Ah, Key West. It’s the perfect place to get away, relax, and enjoy some of the most delicious libations in the world. While you can find any number of fantastic cocktails on the island, there is one thing that stands out above all else: rum!
So Many Choices!
Whether it’s a classic mojito or something more modern like a rum old fashioned, coming up with new rum-infused concoctions is a favorite pastime of many locals and visitors alike. So if you’re looking for the best rum-based cocktails in Key West, look no further! Here are some of our favorites…
The Classic Mojito
Starting out this list is the Classic Mojito. This is traditional Cuban highball made from white rum, lime juice, mint leaves, sugar syrup and soda water. Lastly, this light and refreshing cocktail is perfect for sipping in the sun while watching boats drift by.
Next up is the Hemingway Daiquiri. This usually strawberry based cocktail was named after Ernest Hemingway who was known to frequent Sloppy Joe’s bar in Key West. This daiquiri has a unique twist that sets it apart from other classics – maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. The result? An incredibly smooth and flavorful drink that will keep your taste buds happy all night long.
The Rum Old Fashioned – A twist on an old favorite – this classic reworked with aged rum adds a bit of sweetness to the already bold flavors of an old fashioned. Moreover, this cocktail is ideal for those who want something more complex than just a shot of plain liquor but still want to savor every sip slowly.
The Rum Runner – Popularized by bars throughout Key West during Prohibition days (and still popular today!). This simple yet satisfying drink consists of blackberry brandy, orange juice, pineapple juice and light or dark rum. It’s sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without being too cloying or overpowering. Perfect for sipping while lounging poolside or at sunset hour on the beach.
Classic Honorable Mentions .
- Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is a classic tiki cocktail that is perfect for summer sipping. It originates from Polynesia and is usually made with rum, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Lastly, this is often garnished with a slice of lime.
- Piña Colada
Second on the list, is the Piña Colada, which originates from Puerto Rico, and is a classic tropical cocktail that is perfect for people who need a sweeter drink. It is made with rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream, and is often garnished with a slice of pineapple or a maraschino cherry. Depending on your bartender this drink could have an app size garnish or simple one…you can always ask for more fresh pineapple!
The Margarita is a classic rum-based cocktail that originates from Mexico. The drink is made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, and is often garnished with a slice of lime or a salt rimmed glass.
- Long Island Iced Tea
The Long Island Iced Tea is a strong rum-based cocktail that originates from the United States. The drink is made with vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, and cola, and is often garnished with a slice of lemon or lime.
Unique Honorable Mentions
The Hurricane is a strong rum-based cocktail that originates from New Orleans. The drink is made with rum, passion fruit juice, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. It is often garnished with an orange slice or a cherry
The zombie is a Halloween-themed cocktail that is perfect for summer. The drink is made with rum, passion fruit juice, orange juice, and grenadine, and is often garnished with a slice of lime or an umbrella.
- Scorpion Bowl
Another great unique cocktail in the rum family is the scorpion bowl. This beast of a drink is a shareable cocktail that is perfect for summer and partying it up on the beach! The drink is made with rum, brandy, orange juice, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and is often garnished with a slice of lemon or an umbrella.
Lastly, the Painkiller is another classic summer cocktail that originates from the Virgin Islands. The drink is made with dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut.
Bars to Check Out!
While there are a ton of great bars in Key West be sure to check out these favorites to taste their take on the drinks above: Sloppy Joe’s Key West, Ram’s Head Bar, Irish Kevin’s, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, and more!
Don’t Miss Out!
So to wrap it up, if you’re looking for a great way to cool off in sunny Key West or just enjoy some delicious libations inspired by classic Cuban recipes, then these are definitely worth trying! From mojitos to daiquiris to old fashioned and even some fruity concoctions like the Rum Runner—there’s something here for everyone! So what are you waiting for? Head down south and get ready to sip on these amazing tropical cocktails! Cheers!
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