Nothing completes a beach vacation like a rum punch or a piña colada—especially if you’ve got your toes in the sand. But that’s not all this spirit is good for! In fact, whether you’re tying the knot next to the ocean or are decidedly inland, rum really shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to your wedding bar. Think about it: It’s versatile (coming in light, dark, spiced, aged, and white varieties), it’s flavorful, and who doesn’t want their wedding day to feel like an indulgent tropical getaway, even when the theme is totally classic and there isn’t a palm frond in sight?
Need a reason to put more than vodka and whiskey behind the bar at your wedding reception? We asked four mixologists from around the country to share rum-based cocktail recipes that would be the perfect fuel for your dance party.
From Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago, IL
If rum makes you think of tiki drinks, you’ll love this modern take on a classic from a decidedly tropical hotspot in the heart of the Windy City.
- 1 1⁄2 oz Blanc Rhum agricole
- 1⁄2 oz mango brandy -1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz fresh pineapple juice -1⁄2 oz petite cane syrup
- 1⁄2 kiwi, peeled
- Pineapple crescent and fronds, lime wheel, kiwi slice and orchid, for garnish
Muddle kiwi in a tall glass. Add liquid ingredients. Insert swizzle stick, add crushed ice, and swizzle. Garnish with pineapple crescent and fronds, lime wheel, kiwi slice, and orchid.
Dance With Me
From Couple of Bartenders in Arizona
These mixologists are wedding pros, offering mobile bartending (aka liquid catering) across Arizona. This signature cocktail is guaranteed to be a hit!
- 1 oz coconut rum
- 1⁄2 oz triple sec
- 1⁄2 oz orange juice -1⁄4 oz fresh lime juice -1⁄4 oz Monin Raspberry Syrup
Dehydrated orange and mint, for garnish
Pour all ingredients except soda water into a shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds, then strain over ice into a wine glass. Top with soda water, and garnish with dehydrated orange and a sprig of mint.
Apple of My Eye
From On the Rocks Bartending in Raleigh, NC
Looking for a refreshing cocktail with a classic flavor? If you love Captain Morgan, you’ll love this.
1 1⁄2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
3 oz apple juice
1 oz ginger ale (or ginger beer for a spicier kick)
Apple slice, for garnish
Add ice, rum, and apple juice to a shaker. Shake for 20 seconds, then pour (with ice) into a 9 oz rocks glass. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer, and garnish with an apple slice.
From Trick Dog in San Francisco
If you’re ever in San Francisco, you won’t want to miss this industrial-chic bar—or this delicious rum cocktail. Three different rums bring a variety of flavors into the drink (El Dorado is rich, Don Q is fruity, and Pampero has maple notes), while the toasted spice flavor makes it a sophisticated sipper. And a little cold brew means your guests will be dancing all night!
1 oz El Dorado 3 Year Rum
1⁄2 oz Don Q Anejo Rum
1⁄2 oz Pampero Aniversario Rum
1 oz grapefruit juice
3⁄4 oz North African Syrup (*recipe below)
3⁄4 oz cold brew coffee
1⁄2 oz fresh lime juice
Shake ingredients together with ice. Strain over ice into an Old Fashioned glass.
North African Syrup
1 tbsp fenugreek
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp allspice
2 cups water
4 cups sugar
Toast the spices in a saucepan until fragrant. Add water and sugar, bring to a boil, and then remove the pan from the heat. Allow the syrup to cool, then strain before use.