Rum Runner: A Cocktail for Florida

A tropical drink that brings the beach to you

In the mid-century heyday of tiki bars, California and Hawaii got most of the action. But the Florida Keys had the beachfront Holiday Isle hotel in Islamorada and its open-air bar, the Hapi Hula Hut, later renamed Tiki Bar. In the early 1970s, bar manager John Elber needed to clear out some old bottles for new inventory, so tossed a bunch of random stuff into a blender: Meyers rum, banana liqueur, blackberry brandy, and grenadine. He dubbed the gloriously tropical result the Rum Runner after the Keys’s history of liquor smuggling, and the cocktail soon became just as beloved and notorious. Today, Tiki Bar still serves them up by the score, shaken or frozen.


    • 2 cups ice

    • 1 oz. pineapple juice

    • 1 oz. orange juice

    • 1 oz. blackberry brandy or liqueur

    • 1 oz. banana liqueur

    • 1 oz. light rum

    • 1 oz. dark or aged rum

    • Splash of grenadine

    • Orange slice, for garnish


  1. (Frozen) Fill blender with ice. Add all liquid ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve in a hurricane glass. Garnish with orange slice.