15 Types Of Rum Cocktails From Around The World

Rum was born in Barbados centuries ago. Owing to this place of inception, there is an inherent tropical quality — or at least a predilection towards tropical flavors — in cocktails crafted with the spirit. Yet rum has established roots many miles from its origin point. Moreover, every major sugar-producing nation now makes its own rum. As a result, rum-based cocktails have changed. In fact, they become more and more innovative by the week, in a huge range of regions.

Each place rum has touched has produced a unique portfolio of libations. Local ingredients, influences, and legacies all play a delicious role. Wanna drink rum with a fascinating naval history? You need German grog. What about rum served in a Argentinean monument? Try the Buenos Aires zombie. Whether you're visiting any of these places or just want to take your palate on a world tour, we're here to help. These 15 rum cocktails from across the globe are sure to make you fall in love with this versatile spirit.

Rum Martinez - Japan

When you think of Japan and booze, sake, whiskey, and shochu are probably the first liquors that come to mind. But there's one major reason why rum should be on your radar too when it comes to Japanese drinks. That reason is the Rum Martinez.

The mother of the Rum Martinez is the Martinez, which likely originated as a derivation of the Manhattan. The Martinez is largely accepted as the precursor to the martini. All this historical cocktail ping-ponging aside, the classic Martinez typically comprises gin, vermouth, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and bitters, with an orange twist. The Rum Martinez — brainchild of celebrated Japanese bartender Takumi Watanabe – swaps rum for gin, with different variations of bitters, citrus, and garnish recommended in different places. The best thing (or worst, depending on your tastes) about this Japanese rum cocktail? It's traditionally served with a cigar. The Rum Martinez is sippable proof of the benefits of breaking with tradition.

Ti' Punch - French Caribbean

Unsurprisingly, there are many delicious and important rum cocktails hailing from tropical destinations. The Ti' Punch cocktail is one such beverage. Ti' Punch comes courtesy of the French Caribbean islands Guadeloupe and Martinique, and is even the islands' national cocktail.

But what's in a Ti' Punch? It comes down to three ingredients: rhum agricole, sugar cane, and lime. Rhum agricole simply translates to agricultural rum. Whereas much rum that's consumed is made from molasses, rhum agricole is a type made from fresh sugarcane juice. The flavor of rhum agricole tends to be slightly grassier and fresher than rum made from molasses.

Being the national cocktail of Martinique and Guadeloupe, Ti' Punch can certainly be enjoyed in the region. But if you don't have plans to be in the francophone Caribbean islands anytime soon, a healthy crop of spirit-makers produce rhum agricole worldwide, allowing you to bring Ti' Punch to the comforts of your own home.

Jungle Bird - Kuala Lumpur

Though somewhat popular stateside, the sweet-sour cocktail Jungle Bird comes from a place almost 10,000 miles away from the U.S. The Jungle Bird calls Malaysia its home, specifically its capital, Kuala Lumpur.

It is generally accepted that the Jungle Bird was first served in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton by Jeffery Ong. The drink was purportedly offered inside a porcelain bird vessel, providing us with its memorable name. This was back in the 1970s; the famous rum cocktail has undergone plenty of transformations and fluxes in popularity ever since. But it has never been forgotten.

Jungle Birds are made of rum, demerara (sugar cane) syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Campari. How you portion out these ingredients and garnishes and which rum you choose makes all the difference with the Jungle Bird. For example, some recipes call for darker blackstrap rum, while others express a preference for Jamaican rum. As for garnishes, a pineapple wedge is pretty standard. We at Tasting Table, however, think the most delightfully tropical Jungle Bird comes with an Amarena cherry.

Coquito - Puerto Rico

A Puerto Rican drink, the Coquito is the next great rum cocktail to add to your repertoire. This cocktail's name translates to "little coconut" in Spanish. But there's nothing little about the impact the Coquito will have on your holidays once you've tasted it.

As the translated name suggests, the Coquito is a coconut-based cocktail. Its most inalienable ingredients are coconut milk, coconut cream, sweetened condensed milk, and Puerto Rican rum. It's the signature Christmastime drink of Puerto Rico, and other ingredients often help to evoke holiday cheer; these include nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. If you've noticed similarities to another wintry treat, you're not the only one: Coquito is sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican eggnog.

While the specific origins of the Coquito are murky, it's a mainstay of Puerto Rican cocktail culture. Winter or not, and whether you're near San Juan or assembling it at home, the Coquito is a perfect way to get a boozy taste of Puerto Rico.

Rum punch - Southern U.S.

Nobody said a regional rum cocktail had to be fussy. Proving this point are the tasty rum punches that hail from the southeastern coast of the United States. This area, which stretches from Louisiana to Florida, is rife with takes on this classic drink. Flora-Bama rum punch delivers drinkers straight to the seashore with its sweet, boozy, tropical composition. After mixing the steadfast elements of light rum, spiced rum, and Malibu or other coconut-flavored rum, it then blends in orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine. Finally, the punch is garnished with a cherry and an orange slice.

Gator Bite rum punch takes things to an even more interesting place. Featuring a similar starting point — spiced and light rum, plus orange and pineapple juices — this concoction also includes satsuma syrup for a taste of the bayou. The great thing about rum punches from the Southern U.S. is that they're yummy when they're made-to-order or batched. And, given there are so many variations, it's also an easy cocktail to make your own.

Poncha - Portugal

Poncha is the frothy cocktail of rum-lovers' dreams. If you haven't yet heard of it, look to a Portuguese island off the northeast coast of Africa called Madeira. Beverage connoisseurs may be more familiar with the island because of its namesake dessert wines, but Poncha gives those famous grapes a run for their money.

As with many rum cocktails from around the world, the secret to crafting a perfect cup of Poncha lies in simplicity. It's also another example of a rum cocktail that utilizes rhum agricole, or rum made from sugarcane juice, rather than molasses. Poncha includes that spirit, plus citrus juice, and sugar or honey. This mixture is then whipped to a froth with a wooden bar tool. Once strained, island-lifers are ready to throw back a glass.

The kinds of citrus juices used differ depending on who's mixing the cocktail. Lemon tends to be the traditional choice, with orange (or even a mixture of both) in tow. For the non-conformists out there, a passionfruit Poncha is an especially delicious departure.

Chinese Fizz - New York City

The Chinese Fizz is an excellent rum-based cocktail to put on your world map. But when pinpointing the Chinese Fizz, don't look to its namesake country, but to New York City. Created by Phil Ward at the East Village's tremendously well-regarded Death & Co bar, the Chinese Fizz has continued to grow in popularity since its 2008 Big Apple introduction.

This drink constitutes a new direction within the fizz tradition. The most well-known fizz is the gin fizz, which exploded in popularity in New Orleans in the early 1900s, '20s, and '30s. The Chinese Fizz was inspired by these drinks of the last century, with Ward specifically basing it off of a drink recipe in "The Savoy Cocktail Book" of 1930. It features rum, maraschino liqueur, orange liqueur, simple syrup, egg whites, grenadine, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters. The result is a balanced cherry cocktail in which the "fizz" is really the foam. Getting the drink in New York depends on getting into Death & Co (with its notorious wait times), or grabbing a copy of "Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails." Either option is good.

Dark 'n Stormy - Bermuda

Don't let the name fool you — this rum-based cocktail hails from Bermuda, one of Earth's great, sunshiny paradises. This delicious and refreshing cocktail is the national drink, and many people enjoy it there every single day. It's traveled far from this origin point, however, and earned more and more fans as the years have gone on.

The Dark 'n Stormy cocktail is typically composed of the following ingredients: dark rum, ginger beer, lime, and Angostura bitters. This simple setup is the gateway to a delectable cocktail. Technically, there is only one rum you can use to make a proper Dark 'n Stormy: Goslings Black Seal. The Dark 'n Stormy cocktail is, in fact, a trademarked drink of the company. Goslings Black Seal claims that the cocktail was named because of a salty old drinker, who remarked it was the "color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under." A jokester might say that the morning after too many Dark 'n Stormy cocktails also justifies its moniker. Regardless, it's a guaranteed good time.

Grog - Germany

You never know where a particular strain of rum will flourish and develop its own following. Grog is a perfect example of this. A rum drink that's come into its own in Germany, it developed far from tropical beaches but is no less delicious than a classic mojito.

Grog probably originated out of the need to keep water potable on long sea voyages, and as such, likely has its roots in the British navy. As far as the cocktails on this list go, it may be the simplest. In Germany, it's made with dark rum, water, and sugar (white or brown), and is served heated. There's even a German adage commemorating it that goes, "Rum must, sugar may, water can." In Northern Germany, it's a staple beverage; elsewhere, it's reserved for the cold winter months.

Canchánchara - Cuba

The Canchánchara is a classic Cuban cocktail. Its origins are said to lie with guerilla fighters active during Cuba's 19th century war of independence, though some suggest it goes back even further. It's widely agreed to be the oldest Cuban cocktail, and still one of the best. That's seriously saying something, as the decades following its birth gave rise to such iconic drinks as the mojito, the Cuba Libre, and the daiquiri. 

Given its age, it's not surprising that it has so many variations. But it all comes back to a single simple recipe. The Canchánchara combines white rum, lime, honey, and a splash of club soda. The cocktail can be served chilled or hot and has sometimes been used for minor medicinal purposes. Many recipes encourage customization, citing the simplicity of the drink as a great base. Feel free to experiment with sweeteners, temperature, and garnishes — pineapple is an especially tasty choice.

Planter's punch - Jamaica

In seeking the perfect rum cocktail, it's worth returning to the drinks of yesteryear. Planter's punch is a great example of one such beverage. Its deceptively simple composition and staying power speak to its deliciousness.

Planter's punch, like many cocktails, has a lineage that is hard to trace. However, most agree that it likely originated in Jamaica over a century ago — The New York Times was printing recipes for it all the way back in 1908. The cocktail is comprised of rum, lime juice, and sugar (traditionally, sugarcane juice). This incredibly simple recipe is of course open to customization, as with many of the older cocktails on this list; swapping in dark rum and orange juice are two good starting points. Additions like Angostura bitters, pineapple juice, grenadine, and others are especially popular means of changing this 1800s-era cocktail to suit one's tastes. Whatever you choose, there's no wrong way to enjoy this Jamaican staple.

Hurricane - New Orleans

Take a step down Bourbon Street at the height of Mardi Gras season and look at the drinks in the revelers' hands Odds are, a large percentage of them are holding a rum cocktail called the Hurricane. This drink is a bonafide New Orleans classic, developed at Pat O' Brien's bar. If you're ever in the Big Easy, be sure to stop by — it's still in operation, and it remains one of the best spots in town to snag this classic drink.

The Hurricane's basic formula consists of light rum, lime juice, orange juice, passionfruit juice, simple syrup, and grenadine, topped with a floater of dark rum. The best rums for a Hurricane range from flavored spirits to aged treasures, but don't be scared to experiment further when making homemade Hurricanes. Using passionfruit puree is an especially excellent idea, and there's no reason not to try this cocktail frozen instead of on the rocks. Get weird, have some fun, and enjoy.

Painkiller - British Virgin Islands

As the name suggests, this is one rum cocktail that takes the edge off. The Painkiller is a tropical drink from the British Virgin Islands — specifically, the island of Saint Thomas. Allegedly created at the Soggy Dollar Bar (named because the only way to approach it was by swimming up to the bar, thus wetting one's bills), the Painkiller typically consists of pineapple juice, coconut, and orange juice. It's a lot like a piña colada, but with a little extra bite.

The brand Pusser's Rum lays particular claim to the Painkiller, to the point of naming it their signature drink and trademarking it. It even offers canned versions of the cocktail. These are convenient and tasty, but be sure to try making your own and experimenting with a few variations. Nutmeg gives the painkiller a particularly cozy touch that complements the coconut very well.

Corn 'n Oil - Barbados

Corn and oil may not top your list of things you'd like to see in a cocktail. Thankfully, this classic drink contains neither. But it does visually evoke them, while delivering drinkers to its birthplace of Barbados. A Corn 'n Oil cocktail encompasses blackstrap rum, falernum, lime, and bitters. Once properly combined, the drink will look as though it has an oil floater. If you'd like to steer clear of the intense world of blackstrap rums, try a Barbadian rum instead, and consider playing with the lime content.

Don't recognize falernum? It's a non-alcoholic syrup and yet another product of the Caribbean. Its spiced, almond-esque flavors mesh beautifully with the richly dark rum and tart lime in this cocktail. Add a simple lime wedge to garnish your glass and you've got a Barbados classic on hand.

Buenos Aires Zombie - Argentina

The zombie is a drink that's been deeply ingrained in mixology for years. It's no surprise, then, that it's spawned regional variations. One especially unique offshoot is the Buenos Aires zombie, which is exclusively found in the capital city of Argentina.

First, let's establish the zombie. Legendary restaurant Don the Beachcomber birthed the zombie in 1934. This boozy bev includes four kinds of rum, a dash of absinthe, falernum, cinnamon, vanilla, bitters, and citrus juice. It was popularized at the World's Fair in 1939 and eventually made its way to South America. Today, travelers can find the Buenos Aires zombie in the glamorous, old-world Presidente Bar, which makes it with white and golden rum, Patagonian Triple Sec Carajo, Pineral (a local aperitif), lemon, orange, passion fruit, and pineapple, plus a lemongrass garnish. It's served in a replica of the city's famous Obelisco.