National Rum Day: Get tipsy with 9 cocktail recipes

Friday is National Rum Day -- the perfect excuse to sit back, put your feet up and enjoy a truly languorous cocktail. Whether it's a refreshing mojito, a chilly pina colada, an Anejo highball or a classic cable car, there's a rum cocktail for everyone.

You don't have to be sipping the strong stuff at a breezy hotel lounge in Havana to celebrate the holiday. Instead, bring the Cuban city to you with nine cocktail recipes that'll have you happy, and tipsy, in no time.


Akasha's Ruby Red mojito

5 minutes. Serves 1


2 wedges lime

2 to 3 teaspoons agave syrup, or to taste


1/4 cup white rum, preferably Crusoe organic

1/4 cup freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice

Club soda

Additional fresh mint and lime wedge for garnish

Place mint, lime and agave syrup in a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the juice. Place ice in a beverage shaker and add mint mixture, rum and grapefruit juice. Shake well and serve over ice in a highball glass. Top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and sprig of mint.


Calories 158


Protein 0

Carbohydrates 8 grams

Fiber 0

Fat 0

Cholesterol 0

Sugar 0

Sodium 2 mg

Hotel Nacional

4 minutes. Serves 1

1 1/2 ounces light rum, preferably Matusalem

1/2 ounce lime juice

1 tablespoon cane sugar

3/4 ounce fresh pineapple juice

1 barspoon (about 1 teaspoon) apricot eau de vie

1 dash bitters, preferably Angostura

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve immediately.


Calories 177

Protein 0

Carbohydrates 18 grams

Fiber 0

Fat 0

Cholesterol 0

Sugar 17 grams

Sodium 1 mg

Mucho Ultima Mexicana Restaurant's fresas mojito

Total time: 8 minutes

Servings: Makes 1 cocktail

Note: Adapted from Mucho Ultima Mexicana Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves to form a syrup.

3 to 4 lime wedges, to taste

1 to 2 strawberries, to taste

10 mint leaves

1 ounce simple syrup

1 1/2 ounces light rum, preferably Bacardi Superior

Soda water

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime wedges, strawberries, mint leaves and simple syrup. Add the rum and shake with ice. Pour into a glass and top with soda water. Serve immediately.

Each cocktail: 166 calories; 1 gram protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 14 grams sugar; 8 mg sodium.

Xiomara's daiquiri

Servings: 1

Note: From Xiomara Ardolina of Xiomara restaurant in Los Angeles. Guanabana pulp is found in the freezer section of Latino markets.

1/2 cup crushed ice

4 teaspoons sugar

2 ounces light rum (1/4 cup)

1 ounce triple sec (2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup frozen guanabana pulp

1/4 cup lime juice

1 spearmint leaf or 2 leaves other mint

Spearmint sprig, lime slice, for garnish

Blend the ice, sugar, rum, triple sec, guanabana, lime juice and mint leaf in a blender until slushy. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with the spearmint and lime. 

Giovanni Martinez's daiquiri recipe

Total time: 8 minutes

Servings: 1

Note: "It sounds terribly boring, but there's nothing like a good daiquiri," says Martinez, the head bartender at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood. His only change from the classic formula is to use slightly sweeter Key lime juice.

2 ounces light rum

3/4 ounces Key lime juice

1 tablespoon sugar

In a cocktail shaker, combine the rum, Key lime juice and sugar. Add ice and shake vigorously, so that it's aerated. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass garnished with a lime wheel.

Each daiquiri: 183 calories; 0 protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 13 grams sugar; 1 mg sodium.

Sterling daiquiri

Total time: 20 minutes, plus steeping and cooling times for the agua de jamaica

Servings: 1

Note: Adapted from Allan Katz, Cana Rum Bar. Dried hibiscus flowers and canela (Mexican cinnamon sticks) are available at Latino markets. Edible silver leaf flakes are available at select baking and cooking supply stores.

Agua de jamaica

3 2/3 cups water

1 2/3 cups dried hibiscus flowers

Peel from ½ Valencia orange (or the whole peel of a small orange)

1/2 lemon

2/3 cup sugar

1 large stick canela

3 star anise

1. In a large plastic container, combine the water, dried hibiscus and orange peel. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mixture, and drop the peel in too. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours to steep, then strain.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 cup of the strained hibiscus tea. Bring to a simmer, stirring or whisking the sugar until it is dissolved. Add the canela and anise, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Strain the cooled mixture into the container with the remaining cold tea, discarding the spices. This makes about 3 cups, more than is needed for the recipe. Store it, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Cocktail assembly

1/2 ounce spiced rum (Katz uses Montecristo)

3/4 ounce ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton)

1/2 ounce agua de jamaica

1/2 ounce lime juice

2 dashes bitters (Peychaud's)

Orange twist, for garnish

Edible silver flakes, optional

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the spiced rum, ginger liqueur, agua de jamaica, lime juice and bitters. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a fresh orange twist. Add a sprinkling of edible silver flakes, if desired.

Each cocktail: 120 calories; 0 protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 11 grams sugar; 2 mg. sodium.

Cucumber watermelon mojito

Total time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Note: Adapted by Ryan Magarian from a drink developed for Katsuya. Make a simple syrup by boiling granulated sugar in an equal amount of water until the sugar dissolves; allow to cool.

4 triangles seedless watermelon, about 3 inches high and 1 inch thick, divided

7 cucumber slices, divided (6 of them seeded, 1 for garnish)

3 large sprigs mint, divided

1 1/2 ounces soju

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

3/4ounce simple syrup

1/2 ounce ginger ale

1. In a shaker, add 3 watermelon triangles, 6 slices of cucumber, 2 sprigs of mint, the lime juice and the syrup. Hand press with a muddler.

2. Add the soju and fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 6 seconds.

3. Strain over fresh ice into a tall glass and top with the ginger ale.

4. Place a watermelon triangle and a cucumber slice on a toothpick and place in glass for garnish along with a sprig of mint.

Each serving: 97 calories; 0 protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 mg. sodium.

Candied kumquat mojito

Total time: 20 minutes, plus macerating time

Servings: 1

Note: From Peter Birmingham at Norman's, where the drink is made with Ron Matusalem Platino rum. Birmingham also recommends Bacardi Silver or Cruzan Estate Light rum. You'll have enough simple syrup and candied kumquats for up to 12 drinks.

Candied kumquats

1 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

12 kumquats, whole

1 stalk lemongrass, ends trimmed and two outer layers removed, slightly smashed with the side of a chef's knife

1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water

1. Add the boiling water to the sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar, cool.

2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the kumquats for 1 minute, drain.

3. Place the sugar water, lemongrass and orange blossom water in a bowl. Add the kumquats, placing a small plate on top to submerge the kumquats. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up until 3 weeks.

Simple syrup

3/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup sugar

Add the boiling water to the sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar. Cool.


6 mint leaves

3/4 ounce (5 teaspoons) simple syrup, divided

1 candied kumquat

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 ounces rum

1 tablespoon pineapple juice

1 wedge lime

Splash club soda

1. In a double old-fashioned glass, muddle the mint with one-fourth ounce (two teaspoons) simple syrup. Add the candied kumquat and muddle. Add ice to glass.

2. In a cocktail shaker, mix together the lemon and lime juices, the remaining one-half ounce (about 3 teaspoons) simple syrup, the rum and pineapple juice. Shake well. Pour into the glass, add the wedge of lime and splash of club soda.

Hot banana buttered rum

Hot banana buttered rum

15 minutes, plus chilling time. Serves 1


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/3 ripe banana, well-mashed

1/4 cup (2 ounces) brown sugar

Scant ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Small pinch grated nutmeg

Small pinch ground cloves

Very small pinch grated star anise

1/4 Fuji apple, finely grated

In the bowl of a food processor or mixer, combine the butter, banana, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, star anise and apple, blending until smooth. Place the mixture in plastic wrap and roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm. The log makes enough for more than one cocktail, and it will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.


Prepared banana butter log

2 ounces dark rum, preferably Diplomático

Star anise, for garnish

Cut a half-inch piece of the butter log and place into a coffee mug. Add the rum and fill the remainder of the mug with boiling water. Garnish with star anise.


Calories 263, protein 0 grams, carbohydrates 9 grams, fiber 0 grams, fat 12 grams, saturated fat 7 grams, cholesterol 31 mg, sugar 8 grams