Mixing Drinks 101: Can You Mix Rum And Vodka?

can you mix rum and vodka
Joe | Last Updated: September 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

When it comes to mixing alcoholic drinks there are endless possibilities to explore that can make for either delicious concoctions or complete disasters.

Not all drinks are compatible with one another, and whilst drinking spirits on their own can be an enjoyable experience, mixing them together can be dangerous if you’re not educated on which drinks work well together.

Rum and vodka are two of the most popular spirits on the planet, and while they can be delicious on their own, many people wonder: Can you mix rum and vodka?

That’s why in this part of the mixing drinks 101 series, we’ll explore whether rum and vodka can be mixed, if it’s a good idea, as well as what the result tastes like.

So if you’ve ever been curious about mixing rum and vodka, stick around as you’re in the right place!

Can You Mix Rum And Vodka?

Yes, but it’s not done very often and is not recommended due to the congeners in each spirit which can increase the risk of stomach irritation and adverse health effects such as vomiting and sickness.

It’s also important to keep in mind that these two spirits have distinct flavors and characteristics that may not always work well together.

Therefore, when mixing these two spirits it’s important to keep in mind the flavor and quality of each spirit you use to ensure you get a well-balanced drink.

can you mix rum and vodka
Photo by Anders Nord

It’s also wise to use ingredients that can enhance the balance of the drink, for example, you may choose to add citrus juices or sweet syrups to help create a more well-rounded concoction.

Long Island Iced Tea, Harlem Mugger, Hurricane, and Jungle Juice are all cocktails that use both rum and vodka, but they also use juices and other ingredients too.

Whilst mixing rum and vodka may seem unusual at first, it’s used in many existing cocktails and can result in a delicious drink when done properly and with compatible ingredients.

If we’re talking about mixing neat rum with neat vodka, this is NOT recommended and may leave you feeling sick and with an awful hangover in the morning.

Read more: Can you mix rum and wine?

What Does Rum And Vodka Taste Like?

The taste of a drink made by using rum and vodka can vary depending on the recipe, ingredients used, and the ratio of each spirit used.

Both rum and vodka are strong spirits on their own, with an alcohol content by volume (ABV) of anywhere between 20 – 75%, so it’s best to take it easy on the pours you use of each if you’re experimenting.

If done correctly, the combination of both rum and vodka can work well and create a complex and balanced drink that is both sweet and strong.

That said, if it’s done incorrectly and you use large pours the results can be a disaster and leave you regretting your decision.

Keep in mind that rum is made from molasses and sugarcane and has a sweet, fruit flavor with notes of caramel and vanilla.

Whereas, vodka, on the other hand, is a neutral spirit with a subtle taste and when combined the rum adds sweetness to the drink while the vodka adds a clean and crisp finish.

bottle of 1930 smoked rum
Photo by Bradley Dunn

Using other ingredients to complement the mix is a great idea and will enhance the taste, so try adding citrus juice or sweet syrups to add extra flavors and make the drink more enjoyable.

>> Read more: Can you mix gin and vodka?

Is Mixing Rum And Vodka A Good Idea?

Mixing rum and vodka it’s generally NOT a good idea and should be left to professional bartenders to ensure it’s done correctly with proven recipes.

Both of these spirits are VERY strong, so if you’re experimenting with making your own cocktails at home it can become dangerous if you use large measures and get it wrong.

If you do decide to give mixing rum and vodka a shot, I’d recommend using other ingredients to create a balanced drink and to go easy on the pours.

It can be quite tricky to get rum and vodka to mix together and taste good, so it’s wise to use small measures first and to test with different ingredients to get a drink that isn’t too strong.

Also, beware that dark spirits such as rum can leave you with a pounding hangover, and it’s not recommended to mix clear beverages with dark, such as rum and vodka.

Mixing different types of alcohol such as rum and vodka can be unpredictable and have a higher risk of negative effects such as blackouts, alcohol poisoning, and other health issues.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend mixing rum and vodka unless you’re ordering a cocktail that contains both ingredients from a bar.

>> Read more: Can you mix vodka and tequila?

Can I Drink Rum And Vodka At The Same Time?

Drinking rum and vodka at the same time is generally NOT recommended due to the strength of both of these spirits and the increased chance of negative effects.

If you’re going to drink either of these spirits, it’s best to stick with one or the other for the whole time you’re drinking instead of mixing both or chopping and changing.

bottle of purity vodka

For example, if you’re drinking vodka cokes for most of the night, it’s not recommended to then switch to drinking rum and cokes, this could lead you to adverse health effects and a BRUTAL hangover.

Mixing drinks can also make it more difficult to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had throughout the night, which can lead to becoming more intoxicated than you planned.

My recommendation is to stick with one spirit throughout the night and don’t mix or change spirits.

>> Read more: Can you mix vodka with water?

Wrapping Up

Whether or not you decide to give mixing rum and vodka a try is up to you, but I will caution you that it can result in a very strong drink that doesn’t taste great and leaves you with a nasty hangover in the morning.

When done correctly (which isn’t very often) with correct measures, moderation, and other ingredients, the result can be a delicious drink that is enjoyable.

When mixing these two strong spirits together, use caution and moderation. These spirits are both strong which can lead to you becoming more intoxicated than you planned.

Trust me, I’ve been there! Whilst it is possible to mix rum and vodka with good results, I wouldn’t personally recommend it.

Catch you in the next one!