DIY Spiced Rum Recipe

Many commercial spiced rums use the spices to cover up inferior rum. At home, you can create a more elegant and bold version, tailored to your taste.

Experimenting with flavors and honing your personal recipe is pretty simple—taste the mixture every day, and if a flavor is too dominant, remove that ingredient and keep steeping the rest.

Notes: Sample the mixture every day to ensure you like the flavor mix. It may be necessary to remove a flavoring item early to prevent it from taking over. You may even want to add more of an ingredient you like, although I would recommend waiting until the last day to do that. The reason for breaking up the spices is to be able to remove a small portion to adjust flavor if needed. You can use all light rum instead of a combination of light and gold.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 0 mins
Makes: 3 1/2 cups

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  • 1 orange
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 3 cups light rum
  • 1/2 cup gold rum
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8-inch thin slice of ginger, roughly the size of a nickel
  • 3 black peppercorns


  1. Zest half of the orange using a zester or peeler, making sure there is no white pith. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape into a sealable glass jar or bottle, then cut into smaller segments. Break up the anise with a mortar and pestle or by pressing with a spoon. Add these along with all other ingredients into the jar or bottle, cover and shake.

  2. Let steep for two days, then sample to see if any flavor adjustments are needed (remove anything that seems to be taking over the flavor). Shake daily. Continue to steep and adjust for up to five days total, until desired flavor is achieved. I recommend removing the ginger on the second or third day, as it releases flavor more quickly than other items.

  3. Once desired flavor is achieved, strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the larger items and then strain again through a coffee filter into a bottle.

Special equipment

Zester or peeler, fine-mesh strainer and coffee filter

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