By Carl Hanson

Of all the liquors, rum is arguably the most cocktail-friendly.

If gin is the serious booze of serious people drinking serious cocktails like martinis, then rum is its unpretentious, laid-back kid brother, just out for a really good time. Life's a beach! So stick an umbrella in it, and let's have some fun!

Five Favorite Rum Cocktails

Pour yourself one of these rum-based cocktails and put yourself on island time.

1. Mai Tai

"Two flavors of rum combine with pineapple juice and orange juice to make a yummy, fruity drink," says Andrea.

Photo by Snacking in the Kitchen

2. The Real Mojito

"This is an authentic recipe for mojito," says Brandy. "I sized the recipe for one serving, but you can adjust it accordingly and make a pitcher full. It's a very refreshing drink for hot summer days.

Photo by CCLoves2bake

3. Pina Colada III

Blend together coconut milk, pineapple juice, rum, sugar and ice until smooth. "An awesome recipe," raves juice. "Good just the way it is, or if you like a berry-coloda, try adding a TBSP or 2 of strawberry flavored ice-cream topping."

Photo by Getty Images

4. Frozen Lime Daiquiri

So simple. "You can make this a banana daiquiri simply by adding a banana to the blender," says Bea Gassman.

Photo by Getty Images

5. Classic Cuba Libre

Does it get any easier than this? It's rum and a cola beverage with a splash of lime. "I was surprised how great it is," says TXCin. "You could taste all the flavors separately but they blended nicely too."

Photo by Getty Images

Impossibly Fun, High-Octane Rum Drinks

These are the required cocktails of Polynesian, tiki, or island parties.

Sunset Rum Punch | Photo by Matt

Wintry Weather Rum Recipes

For when it's too cold for a beach party.

Hot Buttered Rum | Photo by The Gruntled Gourmand

Check out our Rum Recipe Collection.

Booze Foods

Don't drink alone--add some food to the fun. We've picked several top-rated recipes to go with your favorite rum cocktails.

Classic Cuban Midnight Sandwich | Photo by DIZ

Cooking with Rum

Here are a few island recipes with rum as the secret ingredient.

Bananas Foster | Photo by Meredith

Rum and Cake

Rum cakes let you have your rum and eat it too. Here's a sampling of our favorites.

Rum Cake | Photo by Meredith

Don't Forget the Ice! It's usually overlooked. But the best tasting cocktails use fresh ice made from pure, filtered water. "Fresh" means the cubes haven't been sitting around for weeks in the freezer soaking up the stale, flavor essences of long-lingering foods. Bring the water to a quick boil for best results. Make it the morning of the day you plan to mix your cocktails, and you'll enjoy the freshest, most delicious cocktails.