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What is Coconut Rum?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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Coconut rum is an alcoholic beverage. It's composed of white rum flavored with coconut extract. White rum has a light, transparent color with a faint sweetness and a light-bodied composition. Unlike dark rum, which is aged in a charred oak barrel and sometimes colored with caramel to get a darkened color, white rums are aged either in metal or plain oak containers for a clearer result. Many white rums are flavored with fruits or other flavorings; in addition to coconut, some popular light rum flavors are lime, pineapple, cherry, banana, vanilla, and coffee.

Coconut rum has the distinct aroma of coconuts, and is used in many mixed drinks as well as desserts. One of the most popular types of coconut rum desserts is cake. One simple way to use coconut rum in a cake is to use the end of a wooden spoon can be used to make holes in a yellow cake still warm from the oven. A brown sugar and butter rum sauce can then be poured over the top to soak into the cake.

Pineapple upside down cakes may also be flavored with rum. Coconut rum can be added to the brown sugar-based sauce with pineapple rings that appears on the top when the cake is baked and turned upside down onto a serving plate.

Coconut flavored rum is a great addition to white cakes because it won't affect the cake's color. It can also be used to flavor frosting along with coconut extracts. Shredded coconut may be added on top of the frosting for extra flavor and texture.

Coquito, a popular eggnog-like Christmas drink in Puerto Rico, can be made with regular or coconut rum. It's flavored with coconut cream, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Coconut rums can also be used as a variation of the usual dark rum and cola combinations; they could be mixed with non-cola soft drinks to maintain the light color. Coconut rum is a popular addition to alcohol-based punches made with fruit juices such as pineapple and mango. Coconut rums are also used as additions to the popular rum, pineapple, and coconut-flavored drink known as a Piña Colada.

Light rums such as coconut rum are especially associated with Puerto Rico, while darker versions are said to be of the Jamaican style. Dark rum has a stronger taste than light rums. Rums have a sugarcane juice and molasses base, and most rum is aged for at least a year.

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Discussion Comments

By Ivan83 — On Sep 15, 2011

I once had a coconut rum cake that was amazing. I'm not sure if it used coconut rum or just coconut and run but either way the taste was incredible.

I don't usually go for chocolate and I love the light but rich flavor of coconut. When this was paired with the bite of the rum it made for an amazing desert.

Unfortunately I had this in a restaurant and have never been able to find a recipe that comes anywhere near what I had that night. I've tried to make it myself, but it never seems to turn out right.

By gravois — On Sep 14, 2011

I've got to be honest guys, after college I don't think I could ever drink another drink with coconut rum. Too many spring breaks, too many frat parties, too many nights hating the taste of coconut rum in my mouth.

Nut this is not a bad thing. Its probably better to have that stuff out of my system. It seems like everyone leaves college with at least one drink that they will never touch again.

By MissDaphne — On Sep 13, 2011

Captain Morgans coconut rum is good, but my favorite is actually Cruzan. I took my honeymoon in St. Croix, where they make the Cruzan. You can tour the factory. It's a much more fun tour than the Bacardi tour in Puerto Rico; that one is very commercial. At the Cruzan factory, they have stairs right up the sides of the giant vats so you can walk up and look down! You can smell the fermentation.

We saw a day camp having a field trip there. That wouldn't pass for appropriate on the mainland, but whatever!

The best part of the tour is that you get free samples. Now, most people just take one sample and leave, but turns out you can sit there for hours getting wasted! Just for your five dollar tour ticket. (Maybe only if they are not busy.) We tried *all* the rums.

Any flavored rum makes delicious punch, but if you want stronger, I really liked the coconut rum mixed with raspberry rum. Yummy! Mango run is also delicious.

By manykitties2 — On Sep 13, 2011

@letshearit - I absolutely love the Parrot Bay coconut rum that is made by Captain Morgan. I have been making amazing coconut rum shots out of that rum for ages now and it has always been a hit at parties.

There are lots of other simple coconut rum drinks you can make too. My favorite recipe is A Day At The Beach cocktail, which requires amaretto, coconut rum, grenadine, and orange juice. Just thinking about that is really making me thirsty.

Does anyone else have any favorite drink recipes that call for coconut rum? I would love to try out some new recipes.

By letshearit — On Sep 12, 2011

There are so many coconut rum drink recipes to choose from, and if you are creative you can even make your own coconut rum mixed drinks.

I absolutely love to use Captain Morgan's coconut rum in my mixed drinks because I find its taste isn't as harsh as some of the other rums I have tried. The light coconut flavor is still very distinct, but doesn't overwhelm your drink mix when it is used.

If you want something tropical, I suggest pineapple juice with a shot or two of coconut rum in it. Garnished with some tropical fruits it can be really delicious. Plus, its easy to make.

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