Vegan Rum Cocktails – in this post I am going to be talking to you about everything you need to know about the most popular rum cocktails and whether they are vegan or not. I’ll show you if Rum is vegan and go into detail on whether some of the most popular rum cocktails are: (a) vegan; and (b) if not vegan – how you can easily make them vegan. The cocktails I will be talking about include the Daiquiri, Dark n Stormy, Pina Colada, White Russian, and (for the season period) the classic Spiked Eggnog. Rum is the second most popular drink in the USA (after vodka) with signature brands Bacardi and Captain Morgan’s leading the way. Rum also, for me personally, is THE quintessential cocktail liquor. It was made to be mixed (I mean how often do you drink rum straight like Vodka or Whiskey). So, if you like Pina Coladas and taking long walks in the rain (that is a classic reference to the Escape song) then isn’t it about time we find out if that Pina Colada is vegan? First thing first, can you even get vegan rum cocktails?
What Vegan Rum Cocktails Are Available?
There are plenty of amazing vegan rum cocktails that can be made including the following –
– Vegan Eggnog;
– Vegan Daiquiri;
– Vegan Dark n Stormy;
– Vegan Pina Colada; and
– Vegan White Russian.
The tricks to making the above cocktails vegan include using vegan cream, vegan sugar, vegan coffee liquor, and vegan rum.
Is Rum Vegan?
As a general rule, most Rum is vegan. The main reasons why some rums are not vegan are as follows:
- Honey as an ingredient (usually added to flavored or spiced rums);
- Non-vegan sugar as an ingredient; or
- Dairy as an ingredient – usually in rum creams. Occasionally flavored rums such as caramel rum contain dairy.
You will be pleased to know that most of the big rum brands such as Bacardi, Havana Club, Kraken, and Lambs Spiced Rum are vegan. If you want to learn more about Rum in general, including how and what it is made of, and the difference between some vegan vs non-vegan rums you can check out my dedicated rum post: Is Rum Vegan? Surprises You Need To Know About In Rum.
Vegan Rum Cocktails
Below, I will share with you five of my personal favorite rum cocktails available (yes, they include two of the classics a Daiquiri and the Pina Colada). I have included links to all the relevant ingredients in the receipt section for each cocktail listed.
I start with one of the biggest rum cocktails around – the Daiquiri. Traditionally, this drink is made from a few simple ingredients – rum (traditionally a light white rum), sugar, syrup, and lime juice. Fruit flavored variants of the Daiquiri, such as the Strawberry (or for you Godfather fans – the Banana Daiquiri) are particularly popular. These versions will include fresh fruit or a fruit-flavored syrup. Oh and if you were wondering “Daiquiri” is the name of the Port Town close to where the drink was invented.
I wanted to have a Daiquiri on this list for several reasons:
1. It is one of the most well-recognized rum cocktails out there; and
2. Even though it may seem at first glance like an “always vegan” cocktail there are a couple of things that can make a daiquiri cocktail not vegan.
What makes a Daiquiri not vegan?
The main non-vegan ingredient in the Daiquiri is simple sugar syrup. This is because sugar here in the USA is often processed with bone char (charred bones) to give it a white appearance.
However, it is super simple to make a vegan sugar syrup. The main thing is to use a sugar that is marked as raw or organic (if it is raw or organic it will not have been processed with bone char). If you live outside of the USA you probably do not need to worry about bone char as the use of bone char is heavily regulated outside of the US.
How to Make a Vegan Daiquiri
Vegan Daiquiri Recipe Ingredients
- 2 ounces rum – just make sure it is a light rum. You can’t go wrong with Bacardi, which you can buy on Amazon here.
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice – limes on Amazon here.
- A cup of vegan sugar (from Amazon here) to make 1/2 ounce vegan sugar syrup (see below for how to make it).
For a Strawberry or fruit-flavored Daiquiri, I would recommend adding a ½ cup of fresh fruit of your choice.
Vegan Sugar Syrup
Once you have your organic or raw sugar it’s super simple to make a vegan sugar syrup. Just mix 1 cup organic/raw sugar with half a cup of water in a saucepan. Cook in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and cool. Voila
Vegan Daiquiri Recipe Instructions
Put crushed ice into a cocktail shaker. Add all ingredients, shake, and serve.
Vegan Daiquiri Mixers
The other thing I wanted to point out is that if you can’t be bothered with all the lime juicing etc. and just want to use a daiquiri mixer – not all daiquiri mixers are vegan.
For example, Fee Brothers Daiquiri Mixer contains dry milk. If you are looking for a vegan Daiquiri Mixer this Master of Mixes Strawberry Daiquiri / Margarita Drink Mix on Amazon is a great option.
2. Pina Colada
The second rum cocktail on the list is equally as classic – Pina Colada.
A traditional Pina Colada is made from coconut rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream. If made like this it is completely vegan. However, I have found a lot of bars and restaurants add dairy to Pina Coladas. To this extent, be extra vigilant when ordering a Pina Colada out and about. Spoiler Alert – a Pina Colada can still be not vegan even if no dairy is used in the drink.
What makes a Pina Colada not vegan?
Here comes the big non-vegan Pina Colada shocker – Malibu Coconut Rum isn’t vegan. This is down to the fact some of their sugar suppliers process sugar in a way that is not considered “vegan friendly”.
What does this mean? Well, it must mean the sugar is processed using bone char (essentially charred bones which are used to process the sugar to make it white).
The good news is that there are vegan coconut rum alternatives to Malibu such as Rumhaven coconut rum. I realize a traditional Pina Cola contains light rum and not Malibu but a lot of people like to use Malibu to give it an extra coconut kick. If you like the sound of that you can use a vegan alternative coconut rum.
How To Make A Vegan Pina Colada
Vegan Pina Colada Ingredients
- 2 ounces Rumhaven on Instacart
- 3 ounces pineapple juice on Instacart
- 1 ounce coconut cream – I love this organic unsweetened one on Amazon
Vegan Pina Colada Recipe
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and pour into a glass. Serve with a vegan maraschino cherry. Note some maraschino cherries contain cochineal (crushed bugs) to give them their red hue so just make sure to pick vegan ones. If you want a vegan maraschino you can find them easily on Amazon.
3. Dark n Stormy
Dark N Stormy is another popular and simple rum cocktail. Made from dark rum, ginger beer and garnished with a slice of lime.
To make a proper official Dark n Stormy you must use Goslings black rum. Goslings have even trademarked the name “Dark n Stormy” – that’s how imperative this rum is to the cocktail. Good news though – Gosling’s rum is vegan so you can make the real deal.
Also, ginger beer generally tends to be vegan. I covered everything you need to know about ginger beer and ale in my post: Is Ginger Ale Vegan? Everything You Need To Know.
How To Make A Dark N Stormy
Vegan Dark n Stormy Ingredients
- 2 ounces Goslings Rum on Instacart.
- Enough Goslings stormy ginger beer to fill the glass (approx. 5 ounces)
- 1 lime slice to garnish
Vegan Dark n Stormy Instructions
- Add rum to a tall glass filled with ice.
- Fill to the top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with lime slice.
4. Vegan White Russian
This isn’t the first time I have talked about the White Russian. I previously mentioned it in my post on the best vegan vodka cocktails – How To Make Vegan Vodka Cocktails. However, there is a good reason for the White Russian making an appearance on this list – they traditionally contain not just vodka but also coffee rum liquor. Coffee Rum Liquor which just happens to often be not vegan.
Also even putting the coffee liquor aside, a traditional White Russian still isn’t vegan due to cream. So, it is about time this Big Lebowski-style cocktail got a vegan makeover.
How to Make a Vegan White Russian
- Cream – replace dairy cream with coconut cream or a creamy oat if you are not a coconut fan.
- Kahlua – Kahlua is a rum-based liquor that is not vegan. Sad face. However, Kamora is a vegan coffee liquor alternative you can use instead.
- Replace vodka with rum. Since this post is about the best vegan rum cocktails and since it is not entirely clear which alcohol is in Kamora coffee liquor I propose replacing the normal vodka with rum instead – preferably a light rum like Bacardi so the coffee taste reigns supreme.
Vegan White Russian Ingredients
– 2 ounces white rum
– 1-ounce Kamora (Kamora on Instacart here)
Vegan White Russian Recipe Instructions
Pour Vodka and Kamora into a glass. Add ice. Then pour the coconut cream in. Stir gently to get the swirl effect.
5. Vegan Eggnog Recipe Ingredients
Last on the list is something a bit more seasonal. Eggnog, but not just any Eggnog – some spiked Eggnog. Traditional Eggnog is made from eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, vanilla, and rum.
What Makes Eggnog Not Vegan?
Traditional Eggnog is not vegan, as you can see from its ingredients. The use of eggs, milk, and cream makes this seasonal drink very non-vegan. However, you can make vegan eggnog with the use of some plant-based milk, maple syrup, nuts, and coconut cream.
Vegan Eggnog Recipe
Out of the five cocktail recipes in this post, this is the only one where the recipe is for several servings (around 4-6). This recipe involves more ingredients than the others, so it makes sense to make enough for several cups. Plus eggnog is made for sharing.
All of the below ingredients can be bought on Instacart.
- 3 cups oat milk (this extra creamy Califia one is one of my favorites to use)
- 1 cup coconut cream (canned like this one is creamier than cartons)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I love using organic like this one)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 ounces rum (I think a dark spiced rum works best like this one from Instacart)
Vegan Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Instructions
Simply place the above ingredients into a food blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Serve with ice.
Vegan Rum Cocktails – The Final Sip
Vegan Rum Cocktails – when it comes to cocktails rum makes for some of the most fun, fruity, and tropical cocktail creations. Want a cocktail served in a severed and hollowed pineapple – one pina colada, please. Want something fruity with little cocktail umbrellas – then go for a Strawberry Daquiri. When it comes to cocktails rum just makes for some of the best fun ones. It is a fact. As for being vegan, rum cocktails can be vegan friendly. Take a Pina Colada, in its traditional form it is completely vegan. It is only when some places try to cheapen the drink by adding milk and dairy that it can be made non-vegan. As for my personal favorite – there is nothing quite like a banana Daquiri – creamy, delish, and cooling. Perfect.
…now I know.
Beverage makers may change ingredients and/or manufacturing processes. Always double-check ingredients before purchasing any beverages.
Please Drink Responsibly.
Like What You Are Reading
Need to know more? Think your favorite beer or wine is vegan? How about your favorite Vodka, Tequila, or Gin – think those are vegan? Time to find out – check out some of my other articles:
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