Mixing Drinks 101: Can You Mix Rum And Whiskey?

can you mix rum and whiskey
Joe | Last Updated: November 11, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Mixing drinks is like mixing colors with a paintbrush when you’re a kid, only it’s for adults and MUCH more fun!

However, that fun can quickly turn disastrous if you’re not sure what drinks can be mixed together and which should remain separate.

This is why it’s important to learn the basics of mixing drinks and have some level of understanding of the different types of spirits.

Whether you’re an exploratory bartender or someone looking to create a tasty concoction, you may have found yourself wondering: can you mix rum and whiskey?

It’s an interesting question and one that’s sparked debate between alcohol enthusiasts.

That’s why in this post, we’re going to go through everything you need to know about mixing these two delicious spirits and whether or not it’s a good idea.

So let’s get cracking.

Can You Mix Rum And Whiskey?

Yes, you can absolutely mix rum and whiskey, but the end result will largely depend on the types of rum and whiskey you mix together.

Both rum and whiskey are incredibly versatile with unique flavors, and if mixed together correctly with a nice garnish and some bitters, the end result can be amazing.

The Suburban cocktail is a classic that uses both Dark Rum and Rye Whiskey, alongside Port wine and some bitters to make the drink taste delicious.

Rum Old Fashioned and Whiskey Mai Tai are also great cocktails to try if you want to give mixing rum and whiskey a go.

can you mix rum and whiskey
Photo by C D-X

Just be careful with the ratios of rum and whiskey you use, as if you go overboard you could be in for a drink that’s far too strong and will leave you with a brutal hangover.

It’s important to keep in mind the dominant flavors of both rum and whiskey when mixing the two.

Whiskey has a more smoky taste whilst rum is sweeter and fruitier, so I encourage you to use small measures at first to find the right balance between the two types of spirits.

Whilst pairing rum and whiskey may not be a very common pairing, it’s a mixture that can result in a tasty drink when done properly, so don’t be afraid to give it a try.

>>Read more: Can you mix whiskey and wine?

What Happens When You Mix Rum And Whiskey?

Mixing rum and whiskey the right way can result in a drink that you’ll find yourself returning to again and again.

The smokiness of the whiskey can complement the sweetness of the rum if done properly, but don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of attempts to get the mixture right.

If the ratios are not balanced properly and the flavors clash, you’ll be left with a drink that tastes like old dishwater and is strong enough to knock out a horse.

When mixing rum and whiskey, it’s important to use other ingredients that complement the mixture, such as bitters, syrups, and garnish.

These add other tastes to the recipe that compliment the spirits nicely, so it’s wise to use ingredients that you’re familiar with and ones that you know you enjoy.

I’d recommend following a cocktail recipe that incorporates both whiskey and rum before blindly trying to create your own mixture.

This will ensure that your using the correct measurements and are following a drink that someone has tried and enjoyed before.

Both whiskey and rum are strong spirits that should be mixed with care, so always experiment with small measurements first and remember to drink responsibly and in moderation.

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

Is Mixing Rum And Whiskey A Good Idea?

Mixing rum and whiskey can be an excellent idea if done properly and responsibly.

Both spirits have unique flavor profiles that can work very well together and complement each other well.

BUT, it’s so easy to get the mixture wrong by using the wrong measurements, flavors that clash, or not incorporating other ingredients such as garnishes and syrups.

Trying the mixture in a shot glass first is a great way to ensure you don’t waste expensive alcohol as it may take a few tries to get the drink right.

It’s also important to note that both of these spirits are STRONG and mixing the two together is not for the faint-hearted.

If you’re someone who struggles to drink rum and whiskey individually, it’s probably not a good idea to mix the two together.

It’s also known that dark spirits can give worse hangovers, so if you’re someone that struggles the next morning you may want to stick with clear spirits like gin and vodka.

So long as you experiment with caution, drink in moderation, and incorporate other ingredients, mixing rum and whiskey can be a GREAT idea.

>> Read more: Can you mix rum and wine?

Can Whiskey Be Drank After Rum?

Yes, you can certainly drink whiskey after drinking rum so long as the drinks are consumed in moderation.

That said, it’s important to note that mixing different types of alcohol such as rum and whiskey can make the hangover worse, so if you do plan on mixing the two, try not to drink as much.

Personally, I am a big rum and whiskey drinker, so when I plan on mixing the two in one night I always ensure I stay well hydrated.

Between drinks, be sure to head to the bar and guzzle a pint of water to ensure your getting enough water in your system.

can you mix rum and whiskey
Photo by Anastasia Zhenina

Trust me when I say that hangovers from drinking both whiskey and rum on the same night can be BRUTAL, so do everything you can to prevent it.

It’s also worth noting that drinking whiskey after rum may affect your palate and ability to taste the flavors of the whiskey.

Many people prefer to stick with lighter spirits first and then work their way up to the darker, heavier spirits.

Just be sure that if you’re drinking whiskey after rum you’re getting enough water in during the night and are drinking in moderation and responsibly.

>> Read more: Can you mix rum with orange juice?

Wrapping Up

Mixing rum and whiskey is certainly possible and can be a great idea for those adventurous cocktail lovers.

The two spirits can complement one another very well so long as it’s done properly and in moderation.

There are many cocktails out there that use both rum and whiskey as ingredients, but they ALL have other ingredients such as bitters, syrups, and garnishes.

Experiment cautiously and drink in moderation, and I have no doubt after a short period of trial and error you’ll find a recipe that tastes delicious.

Just be sure that if you are mixing these two spirits you’re taking in enough water throughout the night to remain hydrated.

It’s all fun and games mixing drinks until the next morning comes, so enjoy yourself, but be careful.