Mixology 101 Presents: The Rum Diary

by Andrew Connor, Columnist

dreamstime_87343962As you may have noticed, here at Mixology 101 I’ve tried to take a dignified stance on the act of drinking.  Much like fashion, you can go the bare minimum route and do alright, but Moda isn’t about that.  We try to preach the ethos, “obtainable class,” or something to that effect; I forgot how my editor phrased it.

So, in that spirit, I’ve compiled a list of sixteen different cocktails that you will only need one bottle of liquor to make.  Specifically, I’m using white rum for these and nothing else.  So many cocktail recipes require you use more than on type of spirit, and while I’m not against that, it can get a bit pricey.  Additionally, all of these ingredients are obtainable; most are staples you have in your kitchen already, and the rest can be picked up at the supermarket for about a fistful of quarters or less.

White, light, or silver rum are different from their gold, dark, or spiced counterparts because they do not carry as much flavor, except for a light sweetness. Due to its mild flavor, white rum is a popular choice for mixed drinks as it mixes well with a variety of ingredients, thus making it the perfect choice for this article.  Also, you can buy a bottle of Bacardi for not a whole lot of money, and it is still considered a relatively premium liquor.

But ideally you find this to be a good guide for over the course of the coming summer.  It’s almost the end of the year, so I’ve decided to finish it with a bang and create a list that I have dubbed the Rum Diary, with as many summer appropriate drinks as I can.



The Mojito is such an iconic rum-based drink that omitting it from the Rum Diary would be an act so heinous, Johnny Depp himself would find his way to my apartment and knock me over the head with an empty bottle of Flor de Cana. I mean, that would suck, but oh my god you guys, Johnny freaking Depp. Anyway, the classic recipe is as follows:

1.5oz White Rum

Club Soda

1-2 Tbsp Sugar

2 Lime Wedges

10 Mint Leaves

In an empty highball glass, muddle mint leaves, sugar, one lime wedge, and a splash of club soda.  Fill the glass with ice.  Pour in the rum, and then fill to the top with club soda.  Use a bar spoon to mix up the ingredients a bit, then garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

If you feel like having a little fun, you can stray from the classic recipe by adding blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, or any other fruit of your choosing.  Simply muddle it with the sugar mint and lime (though I would suggest using juice instead of a wedge of you’re making it with other fruit), then add ice, rum, and club soda.


Cuba Libre 

Okay, so it’s just a Rum & Coke…but with lime.  But, no matter what you call it, it’s simple, tasty, and effective…and that’s all I have to say about that.

2oz Rum

1 Lime


Simply add ice to a highball, and then add the juice from half of the lime.  Next, add the rum and top the rest of the glass with Coke.  Garnish with a lime wedge.



When most people think about Daiquiris, they imagine the sugar-filled, blended drinks you usually are served at those chain resorts like Sandals or something.  Truth be told, the classic way to make a Daiquiri is much more elegant and simple.  All you need is:

2oz White Rum

2oz Lime Juice

1oz Simple Syrup

Simply add all three ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass.



Do you like coconuts? You don’t? Say brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from? That’s a reference to It’s a Wonderful Life; no one ever seems to get it, but whatever.  Anyway, I find it strange that a lot of people don’t really care for coconuts; however, fewer people like coconut water.  I’ll admit, it takes a while to get used to, but it’s actually pretty good once you’ve acquired the taste, and it’s healthy for you, too.  So naturally, you should find a way to get completely loaded from it.  Enter, the Caribeño:

1.5oz White Rum

.5oz Lime Juice

.5oz Simple Syrup

4oz Coconut Water

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker.  Shake, and then strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice.


Piña Colada

Do you like getting caught in the rain? Are you not into yoga? Do you think that Jimmy Buffet actually wrote that song?  He didn’t. Why does everybody think that?  It was Rupert Holmes, people.  Anyway, Piña Coladas are a drink that people only have when they’re on vacation because frankly it almost seems inappropriate to have it any other time. Nevertheless, it’s a good one to know for when it gets hot out.

1.5oz White Rum

2oz Coconut Milk

2oz Lime

Maraschino Cheery

Pineapple Slice

Crushed Ice (Optional)

Okay, so the most common way people make this drink is in blended form.  Simply add all the ingredients to a blender and let her rip.  Then, pour into what is refered to as a “hurricane glass.”  Don’t worry, I don’t have one either, so a highball glass or just chugging from the blender will do.  If you don’t have a blender handy, or it just sucks (like mine), you can add all the ingredients (sans crushed ice) to an ice filled cocktail shaker, then strain into a cocktail glass.  In either case, garnish the drink with a cherry and pineapple slice.


Shanghai Buck

Here’s another simple recipe; there’s not much to say about it, but if you read my last article you’ll know that it’s another variation on the “buck” formula.  Its original creator is Billy Ngo, a chef at Kru in Sacramento, CA.

1.5oz White Rum

Ginger Beer

4 Tsp Grated Ginger

2 Tsp Lime Juice

Angostura Bitters

In an empty highball glass, add ginger, lime juice, and a couple dashes of bitters.  Next, add ice, then pour in rum; fill to the top with ginger beer.  Finally, garnish with a lime wedge.


Honey Bee

This one gets it’s roots from the prohibition era, but it’s also been referred to as the Bee’s Knees, and the Honey Suckle. The problem here is that the drink has multiple variations with different liquors, and nobody can seem to get the naming straight.  Anyway, to make the Honey Bee with white rum you need the following:

2oz White Rum

.5 Tbsp Honey

.5oz Lime Juice

.5 Tbsp Warm Water

First, in an empty cocktail shaker, dissolve the honey with the warm water by stirring it.  Once it has dissolved, add the lime juice, rum, and ice; shake.  Strain contents into a cocktail glass.


Rum & Grapefruit Spritzer

This is an easy rum-based cocktail for those who like a little sour flavor in their drinks.

1.5oz White Rum

Grapefruit Juice

Ginger Ale of Ginger Beer

Candied Ginger as Garnish

In an ice-filled highball, pour in the rum, then fill the glass halfway with grapefruit juice, then finish off the glass with ginger ale/beer.  Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.


Rum Daisy

Here is a simple cocktail that, assuming you have white rum and grenadine, can be made with simple ingredients you probably have lying around your kitchen.

1.5oz White Rum

1oz Lemon Juice

.5 Tsp Grenadian

1 Tsp Powdered Sugar

Angostura Bitters (Optional)

Lemon Slice

Maraschino Cherry

Combine all ingredients (sans lemon slice and cherry) in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.  Next, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.


Rum Punch

There are just about a million ways to make a rum punch, but I’m going to keep it simple with a recipe from our favorite homemaking felon, Martha Stewart.  This is great for any large gatherings you have over the summer because you make this in a batch that will serve eight people.  Or serve yourself eight times; it’s your choice, really.

1.5 Cups White Rum

3 Cups Orange Juice

3 Cups Pineapple Juice

3 Tbsp Lime Juice

2 Tbsp Cranberry Juice

2 Tbsp Grenadine

1 Lime

Basically mix all these ingredients in a large pitcher and add ice.  Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with lime wedges.


Rum Sour

This is another simple to make, small portion rum cocktail that is very similar to the daiquiri, but uses lime juice instead of lemon juice.

2oz White Rum

2oz Lemon Juice

1oz Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; strain into a cocktail glass.


Perfect Peach

One of my favorite parts about summer is that all the greatest fruit is in season.  Specifically, I love peaches, and they’re a downright pain to find in good quality year round. Naturally, this drink from SeriousEats.com featuring peaches is the perfect addition to the Rum Diary.

1.5oz White Rum

5 Peach Slices

3 Bing Cherries

.5oz Lime Juice

.25oz Simple Syrup

Muddle peach slices and cherries at the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Next, add simple syrup, lime juice, and rum.  Add ice and shake, then strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with a peach slice.



Orange & Cranberry Rum Spritzer

Another fruity spritzer for your liking:

1.5oz White Rum

2oz Orange Juice

2oz Cranberry Juice

2oz Club Soda

Orange Slice

In an ice-filled highball, pour in the rum, cranberry juice, and orange juice.  Fill to the top with club soda and garnish with an orange slice.



Add this to the list of drinks that might give you gut rot, but will work handily on a hot summer’s day.

1.5oz White Rum

1oz Orange Juice

1 Tsp Grenadine

4oz Tonic Water

Lemon Wedge

In an ice-filled highball, pour in the rum, then the orange juice.  Next add the grenadine and top off the rest of the glass with tonic water; garnish with a lemon wedge.


American” Grog

Arrrrrrrrggg matey. Yeah, pirates drink grog, I think, so if you’re the kind of person who takes their Pirates of The Caribbean movie marathons seriously (and who among us doesn’t?) you might want to try this simplified recipe.  For those who are unaware, grog is merely a mixture of rum and hot water with some other ingredients thrown in for flavor, and is typically made with dark rum.  However, for the sake of the Rum Diary, we will be using this recipe that calls for white rum. It can be served hot or cold but if you’re going for the authentic experience you’ll have to drink it hot.

1.5oz White Rum

.5oz Lemon Juice

Pinch of Sugar

1 Lemon Wedge

1 Cinnamon Stick

2 Whole Cloves

2.5oz Boiling Water

Combine the rum, lemon juice, and sugar in a mug.  Next, place in the lemon slice, cinnamon stick, and cloves in the glass.  Finally add boiling water and enjoy.


Cherry-Lime Collins

I wasn’t going to create a list this big without adding my own creation.  It’s simply a variation on the Tom Collins formula, using white rum instead of Gin and adding some cherry and lime flavor to the mix.  Here is what you’ll need:

1.5oz White Rum

2oz Lemon Juice

2oz Grenadine

Club Soda

Lime Wedge

Maraschino Cherry

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, pour in the rum, lime juice, and grenadine; shake and then pour into an ice-filled highball.  Top the rest of the glass off with club soda, then garnish with a lime wedge and cherry.


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