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Rum and coca-cola is a staple mixed drink for people around the world, but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what rum pairs the best with coke. Some prefer darker spicy rum to balance the coke’s sweetness, and others prefer a sweet white to create a taste similar to vanilla coke.
All drinkers are looking to upgrade the taste and quality of their alcohol no matter our preferences, so instead of making a standard Top Ten list, we divvied up the choices into categories of rum.
White rums have a subtle fruity taste and a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) on average compared to darker rums, making it a more agreeable alcohol to add to your mixed drink. It’s also the most easily distinguishable rum category, as white rum is clear, while the others have various colorings.
1. Ten to One: 45% ABV
This top-shelf drink originates from both Jamaica and the Dominican Republic: an even blend of pot still rum from both countries. It has a strong citrus flavor with a hint of banana, making for an intriguing duet with coke.
2. Bacardi Superior: 40% ABV
No rum and coke article would be complete without Bacardi Superior, the standard white rum choice for most mixed drinks. But what makes this rum so “superior”? It’s light and goes down easily on its own, which appeals to inexperienced drinkers, but its texture complements coke’s thickness exceptionally well.
Bacardi Superior blends with coke so well that you might forget it’s alcohol, so watch how much you mix into your drink.
3. Captain Morgan Caribbean White: 35% ABV
While alcohol connoisseurs look down upon Captain Morgan as its own drink, no one can deny that it mixes well with coca-cola. It has a similar texture to Bacardi, but a slightly sweeter taste of Virgin Islands liquor.
The name “Captain Morgan” is so synonymous with rum and cokes that some prefer to call the drink “Cap and Coke,” making this rum a no-brainer for our list. It won’t be the last time you see the old captain, either.
Spiced rum is sort of a happy medium, caught somewhere between the sweet whites and savory darks. As a result, these rums have a red and gold coloring that embodies their spicy flavors very well.
1. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum: 35% ABV
The most popular liquor choice for rum and coke, college students and veteran bartenders alike can attest to the reliability of Captain Morgan’s spiced rum. This choice emphasizes the “spice” more than most spiced rums, but that’s the key that makes it work so well with coke.
The phrase “sugar, spice and everything nice” perfectly describes Cap and Coke. The sweetness of the soda combined with a hearty, flavorful rum over ice makes for a delicious mixed drink.
2. Sailor Jerry: 46% ABV
One of the most common flavors you’ll find in spiced rum is cinnamon, and Sailor Jerry has plenty of it. Along with the above-average ABV, cinnamon makes Sailor Jerry a standout liquor to mix with coke. Think of everything that makes Captain Morgan’s spiced rum a staple, and multiply it a few times. That’s the kind of drink you can expect.
3. Kraken Black Spiced Rum: 47% ABV
Kraken’s liquors are known for their above-average ABV levels and their black spiced rum is no exception, but when you sip on this rum, you’ll notice the many flavors before the alcohol hits your taste buds. With hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee and caramel all mixed in, the Kraken feels right at home swimming in a cup of coca-cola.
Dark rum has a vague definition. People tend to classify dark rums as anything darker than a spiced rum’s reddish-gold coloring, similar to whiskey’s coloring, but not as dense. Here are the three best darks to pair with coke.
1. Plantation Original Dark Rum: 40% ABV
Made in Jamaica and Barbados then aged in France, Plantation Original Dark has a smokey vanilla flavor that you’d expect from a darker rum, but it has a hint of caramel too. These flavors blend well with sweet mixers like coke.
2. Gosling’s Black Seal: 40% ABV
Usually the rum of choice for a Dark N’ Stormy cocktail, Gosling’s also makes a great choice to pair with coke. It has all the different tastes you want from a dark rum: vanilla, butterscotch, and molasses, making for a powerful flavor-packed combination and coca-cola.
If you really want a rum that clashes with the mixer, Gosling’s should do the trick. This rum and coke combo has a taste like no other.
3. Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum: 54.5% ABV
The most potent drink on the list, Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof harkens to the liquor’s early years, when the British Navy commissioned its soldiers with heavy, head-clearing rum from its colonies in Trinidad and Guyana.
It won’t take much to make your drink strong, so be mindful of how much you mix. Once you find the sweet spot, though, Pussers and coke is a great party starter. If you decide to play a drinking game with this option, pour conservatively!
Try A New Rum This New Year
With 2022 already upon us, add another item to your list of resolutions and make it a goal to try a new rum this year. If you like white rums, try a dark one. Those with a sweet tooth should try a spiced rum. If you don’t drink rum at all, get started with a simple, refreshing cup of coke, ice and a little bit of Captain Morgan. Enjoy!