How To Drink Spiced Rum (Ways That Don’t Include Coke)

How To Drink Spiced Rum

Spiced rum is nice because they make it from sugar and spice to put a modern twist on the saying. Spiced rum is a rum to which producers have added spices to produce a unique-tasting drink with a spicy and sweet taste.

You are probably wondering, how do I drink spiced rum?

Spiced rum is a versatile spirit that can enhance almost any drink. Apart from the traditional mixer, you can mix it into cold brew coffee, apple juice, or pineapple juice. To truly appreciate spiced rum, add a few drops of water or drink it neat to appreciate its unique tastes.

We’ll examine spiced rum, and of course, we’ll look at some new and interesting ways they enhance spiced rum with botanicals. We’ll also look at some interesting mixer options, cocktails that use rum as their key ingredient, and some classics with a twist.

What Is Spiced Rum?

What Is Spiced Rum?

Back in the day, they added spices to the finished rum to make it more palatable—they didn’t have our sophisticated distilling and aging facilities yet. Also, the name says it all—it is a rum with added spices.

Now, which spices, you may ask? Vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger are the main spices you’ll most often recognize when you drink a spiced rum.

They can also use botanicals such as pineapple, mango, or even banana (be sure to check out the cool mixing infographics!) for a more tropical twist. Sometimes producers add sugar for a bit of extra sweetness.

We just have to go on a quick whirlwind side tour for a moment—distillers are experimenting with innovative new ways of producing spiced rum.

Sweetdram in Edinburgh, Scotland, is taking a novel approach to the world of spiced rum. While they don’t distill it in Scotland, they certainly perform magic with their imported rums from Guyana and Barbados!

With base rum in hand, they steep it with grains of paradise, chamomile, lime leaf, cardamom, fennel, fig, and pine-smoked lapsang souchong tea leaves—the last giving the rum a smokey character.

Ron Botran, a Guatemalan rum manufacturer, uses a Carter-Head still, similar to those used in gin production, to create their spiced rum, Cobre.

Redistilling the rum and infusing it while the vapor passes over the botanical basket—in this example, a simple blend of ginger, clove, cardamom, and vanilla. Is it gin parading as rum or rum made like gin? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

How To Drink Spiced Rum

How To Drink Spiced Rum

The traditional option is usually a mixer such as Coke. But there are other ways to enjoy spiced rum, and we’ll examine those below.

Add Water

Adding a few drops of water, like whisky, can open up the flavors. Alternatively, you can sip it neat.

When consuming neat rum, you should be aware of the alcoholic strength before taking a sip. You may have a bad experience if you do not prepare your palate. Cask-strength rums can contain up to 60% ABV, so take a mouthful of water after your first drink.

You should also begin with modest sips, just enough to moisten your tongue and acclimate yourself to the notion that something intense is about to hit you. Then you may take larger sips and explore the flavors.


Mixing your spiced rum with a mixer such as Coke is an almost de facto choice. But you can try many other options for an even more interesting spiced rum experience.

Cold Brew Coffee

Like a cold version of an Irish coffee but with a tropical twist—certainly not recommended before strolling into the office. Take your cold brew coffee to new heights by adding some spiced rum to elevate the taste.

If you feel extra fancy, add some cream (we won’t tell because we love it!)

Pineapple Juice

Nothing says tropical more than spiced rum and pineapple, so why not combine them? Take a pineapple, chop the head off, carefully hollow it out, and keep the insides.

Mix the juice and rum with ice until it’s smooth and frothy. Pour it back into your pineapple cup and sip the rum-infused beverage straight from the fruit.

Apple Juice or Cider

Apples and spiced rum may originate from different parts of the world, but they couldn’t be more complementary.

This is true for all apple kinds, whether swirled into cold apple juice over ice with some rum, a shot of spiced rum dropped into a hard apple cider, or blended into hot cider in the winter. If it’s apple juice (or cider), spiced rum will complement it nicely.

Ginger Beer

The richness of the spiced rum will be balanced by the ginger beer, especially if you make a highball—two parts spiced rum mixed with four parts ginger beer makes a refreshing drink.

Opt for a dry ginger beer rather than the sweeter variety.

Spiced Rum Cocktails

Spiced Rum Cocktails

There are traditional rum-based cocktails such as the Daiquiri or Mai Tai, Tropical (and Tiki) cocktails are usually the go-to when you use rum. Still, some of the classics can also benefit from reinvention. We’ll look at some of the classics below.

Dark rums work especially well when you want to spruce up some of the classic cocktails:

  • Manhattan – swap the rye whiskey for a dark spiced rum. When you split the vermouth between a sweet and dry version, you can create a Perfect Manhattan with a rum twist.
  • Old Fashioned – here is a recipe for a rum Old Fashioned.
  • Negroni – the one-to-one gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth recipe can be upgraded by exchanging the gin for spiced rum.

There are, of course, numerous other rum-based cocktails recipes you can try, so be bold and experiment.


Initially, rum was spiked with spices to improve the taste because they did not have our sophisticated distillation equipment and aging techniques. Today producers add spices purposefully to make a spiced rum that features various spices, and spiced rum falls in its category.

Spiced rum can be mixed up in a cocktail, drunk neat or on the rocks, or mixed with a mixer. Whichever way you like it, kick back and enjoy a taste of the tropical in a glass.