Jamaican Cooler – A Rum Ginger Cocktail

Jamaican Rum with ginger simple syrup and sparkling water @MJsKitchen mjskitchen.com

Cook Around the Globe

First of all I want to thank German Mama of From Arepas to Zwetschgen for starting “Cook around the Globe”, “a fun monthly event where we learn about the essence and character of different cuisines around the globe simply by cooking dishes.” During the month of August each participant was asked to cook one or more recipes from Bermuda & the Caribbean. I found so many new recipes I wanted to make, but time is limited so I had to make a decision – the hardest part of this event! Thanks German Mama for inspiring me to become more familiar with Caribbean cuisine!

At one point in my research I ended up at TasteofCuba.com where I found a recipe for Tostones or twice cooked plantains.  I was first introduced to tostones several years ago by a Puerto Rican acquaintance and fell in love with them. If you haven’t had them, give them a try. They are wonderful! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any green plantains so I had to change my game plan.

I returned to the Internet and very quickly, came upon the Havana Cooler, described as a refreshing drink for hot Havana evenings. I’m hosting a family gathering on Friday night, so this sounded like a perfect way to get the party started! There are a few variations of Havana Coolers, but what seems to be the standard consists of 2 cubes of ice, a shot of Bacardi rum, a sprig of mint and ginger ale or Sprite. Simple enough, but a little boring. I knew I had a 10 year old bottle of Jamaican rum (no, I don’t drink a lot!), so I decided to use the idea of the Havana Cooler and develop my version of a Jamaican Cooler.  WOW!  I don’t think that bottle of Jamaican rum is going to last very much longer!
(NOTE: If you don’t know already, to learn the difference between Cuban rum and Jamaican rum, click here.)


Jamaican Cooler (Rum Ginger Cocktail) Recipe

Recipe author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

How to make a ginger syrup

(This can be made a few days ahead of time and kept in the fridge.)

4 ounces of peeled ginger root, coarsely chopped (about 2/3 cups)
3 cups water
1 cup sugar

Add the sugar and water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the ginger root, return to a boil, and then adjust the heat for a low boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and strain.  Yields about 2 to 2.5 cups of syrup.

To make one cooler,
add the following to a glass:Jamaican Rum with ginger simple syrup and sparkling water @MJsKitchen mjskitchen.com

1 jigger (1.5 ounces) of ginger syrup
1 jigger (1.5 ounces) of Jamaican Rum
2 to 3 ice cubes (more if desired)
1 sprig of mint
Top off with carbonated mineral water (e.g., San Pellegrino) and ENJOY!


Kitchen Notes

You can always forgo the ginger syrup and just use ginger ale.

WARNING!  These are very easy to drink and addicting, so when there is a strong possibility that I’ll be having more than one, I plan to make them in a tea goblet with a few pieces of ice and more mineral water.

For a virgin Jamaican Cooler, omit the rum and enjoy a minty ginger ale. Bobby and I regularly have a virgin cooler with supper or on a hot afternoon.

Medicinal effect – For me, this cooler allows me to drink socially with my friends.  My stomach and alcohol are not friends, so I don’t drink a lot.  I absolutely can’t drink wine any longer which doesn’t make me very happy since I LOVE wine.  The first time I drink this cooler and every cooler since, I have had no problems with the rum.  I attribute this to the medicinal effect of ginger on the digestive system. I’m guessing that the ginger counters the effect of the rum.  There’s my rationalization for today. 🙂

I have shared this Jamaican Cooler Recipe with the following blog hops:

Cocktail Blog Hop hosted by Katherine Martinelli.

Cook Around the Globe Button  Cook Around the Globe


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29 Responses to “Jamaican Cooler – A Rum Ginger Cocktail”

  1. Javelin Warrior June 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    I love the use of the homemade ginger syrup, MJ! And I did have to click over and read about the difference between Jamaican and Puerto Rican rums. Once I read it, I remembered hearing about the differences when on a trip to Puerto Rico a couple years ago… Such a refreshing drink…

  2. spiceblogger February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Thanks for linking up! This drink looks fabulous… definitely will try it, probably this weekend 🙂


  3. Jo@jocooks September 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Yum, can I have some? Sounds like it’s close to a mojito, so it must be good. 🙂

  4. mj September 2, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Thanks all for the wonderful comments! It’s time for a cooler! 🙂

  5. Sanjeeta kk September 2, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    The drink sounds so delightful and what a lovely color too! Thanks for dropping by my other blog.

  6. German Mama September 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Thanks for participating in the event. Great to here that you did some research on Caribbean recipes for the event. That’s really the idea behind it all. Your cooler sounds like a great way to use up the rum I bought for my rum cake 🙂

  7. Lisa~~ September 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Your drink sounds wonderful and looks gorgeous. I would love to be sipping on one right now.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. natalie August 31, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Wow…Forget my mocktail; THIS is the way to go. 🙂

    • mj August 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Amen to that! 🙂

  9. Jean | Delightful Repast August 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    MJ, that is a gorgeous looking drink! And I would feel soooo healthy drinking a fresh ginger drink!

    • mj August 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

      Yea – I keep telling myself how healthy it is as well. 🙂

  10. Ann August 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    This looks delicious and I enjoy cool, refreshing drinks (and ginger). Your pictures are incredible!

    • mj August 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      Thanks Ann!

  11. Carolyn Jung August 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Oooh, now you’re talkin’! I adore anything with ginger. This drink has me swooning already.

    • mj August 30, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. ginny lee August 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I have been meaning to put ginger syrup on my to do list! this looks so cool and refreshing—104F outside right now, grrrrr.

    • mj August 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

      Your temperatures are perfect for these!

  13. Nads August 29, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    For many many years my hard liquor of choice has been Myers Dark Jamacian Rum (when I drink the hard stuff). Now I have a new way to drink it. I love Mojitos so I will surely love this. That picture makes me want to try one right now. It’s noon somewhere!

    • mj August 29, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      Hey Girl – As hot as it is where you are, you could be having these for breakfast! 🙂

  14. Manu August 29, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Cool! So glad you are in it too! I love your recipe… I have some Jamaica rum too and I LOVE ginger… great idea MJ!

    • mj August 29, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks Manu! Your Mojito looks wonderful as well!

  15. mj August 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Thanks everyone! These were a great hit Friday night at a family gathering, then Saturday afternoon, Bobby and I enjoying nice minty gingerales with the syrup. Didn’t need anymore of the rum. 🙂

  16. sally August 28, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Looks like a perfect summer drink! The ginger syrup sounds great!

  17. lavieenfribourg August 28, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    Such a lovely drink!
    Such beautiful pure pictures!

  18. Megan August 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    yum – we made one of these for a family gathering and threw in some mango juice. love the addition of mint.

  19. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray August 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Yum! This sounds fabulous! We honeymooned in Jamaica, I think we better try these for sure!

  20. Giulietta @ Alterkitchen August 27, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Uhm… I love ginger! So ginger syrup and Rum sounds like heaven in a cooler! Great idea! 🙂


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