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If you are looking for the perfect Rum Runner Recipe, then you’re in the right place. Learn all about this famous island drink, how to make one, and the history behind it.

To me the Rum Runner is the quintessential beach drink. It has tons of flavor, cools you off and jumps starts any party. The best place to get one here where I live is on Ft. Myers Beach. The Lani Kai Resort and Top-O-Mast (Now Pier Side Beach Bar) rule these waters when it comes to the RumRunner.

They come frozen and they come strong at the Lani Kai. To add a little more fun, I recommend getting the 151 Rum floater. It’s like adding gas to a fire, so beware.  I have fallen prey to its persuasions before and paid the price.

There are more than a few ways to make the RumRunner, here’s the one I recommend based on the traditional style and history of the drink.

RumRunner Drink Recipe


  • 1/2 oz. Light Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Blackberry Brandy
  • 1/2 oz. Creme de Banana
  • 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1 oz. Sour Mix
  • 1/4 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 oz. Grenadine
  • 1/4 oz. 151 Rum
  • Lime wedge, garnish

How To Make: Fill shaker with crushed ice.  Add first 9 ingredients.  Stir and strain over ice into rocks glass.  Float the 151 Rum on Top. Garnish.

I prefer mine frozen.  Just added everything in a blender. Float the 151 on top.  Raise and cheers friends.

History of the Rum Runner

As with most drinks, the origin story can be disputed and a bit hazy. So don’t hate me if my story differs form one you’ve heard.

The best information I have is that the Rum Runner was invented by Holiday Isles Tiki Bar in Islamorada, Florida in the 1950’s. This is now the Post Card Inn in Islamorada, which is a great place to stop or stay if you are in the Keys.

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Rum Runner Recipe

It is said that the bar was trying to clear out their liquor supply to make way for new inventory. So the creative bartenders at the time started having a little fun with the rums and juices they were getting rid of. After a few tries, they created a rum drink that tasted great and lobbied the bar to put it on the menu. That drink was named the Rum Runner after the real “rum runners” that use to live in the Florida Keys and run alcohol during prohibition.

As I mentioned, recipes change slightly over time and different bars like to add their variation to the drink. Most recipes are altered by using different amounts of the same ingredients. The “rules of the recipe”say that amounts can vary to suit taste and preference, but you can’t alter the main ingredients and still call it a Rum Runner.

Here is my Jeep at the old Holiday Isles Tiki Bar in Islamorada. As you can see by the name of the Jeep, I’m a fan of the drink and history behind the real Rum Runners. If you see the Rum Runner driving around southwest Florida, give me a honk.

rum runners beach bar

A Rum Runner Twist

Here’s a different twist on the Rum Runner Recipe that I thought you might enjoy as well. I watched this and my mouth was watering. You’re welcome. 🙂

Want more Caribbean Rum Drinks?

Click here to see our list of 52 rum drinks and how to make them. Invite some friends over and impress them with your rum skills, because each one tastes like paradise in a glass.

Every good mixologist needs some good cocktail making gear. I recommend this cocktail mixing set, it has everything you need and it’s what I use at home.


Ryan – RumShopRyan

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About the Author: RumShopRyan

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.