Rum running in Detroit

10 unusual ways to cook with rum

Honour the rum runners!

When someone says “rum recipe,” we tend to think cocktails. Or worse: rum recipe evokes the horrific drowning of this precious nectar in over-sweet cola.

Cooking with rum is highly underrated. I’m here to tell you: stop shooting straight … past a glorious realm of rum recipes. Rum is a great and useful culinary tool and its imprint is vast. Contrary to popular belief, the sugarcane-derived beverage is a valuable contributor to both sweet and savoury dishes.

From the exotic vindaloo-inspired pork indad to rum-infused Cuban chicken to sweet rum butter or pastries with rum-soaked raisins, behold the glory of the versatility of rum in cooking.

As summer wanes here in the US and Canada, make the most of the full potential of the rum recipe.

Rum, Habanero and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches


The sweet richness of rum, amplified by a touch of molasses, marries excellently with the heat of habanero, the whole absorbed perfectly by the slower-cooked pork. See the recipe on SpicieFoodie



Squash Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce


Uber-rich and yet spicy, rum, butter, Grand Marnier and squash cubes make this bread pudding wholly distinct from any traditional types you’ve tried before.  See the recipe on Saveur

ron flora de cana

Baked Cuban Chicken & Rice


Add some Cuban rum to your chicken stock and the results might shock you! A hearty stock and just the right spices make this take on Cuban chicken perfect for a summer night. See the recipe on BBC.


Rum Butter


Rum-infused butter is a rich, punchy, incredibly versatile element to add to your favourite dessert. What’s more, it’s dead easy to make. See the basic recipe, Cumberland (UK Lake District) style, and check out some user-generated ideas of sweets it can sit atop.

Rum butter via Flickr
Rum butter (via Flickr)

Fruit Crepes with Vanilla Bean & Rum Butter Sauce


If you prefer, just hit your guests with this insanely-decadent recipe using rum butter. All you need to do is ladle out some crepes onto the griddle and grab some seasonal fruit! Bon Appétit never disappoints. See the recipe on Bon Appétit.


Divine BBQ Rum Ribs


Due to its origins in sugarcane, amber Rum caramelizes like no one’s business. This means it can be an secret BBQ weapon. As always, we can rely on Jamie Oliver for some outrageously tasty fare in this department. See the recipe for BBQ rum ribs on Jamie Oliver’s site.

(via Flickr)

Rum Zabaione


Zabaione (or “sabayon”) is one of the most classic, essential Italian desserts. It’s basically a custard, but is traditionally meant to be spiked with some alcohol. Rum’s natural sweetness lends itself to the dish. See a recipe for rum zabaione on Epicurious.


Rum-Soaked Raisins


You can stud almost any dessert with these potent little rum-bombs, whose sweetness, once again. As a bonus, you can preserve raisons (or presumably, berries) almost indefinitely in rum, the rumminess only invading the fruit more and more as time unfolds. As this recipe shows, bourbon works equally well (we’ll save bourbon for another post!): See the recipe for rum-soaked raisins on


Chile Peppers Suffed With Grains & (Rum) Raisins


I saw a similar dish once at a resto, and though I couldn’t track down a recipe, I found that Rum Diary Bar in Australia had something called “long green peppers stuffed with quinoa and rum-soaked raisins.” Damn that sounds good. Here’s a great recipe for stuffed poblamo peppers. My feeling is that those same rum-soaked raisins would go swimmingly in these particular poblanos! See the recipe for stuffed poblanos on Salty Sweet Life

Be original and save cash on Haagen-Dazs. Make your own damn rum raisins! It only takes a minute.
Be original and save cash on Haagen-Dazs. Make your own damn rum raisins! (via Flickr)

Pork Indad


Last but certainly not least, I must share with you this incredible find! I had no idea rum could be fused with Indian flavours (every day I’m humbled by how little I know of the world’s food history!), but pork indad,  not too far off from those addictive bright vindaloos, was, according to Michelle Peters-Jones, “originally derived from the vindalho…made by the Mangalorean Catholic community. ” The salted meat and alcohol combine to make  “a traveller’s dish,” which in her words:

These, technically, are some unusual flavours for South India, mint, for example, and rum. This is the influence of the Portuguese community, and results in a dish that takes in Portuguese ingredients and marries them to Indian spices.

Intrigued? I sure am, and can’t wait to try it. See the recipe for pork indad on Michelle Peters-Jones’ site The Tiffin Box.


Well folks, that wraps up our humble little list of rum recipes. I tried to scour trustworthy sources and include a range of styles, uses and dish-types. It’s all in the name of re-instating the humble rum to its rightful place in our palates…and making summer last a little bit longer.

If you have any other unusual rum recipes, let me know on Twitter!

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