Rum Runner

By Timo Torner / Last updated on April 6, 2023

The Rum Runner is a classic Tiki cocktail. It is a tropical drink made of Rum, fruity liqueurs, and fresh juices.
Rum Runner cocktail on table with bar tools and orange

The tropical blend of sweet banana and blackberry liqueurs mixed with Rum, fresh pineapple, and lime juice goes by the fitting name Rum Runner Cocktail and is a typical summer and vacation drink.

The fruitiness makes it dangerously easy to drink, thus, the perfect sip to enjoy by the pool or beach.

Jump to Recipe | Ingredients | How to make it | History | Other Tiki cocktails


The modern Rum Runner recipe is a bit more elaborate compared to the original creation of Tiki John. It is better balanced and more refreshing. So let's look at the ingredients you need to make a modern Rum Runner cocktail:

  • Dark Rum
  • White Rum
  • Banana liqueur
  • blackberry liqueur
  • lime juice
  • pineapple juice
  • Grenadine

In the original recipe, Myers Rum was the base of the drink. However, the modern way is a split base of dark and light Rum. We like to use Havana 3 years and Appleton Jamaican Rum for this drink.

Next are banana and blackberry liqueur. You cannot go wrong with the products from Giffard - Banane du Bresil and Crème de Mûre. Both are excellent products and not artificially sweet.

Fresh pineapple and lime juice are vital. The taste of freshly squeezed juices is what makes this tropical cocktail shine. If you really have to cut a corner, though, squeeze the limes and buy 100% pineapple juice. 

The final element is Grenadine syrup. It's often frowned upon by bartenders for its artificial taste, but vital to this drink. If you have the time, the best option is to make your own Grenadine.

How to make it

The list of ingredients may be long, but mixing this cocktail is as easy as it gets:

Step 1: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice cubes. Not crushed ice, as it causes too much dilution while mixing. 

Step 2: Fill your cocktail glass with crushed ice

Step 3: Shake your drink for 10 to 15 seconds and strain it into the glass with the help of a Hawthorne strainer. 

Step 4: Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and enjoy.

Rum Runner drink on wooden board next to orange

History of the Rum Runner cocktail

Some sources claim that the drink was invented at the Holiday Isle tiki bar in Islamorada in the 1950s. However, although the cocktail was most likely actually created by the Holiday Isle's bar manager, the bar didn't exist in the 1950s.

It opened only in 1969 under the name "The Hapi Hula Hut" and was renamed "Holiday Isle Tiki Bar" in 1971. Thus, the Rum Runner is most likely an invention of the early 70s. -The bar is still open today, by the way.

Holiday Isle tiki bar Islamorada

The story goes that former bar manager John Elber, called Tiki John"had to get rid of an excess of Rum and other liqueurs before the arrival of new inventory." As a result, he came up with a cocktail of Myers Rum, Brandy, banana liqueur, and Grenadine he served under the name Rum Runner.

Other tropical Tiki Cocktails

Tiki cocktail culture was huge between the mid-1930s and the 1970s, and you can find countless recipes from that time. Among the most popular ones are 

If you want a better overview of the tropical drinks, check out our list of the best 20 Tiki Cocktails.

Rum Runner drink on wooden board next to orange

Rum Runner

A traditional tiki cocktail made of Rum, fresh juices, and fruity liqueurs.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana, pineapple, raspberry, rum
Servings: 1
Calories: 320kcal
Cost: $3.90


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer


  • 1 oz Aged Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz Havana Club 3 years
  • 1 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Mûre
  • 2 oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 0.25 oz Grenadine


  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
    1 oz Aged Jamaican Rum, 1 oz Havana Club 3 years, 1 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil, 0.5 oz Crème de Mûre, 2 oz Fresh pineapple juice, 1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice, 0.25 oz Grenadine
  • Shake until the drink is well-chilled and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.
  • Optionally garnish with a pineapple wedge and a Maraschino cherry.


Serving: 7ozCalories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 35.35gProtein: 0.45gFat: 0.3gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 125.75mgSugar: 30.05gVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 16.5mgIron: 0.31mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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