How to make Homemade Spiced Rum

DIY Spiced Rum Recipe

There are a number of methods and recipes with slight variations. Find the flavours you prefer and experiment.

What type of rum should be used?

Each style of rum will bring it’s own characteristics to your spiced rum.

White Rum (also known as light or silver rum) is fermented in steel and filtered and has a clear colour and a light, slightly sweet taste.

Gold or amber rums are aged in oak. This produces a more caramel colour and richer flavour.

Dark Rum is made by aging clear rum in charred oak casks, giving it a deep brown colour and a smoky-sweet flavour.

I recommend using a white rum but you can choose your own different style or combination of rums.

  • Marcia from Serious Eats recommends 6:1 ratio of white rum to gold rum.
  • Imbibe Magazine calls for an aged rum which may have vanilla, smokey oak and/or other notes depending on the oak used and age of the rum
  • Wayne from also recommends a moderately aged rum

My Homemade Spiced Rum Spices:

  • Citrus peel
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • Star anise
  • Vanilla bean
  • Cardamon pods
  • Black pepper
  • Whole nutmeg

Housemade Spiced Rum

Some of the spices will sink to the bottom leaving the citrus & cloves floating on top.

You could also include other spices such as allspice berries, ginger, etc.

Measurements of each spice aren’t include so that you can tailor your own spiced rum to your personal preference. I went too heavy on the citrus peel as my spiced rum was used in a Swizzle but next time round I will only use orange peel and much less.


Using a mortar and pestle to crush the spices (not the citrus). You can crudely do everything all at once or do one spice at a time so that you can ensure each spice is adequately pummeled.


Add your spices to large vessel with a lid and pour in the rum. I used a 10Lt drink dispenser as I needed 6 litres to be able to make 200 Swizzles.


Stir and taste the rum over the following 24 hours so that no flavour overtakes your spiced rum. I removed all of the citrus peel after only a few hours otherwise the bitter citrus flavours would have dominated the rum.

Homemade Spiced Rum


24 hours and your spiced rum should be about ready. You will then need to use 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth to strain out the leftover spices. Pour back into a bottle using a funnel and your spiced rum is ready for mixing (or drinking straight).

As you can see from the pictures, it’s not the most glamorous of techniques but it does produce a good tasting spiced rum that you can tailor to your own taste or to a specific cocktail.

Homemade Spiced Rum

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