Rum Cocktail for Fall: The Rum and Ginger Smash

by Pamela

spiced rum recipes, rum and ginger, rum cocktail, rum drinks, classic cocktail

It’s official…it’s Fall.  How do I know this bit of information?  No, I don’t need to look at the calendar and since I live in southern California I don’t have any leaves changing colors or fall-ing off of the trees (but how cool would that look if a palm trees leaves changed color).  Looking at the inventory in any given store wouldn’t give me a clue either, since they were putting out Halloween crap and heavy sweaters back in July.

No, I know it’s officially Fall because I was awakened from my slumber (not by the usual freight train of snoring from my beloved – and I use that term very loosely) by bone chilling cold that put such a squeeze on my bladder I thought for sure I was going to wet the bed.  Yes, that is how the change of seasons gets noticed in my house – my bladder.

I realize that you are saying to yourself, or maybe out loud cuz that’s how you roll, “why don’t you put some covers on your bed.”  I do.  There are plenty of warm snuggly blankies and what not already there (I have a thing for having an awesomely comfortable bed, one look at my credit card statement would confirm that).  But someone, who shall remain nameless, throws all of the covers off the bed because he “gets too hot.”

As stupid as I think those snuggies are, I realize that very soon it may be my only option.  I realize that my other option would be to kick Craig out of the bed, but that just seems wrong.  Besides, sometimes it’s fun to mess with him while he’s sleeping.  Like tickling the end of his nose and watching him smack himself or kicking him when he’s snoring and he falls out of bed.  Don’t judge.  If I’m up…everybody’s up.  And in case you’ve forgotten here’s our household org chart again.

Spiced-rum-recipes Rum Cocktail – The Rum and Ginger Smash

So we must give a toast to Fall, and I suppose to my sensitive bladder, with a cocktail that’s spicy, creamy and leaves you feeling all warm and cozy on the inside.  How about the rum and ginger smash.  Yes, this is a rum cocktail of my own devious creation.

You must already know that I have a special relationship with rum drinks.  Now, it’s one of admiration and enjoyment…at one time it was disdain and wretching.  But I have really grown to like spiced rum recipes.  I’ve made several that have appeared here, but I think this rum and ginger combination is my favorite.

The classic cocktail, the dark and stormy, is the drink that most people will recognize as the quintessential pairing of rum and ginger.  Of course these two ingredients are also found together in lots of cooking recipes as well.  But I wanted to pair these 2 up to add a bit of a twist to the spiced rum recipes I already have.  And of course…I love the flavors of both, so I wanted to make a rum cocktail that might be destined to become another classic cocktail.

Rum cocktails have a tendency to be thought of as party drinks, meaning less than fancy, but this one you can definitely take out on the town with you.  It’s not your father’s backroom buddies rum drink.

A little note: the ginger syrup that I used in this recipe is basically a simple syrup but I cooked it longer than usual to create a thicker syrup, almost the consistency of honey.  I had to cook it like this to extract as much of the ginger flavor as possible.  You may be able to use a bottled ginger syrup (like one of those coffee house syrups), but I have not done this so I can’t attest to how your drink will taste.  But play around with the recipe…this isn’t brain surgery.

Relationship Advice

You really should have listened to yourself.



Recipe: The Rum and Ginger Smash


  • 2 Inch Piece of Peeled Apple (Honeycrisp or Fuji)
  • 2 Ounces Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 Ounce Half and Half or Cream
  • 2 Teaspoons Ginger Syrup (recipe below)
  • Finely Grated Dark Chocolate (I used a 72% cocoa bar)


  1. Add apple to cocktail shaker and muddle with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour in the rum, half and half and ginger syrup.
  3. Add in a few ice cubes and shake vigorously.
  4. Wet rim of glass with water and dip into grated chocolate to rim the edge.
  5. Strain drink into glass.
  6. Garnish with a sprinkle of grated chocolate.

Quick notes

Ginger Syrup:

4″ Piece of Ginger (peeled)

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

Add the ginger, sugar and water to a small but heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure the ginger pieces are separated. Continue to cook until mixture gets thick and syrupy. Then remove from heat. You don’t want this to turn brown.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


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Craig November 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Sounds delicious and I can’t wait to make it! A note to Kara: adding a tablespoon of vodka or other 80+ proof spirit will extend the shelf life of any syrup significantly.

Pamela November 15, 2014 at 7:45 am

Thanks for the tip Craig!

Kara November 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm

How long will this ginger syrup keep? I assume it should be kept in the fridge?

Pamela November 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Hi Kara, the syrup should keep for at least a month in the fridge.

Susie @ Return to Sunday Supper October 28, 2011 at 11:42 am

Hoping this gives you all my info…also hoping that you are serving this!

Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips October 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

This sounds wonderful, and exactly what fall has ordered! Although here, it snowed last night, so it’s a good thing is also fits in perfectly with Winter.

Rum and I have a fickle relationship….there’s this legendary story this one Chef at the CIA tells all his students…’s about the dangers of Rum……and ummmmm yea….it’s kinda about me….and it kind of involves me busting my ass while trying to mop the floor after a “rum themed” menu created by yours truly……yea not my finest moment. However, I haven’t let that deter me! I’ve also never gotten that drunk again.

So cheers to Rum! 😉

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