Ramping up your rum

Ian Burrell, Brand Ambassador for Equiano Rum photographed by Jamie Lau / Studio Lau

Versatile and diverse, rum is a unique spirit that offers endless possibilities. Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell, provides five unconventional ways to serve rum, sure to impress your guests and elevate your bar.


Serve your rum with a quality carbonated mixer. Not everyone can drink rum neat, so offering rum in this way ensures all guests can explore the great tastes of the spirit. If you’re going to mix it, make sure you use a premium mixer to emphasise the taste of the rum. There are many alternatives to Coke and ginger beers that are also great complements to rum. 


Another way to serve a premium rum is ‘near neat’, where you add the oils of a citrus peel to the spirit. With fragrant aromas, citrus peel can add nuance and depth, while emphasising the tastes and notes of the rum. I love using orange peel to bring out the orange notes in premium rums. 


Serving rum on the rocks, with a large ice cube or ice ball, will keep your rum chilled with a slower rate of dilution. This helps to soften the spirit without making it too watery, providing guests the perfect opportunity to sip at their leisure and explore the wonderful tastes of the spirit. The bigger the ice cube, the better, and my advice is to avoid lots of small ice cubes.


Food pairing with rum is one of the most enjoyable rum experiences for guests, and is promised to elevate the serve. Try serving small, complimentary boards of cheese and cold meat when guests order their favourite rum from your venue. This will create a heightened experience for the guest, providing an exploration of different flavours which complement the spirit. 


Serving rum with coconut water is sure to provide guests a unique, but delicious, rum experience. A popular way to drink rum in the Caribbean, adding coconut water softens the rum and adds a touch of sweetness to the mix. Add a squeeze of lime peel to provide an even more refreshing mouthfeel for guests.


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