The Rum Runner dates back to the 1950s, when it was created at a Tiki bar called Holiday Isle in Islamorada, Florida. Like many a tropical cocktail, it incorporates rum, banana liqueur and grenadine. It also uses blackberry liqueur, considerably less common, which adds depth of flavor and even a slight tannic touch.
As seems to happen with so many midcentury tropical-inspired cocktails, recipes for the Rum Runner have branched off over the years. The various ones out there diverge quite a bit, and it’s unlikely you’ll come across two that are exactly the same. Fruit juices typically used include lime, orange, pineapple or any combination of the above.
This recipe is a bit less saccharine and more sophisticated than many others, since it eschews the spiced and coconut-flavored rums you’ll sometimes see and opts for lime juice over orange. But really, you should feel free to tweak this drink in any way you like, including playing with ingredients and proportions. There’s no real wrong way to make a Rum Runner, as long as you come up with something you enjoy drinking.
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1 ounce navy-strength rum
- 1 ounce banana liqueur (such as Giffard Banane du Bresil)
- 1/2 ounce blackberry liqueur (such as Giffard Creme de Mure)
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- Garnish: brandied cherry
- Garnish: pineapple wedge
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a hurricane glass filled with crushed ice.
Garnish with a skewered brandied cherry and pineapple wedge.