CocktailsDrinks Hamper’s Rum-Based Cocktails

Rum offers a tropical charm—cocktails that can be cooling in summer, as well as giving us some welcome winter warmth.

Variety is the spice of life, and rum has much variety while some varieties also contain some spice—which is fitting, considering that rum was an early product of the Spice Islands, such as Grenada and other Caribbean islands, where first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations in the 17th century. Rum offers a huge variety from Newfoundland’s Screech Rum, to the Canary Islands’ honey rum known as ron miel de Canarias, with everything in between, this distillation of sugar cane forms the basis of a vast number of cocktails, including the life-saving hot milk, rum, sugar and nutmeg that may be had on Left Bank boulevards on freezing winter days.

There is no doubt that for many of us, rum is an evocative and even romantic spirit. The thought of rum may transport us to Treasure Island, but the smell and the taste of rum will certainly transport us to the Caribbean Islands. 


As you may guess, there are literally hundreds of brands and there are some pretty special ones, too, for instance, Banks The Endeavour – Limited Edition No.1 – 16 Year Old 1996 Rum, retails at £335 for a 70cl bottle. 
If you’re looking for a serious strong but very palatable rum, try Walter Hicks 125, described as “a very popular over-proof rum” from Walter Hicks Brewery (St Austell Brewery, Cornwall) made in Guyana. The 125 Navy Rum, which at 125 proof (71.40% vol) is the strongest UK bottled rum available. Arriving directly from Guyana in 45-gallon barrels, it is left to mature for 7 years in the Brewery’s cellar.
Retailing at around £40 per 70cl bottle.


Cocktail recipes

Rum-based cocktails are a special category and they are popular and appropriate in hot weather. From Bermuda come the Dark & Stormy, a delicious and simple mix of rum and ginger beer. Easy to drink and sometimes too easy, as this cocktail can have a delayed effect.
Here we turn to the King of Cocktails, Dale DeGroff, who offers the following rum cocktail recipes:

PLANTERS PUNCH (adapted by DD)

  • 1oz.  (30ml.) Myers’s Dark Rum
  • 1oz.  (30ml.) Appleton Reserve
  • ½oz. (15ml.) Fresh Lime Juice 
  • 1oz.  (30ml.) Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1oz.  (30ml.) Pineapple Juice
  • ½oz. (15ml.) Simple (demerara)
  • 1 tsp Grenadine
  • ½oz. (15ml.) Grand Marnier
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters

Shake with 3 ice cubes & strain into an ice tea or zombie glass over crushed ice. Garnish with orange slice and marinated cherry. Serve w/ straws.


PAINKILLER (Painkiller Variation)

  • 2oz. (60ml.) Pussers Navy Rum
  • 1oz. (30ml.) Coco Lopez
  • 4oz. (120ml.) Pineapple Juice
  • 1oz. (30ml.) Orange Juice
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters 

Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain over ice into a tall glass. Garnish by grating fresh nutmeg over the top.


Original drink by Dale DeGroff

  • 1oz. (30ml.) Bacardi 8-year-old
  • ¼oz.  (8ml.) Martini & Rossi dry vermouth
  • ¼oz.  (8ml.) fresh lime juice
  • ¾oz.  (22ml.) Velvet Falernum
  • 1oz.  (30ml.) Pineapple Juice
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters
  • Pineapple wedge & Lime Zest

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled double cocktail glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge and lime peel.



  • 2oz. (60ml.) Plantation Rum
  • ¾oz.  (22ml.) Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • ¾oz.  (22ml.) Lime Juice
  • ¼oz.  (8ml.) Orgeat Syrup
  • ½oz.  (15ml.) simple syrup
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters

Shake well with ice and strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with ice.  Garnish with mint sprint and a thin wheel of lime.


MOJITO (Cuban style with bitters)

  • 1½oz. (50ml.) White Rum
  • ¾oz. (22ml.) Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1oz. (30ml.) Simple Syrup (1p sugar to 1p water)
  • 2 dashes Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters
  • 2 Sprigs of Mint (Use tender, young mint sprigs)

Muddle one mint sprig with the simple syrup and the limejuice in the bottom of a mixing glass. 
Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice. 
Strain into a highball glass over cracked ice, top with soda and garnish with a sprig of mint.


Original drink by Dale DeGroff

  • 1½oz.  (50ml.) Light Rum
  • 4oz. s (120ml.) Pineapple Juice
  • 1oz.  (30ml.) Cranberry Juice
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters

Build over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.


DOUBLE-D PINA COLADA (Pina Colada variation)

  • 1½oz.  (50ml.) Light Rum
  • ½oz.  (15ml.) Myers rum
  • 2oz.  (60ml.) of Coco Lopez
  • 1oz.  (30ml.) of Cream
  • 5oz.  (150ml.) Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters
  • 1 Cup Cracked Ice

Pour all ingredients except garnish into a blender. 
Add ice. 
Blend for 15 seconds. 
Pour into a highball glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.



  • 1½oz. (50ml.) Good Aged Rum
  • ¼oz. (8ml.) Velvet Falernum
  • ½oz. (15ml.) Simple Syrup
  • ¾oz. (22ml.) Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters

Shake all ingredients well and strain into iced old-fashioned glass. Garnish with squeeze of lime.


Read more about the world’s greatest premium spirits, what’s new, and where to buy them via the pages of the new issue of Matthew Fort’s Drink Hamper magazine. Featuring special cocktail recipes from the Savoy, fine wine expertise from Selfridges, and a feast of fine food recipes from Matthew Fort. 

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