much-needed richness of the drink for more crispiness.

On the other hand, complementing the banana liqueur with fresh bananas, ideally, overripe ones add a naturally sweet fruity flavor. So, the next time you end up with a bunch of overripe bananas, you know exactly what to do to prevent food wastage.

Finally, the half and half add extra richness and can be substituted with heavy cream or whole milk at half of the half-and-half serving in the cocktail. On the other hand, the addition of coffee liqueur in this cocktail adds that complexity to the cocktail while clearly differentiating it from a frozen banana daiquiri.

15. Hurricane

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Invented in New Orleans, the Hurricane cocktail effortlessly captures the beauty of the city. It packs a boozy punch yet, the rum in it doesn’t overpower the subtle, not-so-sweet fruity taste.

The summer tropical rum cocktail is made using two types of rum for that extra zing while it gets the fruity explosion from passion fruit juice. The cocktail is finished off with grenadine to give it an extra layer of sweetness and its signature rose-to-gold-to-amber look.

16. Blue Hawaii

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Since we are on the topic of colorful cocktails, there’s no better option than Blue Hawaii when it comes to colorful and delicious cocktails. After all, what screams summer more than a delicious, sugary, colorful cocktail?

Not to be confused with the Blue Hawaiian, the Blue Hawaii cocktail is made using a mix of three alcohol bases, sour mix, and pineapple juice. The cocktail uses light rum, vodka, and blue Curacao which gives it its signature blue color.

On the other hand, the Blue Hawaiian replaces the sour mix with crème of coconut for a creamier consistency. To complete the tropical look, the cocktail is shaken and poured over ice in hurricane glass and garnished with a pineapple or orange slice and maraschino cherry.

Tip: Mix fresh citrus juice and simple syrup for an instant homemade sweet and sour mix to eliminate the overly artificial flavors in the cocktail!

17. Rum Runner

As the title may suggest, the rum runner is the ultimate tropical cocktail. It combines a blend of decadent tropical fruits and a boozy kick from two types of rum. While it was launched in the 50s in Florida, the cocktail’s ingredients have evolved depending on every bartender’s preferences.

However, the basics remain the same – which is what we love to incorporate in our version! Simply mix light rum, spiced or coconut rum, banana, and blackberry liqueur. The use of the blackberry liqueur adds depth to the flavor and some tannin flavor to counter the sweetness of other liqueurs.

We then add pineapple and lime juices with a dash of grenadine. Plus, for our very own twist, we add fresh or frozen bananas to the mix before tossing the mixture into a blender. As a result, you have a rich, creamy, smooth, and ultra delicious typical summer cocktail.

18. Dark & Stormy

Not your typical tropical summer drink, the Dark & Stormy cocktail has a clean and crisp finish.  Yet, it only takes three ingredients to make this complex tropical drink. The cocktail starts with rich dark rum that adds its own personality to the mix with subtle notes of brown sugar and vanilla.

A spicy ginger beer follows to add to bubbliest and fruitiness. To balance out the spices and sugars, the cocktail is topped off with lime juice for an extra tangy kick. As a result, this tangy and sweet effervescent is perfect on any warm summer day.

19.  Old Cuban

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A classic mash up of two cocktails, the Old Cuban is simply a mojito elevated with bubbly. The cocktail is made by simply mixing one part Mojito and one part French 75. This mixture gives the cocktail a unique complexity of flavor.

 You will get everything you dreamed of from a tropical summer cocktail – fresh cooling minty sensation, refreshing effervescence, deep rum flavors, and without forgetting a blend of tropical fruit juices. Unlike many popular cocktails, despite its name, the Old Cuban was invented in the early 2000s.

20. Long Island Ice Tea

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The list of the best tropical cocktails wouldn’t be complete without the Long Island Ice Tea. The Long Island Ice Tea is one of the few cocktails packed with a high boozy punch, thanks to its up to 5 alcohol bases and minimal mixers.

Yet, it delivers one of the most delicious and refreshing summer tastes. The cocktail combines a mixture of tequila, vodka, white rum, Cointreau, and gin with lemon juice and simple syrup. The mixture is stirred into a highball glass filled with ice and topped with a splash of cola. The result is a refreshingly cool cocktail.

Tip: If the alcohol is too strong for you, you can tweak your mix. Replace cola with cranberry juice for an instantly sweet and refreshing Long Beach Iced Tea.

FAQs

What Is A Tropical Rum Drink?

A tropical rum drink refers to an alcoholic cocktail curated with rum as the main or one of the main alcohol bases. Further, the mixed drink contains tropical ingredients typically consumed during the summer season or in warm climates. These include fruits and fruit juices, such as pineapple, orange, lime, grapefruit, and cranberry, to mention a few.

Conclusion

Whether the warm season is around the corner or simply want to relive the memorable island vacation, you can’t go wrong with the right tropical rum cocktails for summer.

With our extensive arsenal above, you can never run out of options to enjoy. Whether it’s a clean crisp flavor, fruity and sweet slushie cocktail, or rich creamy chocolatey drink, we have you covered with our rum-based tropical cocktail list.

Chad Smith

Hello and Welcome, I am Chad, a formal bartender. I created this blog to help readers make exotic cocktails at home.

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