Cranberry juice is a popular mixer for cocktails because it can be sweetened or unsweetened, but either way still provides a tart taste that pairs really well with many spirits. One of the most popular spirits to use with cranberry juice, besides vodka, is rum.
Rum is distilled from sugarcane products. This is why rum is often a sweeter spirit and needs a tart mixer like cranberry juice to create a balanced cocktail. However, there are several types of rum, each of which lends its own flavor profile.
Let’s look at the different types of cocktails with cranberry juice and rum, and the best type of rum to use.
Types of Rum
The three main types of rum are white, dark, and coconut.
White rum is sometimes called light rum and has a sweet but subtle flavor. It is aged and stored in stainless steel, which is why it remains clear. It is most often used when you want the rum to blend into the cocktail and not provide a prominent taste.
Dark rum is also referred to as spiced rum, but there is a slight difference even though they’re often be used interchangeably in recipes. Dark rum is aged in charred barrels, giving it a sweeter taste and signature dark color. Spiced rum has spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, or any botanical flavor but can also be aged in charred barrels or stainless steel. Both dark rum and spiced rum stand out in cocktails.
Coconut rum is technically a spiced rum, though it is often considered its own category. Coconut rum is flavored light rum. In this case, it is flavored with coconut. Like dark rum and spiced rum, it stands out in cocktails.
Below are some fantastic cocktails made with coconut rum.
1. Malibu and Cranberry
This Malibu and Cranberry recipe by Absolut Drinks is perfect if you are running short on time because it is only two ingredients and a garnish. Simply add ice cubes to a highball glass, add Malibu, and then cranberry juice. Garnish with a lime wedge for a quick and tasty cocktail.
2. Malibu Bay Breeze
Make the Malibu Bay Breeze by Sugar and Soul for a sweet and tart cocktail that is as beautiful as it is tasty. Add ice to a highball glass, then add coconut rum and pineapple juice. Top it off with cranberry juice to give it the gradient perfect for presentation. Don’t forget to stir before drinking!
3. Ruby Relaxer
This Ruby Relaxer recipe by Liquor.com is a fruity combination that makes the perfect cocktail. Combine coconut rum, cranberry juice, peach schnapps, vodka, pineapple juice, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange wheel to round out the tropical flavor.
4. Malibu Paradise
The Malibu Paradise recipe by Fresh Simple Home is only five ingredients but tastes like a summer day. It uses Malibu coconut rum, Tito’s vodka, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice to create a cocktail that tastes great and has a beautiful color.
5. Caribbean Cranberry Lemonade
By Drink Kings
If you want a cocktail that is perfect for a hot summer day, this Caribbean Cranberry Lemonade by Drink Kings will do the trick. Combine coconut rum, lemonade, and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake and strain into a glass with fresh ice.
White or Light Rum
Each of these cocktails has white or light rum as its spirit base.
6. Rum and Cranberry Juice Cocktail
This Rum and Cranberry Juice Cocktail by A Couple Cooks balances sweet and sour in this recipe. It has white rum, Cointreau, which is an orange liqueur, unsweetened cranberry juice, lime juice, and simple syrup, which, when shaken together, are a perfect cocktail.
7. Rum with Cranberry Juice
If you are looking for a cocktail without a lot of prep time, the Rum with Cranberry Juice recipe by InShaker is the way to go. Simply mix up white rum, cranberry juice, and lime juice for an easy cocktail.
8. Lime & Cranberry
Bacardi uses its lime-flavored rum in its Lime & Cranberry two-ingredient cocktail recipe. Combine the two, and this easy cocktail might be one of your new favorite recipes.
9. Cranberry Rum Punch
By Bon Appetit
This Cranberry Rum Punch by Bon Appetit includes making your own cranberry juice, but the freshness cannot be beat. To make the juice, heat cranberries, sugar, and water on the stove. Then once the juice has chilled, mix it with freshly squeezed lime juice and white rum. It’s easier than it seems and worth the time!
10. Spiced Cranberry Rum Fizz
By Serious Eats
The Spiced Cranberry Rum Fizz by Serious Eat does require quite a bit of prep time but is rich with flavor. It starts with making an orange ginger simple syrup and then combining it with unsweetened cranberry juice and white rum. All of that gets topped with dry sparkling wine for the perfect fizz.
Dark or Spiced Rum
Here are a few cocktails that use dark or spiced rum.
11. Captain Morgan Original Rum and Cranberry Juice
By The Bar
The Bar recipe for cranberry juice and rum uses Captain Morgan for their rum choice, which has vanilla notes and pairs perfectly with tart cranberry juice. Garnish this cocktail with a lime for a bit of citrus.
12. Rum Harvest Cocktail
This Rum Harvest Cocktail recipe by Mantitlement transforms a classic rum and Coke into a fall cocktail. Use spiced rum, cranberry juice, lime juice, then top off with Coke for a spritz and a bit of extra sweetness.
13. Rumberry Punch
In the Rumberry Punch recipe by BBC Good Food, dark rum and cranberry juice are topped with ginger ale for some spice to create a nice balance of sweet vanilla, spicy ginger, and tart cranberry.
14. Cranberry Rum Warmer
If you are looking for a cocktail to warm you up this winter, look no further than this Cranberry Rum Warmer by Taste.com. Heat cranberry juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cloves on the stove.Once at a simmer, stir in dark rum for a cocktail that will surely warm you up.
15. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Cranberry Cocktail
By Mr. B Cooks
Enjoy Captain Morgan spiced rum, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and Sprite in this Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Cranberry Cocktail by Mr. B Cooks. It is a delicious balance between strong and sweet. You can even add a sugar rim if you want an extra sweet hint.
If you are looking to try different rum flavors together, these rum combination cocktails are a hit.
16. Cranberry Zombie Recipe
This Cranberry Zombie Recipe by The Kitchen Magpie combines white rum, golden rum, and dark rum with sugar, cranberry juice, and lime juice for a tart cocktail with loads of flavor. Despite the name, this drink will not turn you into a zombie, we promise!
17. Tropical Rum Punch
Farmwife Drinks uses light rum and dark rum with cranberry juice and pineapple juice in their Tropical Rum Punch recipe. They boast that it is great by the glass or by the bowl, and we have to agree. Just remember to drink responsibly!
18. Cranberry Coconut Mojito
This Cranberry Coconut Mojito recipe by A Full Living has a longer ingredient list than you might be used to, but they all work together to create a drink that you don’t want to miss out on. They give a few ways to make this drink, including using coconut rum, white rum, or both.
19. Cranberry Pineapple Punch
The Cranberry Pineapple Punch recipe by Real House Moms uses two rums with cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and ginger ale with a fresh fruit garnish for a combination that is perfect for a party.
21. Pirate Punch
If you dream of sitting on the beach somewhere tropical, this Pirate Punch by Culinary Hill is the answer if you don’t want to buy a plane ticket. With two rums, Amaretto, and three fruit juices, this is one of those recipes that taste like an island in a glass.
Try New Cocktails with Cranberry Juice and Rum!
There are plenty of rum and cranberry juice cocktail variations to fit any taste buds. Try one of these twenty cocktails. You may just find a new favorite.