Rum and coke in a glass

How to make the perfect Rum and Coke

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 13, 2022 
Rum & Coke is a classic combination of flavors. With these tips, you can take this simple drink from basic to fantastic.

Rum and Coke is one of the most popular long drinks in the world. The unpretentious Highball is a smooth mix of sweet flavors chilled with lots of ice - A refreshing cocktail known all over the world.

The mix of fizzy and bubbly Coke with warm Rum notes make for a delicious drink that's easy to prepare. But still, you won't get the best Rum & Coke without paying attention to detail to the recipe. That means getting the ideal ratio of Rum and Coke, choosing the best Rum, using enough ice, and ultimately also choose the best Coke to go with your Rum.

Hang on and read my tips to make the perfect Rum and Coke.

Which kind of Rum should I use?

As with every Highball recipe, the quality of ingredients matters. And Rum is available in many different versions. From white to brown, aged or unaged, and specific styles like Rhum Agricole or overproof Rum.

Use one of high quality, and you can make a delicious Rum and Coke using any of the above. And I mean it. Some might argue that certain combinations are not favorable, like spiced Rum with Coke. But honestly, you can make this Highball with any type.

If you're unsure what the best one for you is, continue reading. I will explain the different combinations of Rum + Coke to help you find the best match.

Best Rum for Rum + Coke

One of the most noticeable facts about Rum & Coke is that many order their favorite combination by mentioning the brand name. For instance, Bacardi Coke or other brands.

The reason for this is that the taste of your typical Rum + Coke combination will highly depend on the Rum you pick. So make a wise choice to get the suitable one for you.

Here's an overview of possible selections of Rum in your cocktail. This includes white, gold, aged, and the rarer types like spiced and overproof Rum.

Flor de Cana White rum

White Rum

White Rum is a completely transparent, unaged version. It's the most common type, and you get it in various cocktails. The flavors of white Rum are crisp, clean, and fresh. It's a great way to start if you're at the beginning of your journey to find the perfect Rum to go with Coke.

My recommendation for the best white Rum in this Highball would be Flor de Cana 4 years Extra Seco. This combination is super refreshing and crisp, affordable, and ideal for hot temperatures.

Goslings Gold Seal Rum

Gold Rum

As Gold Rum is aged, it's a bit heavier and warmer than white Rum. These more robust flavors are maintained when mixing it with Coke.

It is very similar to Dark or Aged Rum. The main difference is that additives like caramel can be found in gold Rum. Those additives also make it a great choice in Rum & Coke recipe. The notes of vanilla and caramel go very well with Coke. My recommendation is Gosling's Gold Seal Rum.

El Dorado 8yr aged rum

Aged Rum

Aged Rums, especially long-aged dark Rums, offer a broad and exciting flavor profile. Actually intended to be sipped neat on ice, the complex flavors of aged spirits make a complex Highball when mixed with Coke.

When choosing the right one, your usual long drink can taste like a carefully crafted cocktail. My recommendation for a dark Rum would be the El Dorado 8 year.

Smith and cross overproof rum

Overproof Rum

Overproof Rum contains a higher amount of alcohol than regular types. Most overproof Rums contain around 60% alcohol by volume, while others can be more than 70%. The result is a far stronger drink - which especially might be a great choice after one of these long days in the office.

If you want to give overproof Rum a try, Smith and Cross Navy Strength Rum is a great way to start.

Kraken Spiced Rum

Spiced Rum

Spiced Rum is a pretty special category. Some people don't like it at all in Rum and Coke due to a high level of sweetness. Others love just that. But spiced Rum is not only sweeter but also more complex. Nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon are common ingredients to spice Rum.

A pro tip for mixing spiced Rum with Coke is to put it in the freezer before using it. Because spiced Rum contains more sugar, some of it will crystalize and create an intriguing effect when mixed with Coke. The result is hard to describe, so you best try it yourself. Personally, I like the Kraken spiced Rum for mixing with Coke.

Perfect Rum and Coke ratio

The perfect ratio of Rum and Coke is between 1:2 and 1:3. As it is a classic Highball recipe, proportions are essential for getting things right. As I said, Highballs are mixed drinks based on a spirit, lots of ice, and a filler only. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to every detail. It's all about choosing the right ingredients, using enough ice, and having the correct ratio.

I suggest you start with a Highball glass and fill it up with quality ice. Pour in 2 ounces of your Rum of choice followed by 4 ounces of Coke. That means you start with a 1:2 ratio, and from there, you can gradually increase the amount of Coke until the mixture is to your liking.

As a rule of thumb, the higher the quality of your Rum, the fewer Coke you want to use. Generally, in a recipe based on white Rum, your ratio should be more like 1:3. In a version made with aged Rum, you better aim for a ratio of 1:2. That allows the Rum flavors to create a more complex drink.

Choosing the right Coke to go with Rum

Yes, I am serious about that. The Coke part also has an impact on your drink. And I'm not even referring to the ever-lasting battle between Pepsi and Coke. Pepsi just honestly is not a great fit for a Rum and Coke. No, I'm talking about differences between Coke from the US and Coke from Mexico.

Have you ever been to Mexico and tried a Coke there? Did you notice a difference to the Coke you buy at home? Well, you should, at least if you have a somewhat elaborate palate. Because while American Coke gets sweetened with corn syrup, the Mexican version is made from sugar cane.

Due to that small change, the Mexican version is a lot smoother and has almost no aftertaste to it. The fact that both, Mexican Coke and Rum, are made with sugar cane obviously influences the taste of the result. You can get the Mexiko Coke in Hispanic supermarkets, and you can also order it online on Amazon.

Tips to make your Rum and Coke even better

I already mentioned once or twice: ice does make a difference. Both of your ingredients should be well-chilled before being used in a Rum and Coke. And to get the ultimate experience, you want to use plenty of crystal clear ice. Ideally, one large collins ice cube, the ice will chill your drink and melt slower. That prevents dilution of the cocktail, plus it helps to keep it cold and bubbly.

And to elevate your Rum & Coke experience further, add fresh lime or lemon. The citrus notes will cut through the sweetness and create a more balanced drink.

Related Cocktails

You are looking for cocktails made with Rum and coke? Check out our recipes for a Cuba Libre or the legendary Long Island Ice Tea. If you like to try another way to combine coke with spirit, the Argentinian Fernandito is an option for you.

Rum and coke in a glass

Rum & Coke

One of the most popular classic Highballs.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coke, rum
Servings: 1
Calories: 189kcal
Cost: $1.45

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 4-6 oz Coca Cola

Instructions

  • Add a collins ice stick into a Highball or Collins glass.
  • Add Rum first and then coke. Give the mix a quick but gentle stir.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime.

Nutrition

Serving: 7.5oz | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 195.6g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 195.6g | Iron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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