Home Cocktails Best Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

Best Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

The rum runner tastes like a tropical paradise in a glass!

If you like fruity cocktails, you want to get in on this libation. It features two types of rum, banana liqueur, pineapple juice, blackberry liqueur, and grenadine.

Rum runner cocktail on a glass filled with ice garnished with cherry, pineapple slice and orange wheel.
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But don’t let it fool you with its deliciously sweet fruit punch flavor. This cocktail is one sneaky drink! 

What Is a Rum Runner? 

The rum runner is a classic cocktail featuring fruity liqueurs. It was invented at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in the 1970s.

Allegedly, the bar manager needed to use up surplus rum. So he threw everything in a blender, and the rum runner was born.

But why the name? 

It’s an homage to bootleggers and the Florida Keys, where it originated. During Prohibition, the area was a big player in the illegal alcohol smuggling trade.

Top view of a rum runner cocktail filled with ice on a glass.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this rum runner recipe are pretty common. You should be able to find everything you need at a well-stocked liquor store. 

Here’s the rundown: 

  • Ice Cubes – For shaking and serving. 
  • Rum – You can’t have a rum runner without a hefty pour of rum! This cocktail recipe calls for both light and dark rum. 
  • Banana Liqueur – A splash of banana liqueur makes the cocktail a little creamy and sweet.
  • Blackberry Liqueur –  I prefer to use Chambord. But any blackberry liqueur will do.
  • Pineapple Juice – Sweet and tart, fresh pineapple juice is best. Store-bought juice also works in a pinch. 
  • Lime Juice – A squeeze of lime juice brightens and enhances all the fruity flavors. Also, use fresh lime juice for the best results.
  • Grenadine – For color and sweetness. 
  • Brandied Cherry or Pineapple Wedge (Optional) – For a fun and fruity garnish, use a brandied cherry or a pineapple wedge. Or better yet, add both!

What’s the Best Rum to Use? 

When making a rum runner, choose quality light and dark rum. They don’t have to be top-shelf, but you want to avoid the cheap, headache-inducing stuff. 

Fortunately, there are some affordable brands to choose from. Here’s a handful of my top picks:

  • Bacardi Superior – Light and citrusy, Bacardi Superior is a good choice. It’s easy to find and won’t break the bank.
  • Havana Club Añejo Clásico – This Puerto Rican rum is an excellent pick, with notes of dried apricot and pineapple. 
  • Plantation Original Dark – The banana and vanilla notes lend themselves well to this drink’s fruitiness. 
  • Captain Morgan – Spice up your cocktail with a shot of the Captain! It’s easy to find and tastes delicious.
  • Myers’s Rum – Meyers’s light and dark rum are both decent choices. They’re affordable and have nice flavor profiles.
Rum runner on a glass filled with ice garnished with slice of pineapple, maraschino cherry and orange slice.

How to Make a Rum Runner

The rum runner sounds like a fancy tropical drink you’d order at a tiki bar. But can I tell you a secret? It’s super easy to mix up!

Just follow these four steps:

1. Fill a cocktail shaker. Pack a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the light rum, dark rum, banana liqueur, blackberry liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine.

2. Shake. Shake it until well-chilled, for about 30 seconds.

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3. Strain. Strain the cocktail into a hurricane glass with ice.

4. Garnish and serve. Add a brandied cherry or a pineapple wedge for a garnish if desired. Serve and sip!

How to Make a Frozen Rum Runner 

Do you know what’s even better than a rum runner on a hot day? A frozen rum runner!

This refreshing blended cocktail will transport you to island time. Just follow these steps, then kick back and relax:

1. Blend. Add ice to a blender. Next, pour in the light rum, dark rum, banana liqueur, blackberry liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour. Pour the cocktail into a Hurricane glass.

3. Serve. Garnish it with a brandied cherry or a pineapple wedge. Serve and enjoy!

Rum runner cocktail served with ice garnished with orange slice, maraschino cherry and pineapple chunk.

Tips and Variations

Are you new to the rum runner cocktail? Follow these tips! I also threw in some of my favorite variations that are must-tries.

  • Chill the glass. For an even colder beverage, chill your cocktail glass. About 30 minutes to an hour in the freezer will do the trick. 
  • Swap out the pineapple juice. Can’t get quality pineapple juice? Try fresh orange juice. It’s easy to find and makes one killer drink. 
  • Use lemon juice. All out of limes? Use lemon juice instead. 
  • Create a layering effect. For a stunning presentation, add the grenadine last. As it cascades down the glass, it will create a dazzling layered effect.
  • Try it with Malibu rum. Want to make this fruity drink even more tropical? Add Malibu rum to the mix. The coconut flavor makes it taste super delish!
  • Pack a punch. Rum runner punch is perfect for a party! Just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings. Then, mix everything together in a punch bowl.

Best Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Calories

385

kcal

For a tropical treat, try the rum runner cocktail! It’s a blend of rum, banana, pineapple, and blackberry liqueurs, and grenadine. You’ll love it!

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes

  • 1 ounce light rum

  • 1 ounce dark rum

  • 1 ounce banana liqueur

  • 1 ounce Chambord or blackberry liqueur

  • 2 ounces pineapple juice

  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce Grenadine

  • Brandied cherry or pineapple wedge (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

  • Add the light rum, dark rum, banana liqueur, Chambord or blackberry liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine to a shaker with ice.
  • Shake it vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Strain the cocktail into a hurricane glass with ice.
  • Garnish it with a brandied cherry or a pineapple wedge. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • For a visual effect, slowly pour the grenadine last so it settles at the bottom. This will create a layered look.
  • The rum runner is perfect for scaling up and serving as a party punch. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large punch bowl.
Rum Runner

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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