The Best Cheap Rum Drink To Order At A Bar

"I love being on a budget," says no one ever, and this is particularly true when you're planning on a night out with friends. But Kevin Denton, head mixologist with global wine and spirits manufacturer Pernod Ricard says there is a way to socialize on a budget, and that involves making smart choices about what you order when you're at a bar.  

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Denton, whose company is behind spirits brands we love including Absolut, The Glenlivet, and Beefeater, says, "Simple serves are likely going to be priced lower than house cocktails — think an Absolut and Soda, or Malibu and Pineapple. Those drinks cost less for the bar to serve than complex cocktails with multiple premium spirits. If you are on a budget, consider how you're drinking." 

It's easy to see why Denton recommends keeping your drink choices simple when you're outside. At the end of the day, a bar is a business, and per Sculpture Hospitality, the most important factor a bar has to consider before deciding on the price of a drink is "pour costs" — which is the cost of each individual ingredient used to make a drink. 

This is the best rum drink to order on a budget

The Spruce Eats says to figure out pour costs, a bar determines the size of a shot, how many shots are in a bottle, and how much the cost per shot might be. If the math hasn't been done your head in yet, consider that the profit margin on popular cocktails is about 80%, per Binwise. So if your drink would have one alcoholic component and one non-alcoholic add-in, then its pour-in costs would go down. 

Given this calculation, a cheap festive rum drink you could pick up in a bar would be a Malibu and pineapple, as mixologist Kevin Denton recommends. The drink needs just 1 and a half ounces of Malibu, 3 ounces of pineapple juice, and ice, per Malibu Rum Drinks. Of course, if you weren't in the mood for something fruity, a rum and coke could be just as straightforward and as cost-effective, per Liquor Laboratory.

There are other ways to keep your bar tab down, like paying for every drink as your go, only using cash, and spacing out your alcoholic drinks, per Nerd Wallet. But if you're not in the mood for a Malibu and Pineapple, Denton tells Mashed, "Maybe it's better to spend more on one really well-crafted cocktail than it is to have a few simple drinks."