5 Great Rum Cocktails To Pair With Cigars

5 Great Rum Cocktails To Pair With Cigars
Date: June 2023
Author: Inspector X

During covid I was bored. So I watched a lot of television and a lot of old episodes of Bar Rescue, where ‘the Gordon Ramsey of the bar industry’, Jon Taffer rescues failing bars. A concept that Gordon Ramsey also uses in Kitchen Nightmares and I remember watching Hotel Impossible many moons ago where failing hotels were rescued by a hotel expert. But Kitchen Nightmares and Hotel Impossible aside, while watching Bar Rescue I noticed they created cocktails in every episode. That looked delicious and fun to do, so I got myself a cocktail kit and started experimenting. It quickly became a hobby and I love making cocktails for my wife and my friends.

But there is a downside to becoming a amateur mixologist. Most cocktails at bars are not up to my standards anymore as I know how to improve them, and taste when they use poor quality ingredients such as commercial bottled juices instead of freshly squeezed juice. Plus the liquor cabinet explodes, as you will need ingredients that you don’t use often but those bottles (like absinth, Chartreuse, bitters and other liqueurs) take up a lot of space.

Often people ask me “what is your favourite cocktail” or “what is the best cocktail to pair with a cigar”. These questions seem similar but aren’t. Some of my favourite cocktails are citrus forward and citrus forward cocktails are hard to pair with cigars. I also like the Miami Vice, but it’s not a cocktail I will recommend here as it’s quite some work. Plus it’s also a personal taste thing. I am not a fan of spirit forward cocktails, where all of the ingredients are spirits. So don’t expect me to answer Martini, Negroni, Manhattan of something similar while there are others who swear by a negroni with their cigar.

So here are 5 recommendations of rum based cocktails to try with a cigar. Recommendations are in random order by the way. Let us know in the comments what your favourite rum based cocktail is from this list or if you have any recommendations for me to try.


I made several mojitos for Cigarinspector.com as it’s my baseline cocktail for every white rum, and I even used it for a spiced rum. I made a Mojito for the Captain Morgan White, Don Q Cristal, El Rumba, Rick’s Rum and New Grove rum. I also made a Sake Mojito, but that’s a whole other spirit so I leave that be.

The combination of fresh lime, fresh mint, sugar, rum and club soda makes a refreshing summer drink that pairs well with cigars. It is not a complicated drink, and doesn’t require a complicated cigar to pair with. Depending on the rum you use, you can go with a milder Connecticut Shade cigar to a medium bodied Habano. Since it’s apparently a Cuban cocktail, why not pair it with one of the many cigars that Habanos sells worldwide?

And now for the Mojito recipe:

2 tablespoons of sugar
10 mint leaves
1 lime cut into 3 wedges
1 ½ oz or 45 ml of white rum
Club Soda

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler and crush to release mint oils and lime juice. Add remaining lime wedges and 2 tablespoons sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour in rum and fill the glass with club soda. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired.

Tea Amour

This is one of my favourite cocktails, and the one I always make for friends during parties. But unless you are a regular at The Cabinet, a whisky and cigar bar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, or if you read about this recipe on cigarinspector.com you probably never heard about this cocktail. It is a recipe by the head bartender of The Cabinet, Jason Ramesh, and Jason was so kind to share the recipe with me.

The tardiness of the lemon gets balanced out by the sweetness of the black tea syrup and the peach. The black tea adds an extra layer of flavour to the cocktail and it all plays very well with rum. The egg white creates a nice layer of creamy texture to the drink. So far, I tried the cocktail with different qualities of rum and even with a spiced rum, but the base of peach puree, black tea syrup and lemon juice simply create a perfect backdrop for any rum. Pair this with a slightly stronger cigar, not too strong though, and you’ll understand why I love this cocktail so much,

And now for the tea amour recipe:

1½ ounce or 45ml of White Rum
½ ounce or 15ml of Peach Puree
½ ounce or 15ml of Black Tea Syrup *
1 ounce of 30ml of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 egg white
Put all ingredients in a shaker and dry shake. Then shake again with some ice till well-chilled. Serve in a martini glass, garnish with some tea

*black tea syrup. Boil 100 grams of water with 100 grams of white sugar and 20 grams of black tea. Strain when the sugar is completely dissolved and store in the fridge up to several months just like regular simple syrup.

Aruba Ariba

Aruba is one of the six Antilles islands that are part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. From these six islands, Aruba is the only one with a La Casa del Habano plus there is a small cigar factory on the island as well. Rum is also made on the island. But honestly, I don’t know if this cocktail has anything to do with the popular tourist destination of if the name was just chosen to make the cocktail sound tropical.

I was very impressed with this cocktail when I first tried it with the New Grove rum. Citrus is balanced by grenadine, banana, orange and pineapple make it very tropical while the vodka and rum create depth and a kick. If done right, this tropical cocktail is so balanced and friendly that it goes with most cigars.
From a creamy mild Connecticut to a strong and sweet maduro powerhouse and everything in between.

And now for the Aruba Ariba recipe:

3 ounces or 90ml of Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
1½ ounce or 45ml of Pineapple juice
¾ ounce or 22½ml of Grenadine
½ ounce or 15ml of Vodka
½ ounce or 15ml of white rum
¼ ounce or 7½ml of Banana liqueur
¼ ounce or 7½ml of lime juice, freshly squeezed
Garnish: Orange wheel and a brandied cherry
Pour orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, vodka, rum, crème de banana, and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Place lid on shaker, and shake until well combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with cherry and orange slice.

Piña Colada

There aren’t many songs that feature the name of a cocktail very prominent. On the top of my head, I can name Snoop Dogg’s Gin & Juice, Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles and of course Escape by Rupert Holmes. You might think “escape? Is that a cocktail?” but no, the unofficial name of that song is “the piña colada song”. Fun fact, the original lyrics didn’t even feature the drink for which the song now is famous for.

The Piña Colada is the ultimate tropical summer drink. Creamy because of the thick cream of coconut, refreshing and tropical because of the pineapple, coconut and lime flavours. And it packs a nice depth and a punch because of the white rum. This is a sweet summer drink and nothing like any other cocktail I wrote about for Cigar Inspector. You can pair this with a medium or full-bodied cigar with woody, nutty, peppery or earthy notes. Anything but sweet or creamy will go well with this cocktail.

And now for the Piña Colada recipe:

2 ounces or 60ml of white rum
1½ ounce or 45ml of Pineapple juice
1½ ounce or 45ml of Cream of Coconut (not coconut cream, that’s different)
½ ounce or 25ml of lime juice, freshly squeezed
Garnish: pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf
Add the rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and lime juice in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds. Strain in a hurricane glass over pebble ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.


The first cocktail with dark rum on this list, but it has some white rum as well. But then again, often dark rums can be enjoyed as sipping rums where as a rule of thumb, white rums are better for mixing. The Hurricane an old cocktail but the recipe changed drastically over the years. I’m not a purist when it comes to cocktails, so I use a modern version of the drink.

The Hurricane is a dangerous cocktail as the fruit flavours of the passionfruit puree, orange juice and lime juice cover much of the characteristics of the two rums. Yet the alcohol content is there, and with 120ml/4 oz, this cocktail contains quite some booze. But the balanced flavours of the cocktail make it a perfect companion for a medium bodied cigar on a nice summer afternoon or evening.

And now for the Hurricane recipe:

2 ounces or 60ml of white rum
2ounces or 60ml of dark rum
1 ounce or 30ml of lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 ounce or 30ml of orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ ounce or 15ml of passion fruit puree
½ ounce or 15 ml of simple syrup
1 teaspoon grenadine
Garnish: orange half-wheel
Garnish: preserved cherry
Add the El Rumba, Diplomatico, lime and orange juices, passion fruit puree, simple syrup and grenadine into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a large Hurricane glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a preserved cherry.

Inspector X

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