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The Top Five Rum Cocktails of 2021

October 7, 2021

Whatever you have to say about 2021, it’s been a great year for cocktails. Whether you joyously returned to your favorite local bar for an expertly-prepared rum Old Fashioned, or continued to perfect your home Mai Tai chops, there’s been no shortage of delicious things to drink.

Still, it’s easy to get into a rut, especially as a home bartender. The fastest way we’ve found to breathe new life into your happy hours is a new bottle of something special–like Callisto Botanical Rum.

Callisto is a new botanical white rum infused with organic, locally sourced California-grown botanicals. We start with a blend of lightly aged rums from Trinidad and Nicaragua which have been charcoal filtered to remove the dark color, while retaining the creamy texture imparted by the casks.

Then, we infuse those rums with a mix of Californian flowers, herbs, seeds, roots, and bark. Unlike mainstream spiced rum, however, Callisto is totally unsweetened. The result is a dry, refreshing, and herbaceous spirit that makes an amazing swap for ordinary white or aged rums in classic cocktails.

Ready for a few ideas? Grab a bottle of Callisto and read on. Cocktail hour will never be the same.

Nothing refreshes quite like a mojito. The key ingredients are white rum, lime, and fresh mint, brightened with club soda and a touch of simple syrup. (For a fun riff, use half the simple syrup and replace the club soda with ginger beer.)

Callisto Botanical Rum adds an extra herbaceous element that plays perfectly off the freshness of the mint.

  • Several fresh mint leaves
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Callisto Botanical Rum
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • Mint sprig and lime wheel for garnish

In an empty shaker, add the fresh mint leaves and simple syrup, then gently muddle to release aromatic oils. Add a scoop of ice, the rum, and the lime juice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with club soda, and garnish with the mint sprig and lime.

Piña Colada

The piña colada lives somewhere at the intersection between tiki drinks and tropical cocktails. A delectable combination of pineapple juice, coconut cream, and rum, a good piña colada is the fastest path we know of to making everyday life feel like a vacation.

Some piña colada recipes call for a combination of dark rum and light rum, but we think 100% Callisto makes a terrific colada. This version is served over crushed or pebbled ice rather than blended for a slightly more modern serve.

  • 2 ounces Callisto Botanical Rum
  • 1 ½ ounces cream of coconut
  • 1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Pineapple wedge and leaf for garnish.

Add the rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and lime juice to a shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously until frost forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into a Collins or hurricane glass filled with crushed ice, and garnish with the pineapple wedge and leaf.


While the traditional negroni is made with gin, Callisto’s unique botanical character makes it an amazing substitute in this bittersweet aperitif.

The negroni isn’t just a delicious drink. It’s also a practical one. With a recipe that calls for equal parts base spirit, sweet vermouth, and Campari, it’s easy to remember, even when you’re on the fly. Just don’t forget the orange peel garnish; it pulls the recipe together.

  • 1 ounce Callisto Botanical Rum
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth (try Antica Formula)
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Strip of orange zest, for garnish

Add all ingredients except orange zest to an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir to chill, then garnish with the orange zest and enjoy.


The gin gimlet is an old-fashioned drink, with roots (potentially) dating back to the British navy and its crusade against scurvy. Fresh lime juice, after all, is one of the best sources of Vitamin C, which prevents the dreaded disease.

Of course, it turns out that fresh lime juice and simple syrup also make spirits taste great. Swapping out the traditional gin for Callisto Botanical Rum brings this historic cocktail into the here and now.

  • 2 ½ ounces Callisto Botanical Rum
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Shake Callisto Botanical Rum, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail tin filled with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass or an old fashioned glass filled with fresh ice (your choice). Garnish with the lime wheel.

Tom Collins

Cocktails don’t have to be complicated. Case in point? The Tom Collins. This effortless sparkler is the adult equivalent of a fancy lemonade (and who doesn’t love a fancy lemonade?).

The classic Tom Collins recipe calls for gin, but Callisto Botanical Rum takes the drink in another, more herbaceous direction, underscored by a dash of Angostura bitters.

  • 2 ounces Callisto Botanical Rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Club soda, to top
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Stir together Callisto Botanical Rum, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a highball or Collins glass. Fill the glass with ice, top with club soda, and gently stir. Garnish with the lemon wheel.

Ready to get shaking? Visit our website for more cocktail ideas, or to get a bottle of Callisto delivered right to your door.