Born to Rum: A Rum and Lime Cocktail Inspired by Bruce Springsteen

First off, the name is misleading. This rum and lime cocktail isn’t exactly what you’d find at a club at Jenkinson’s, Elements, or any of the clubs down the Jersey Shore. It’s nothing sanctioned by the E Street Band.

And it’s certainly not any blue-collar steelworker’s hard-living drink that you’d hear about in a Springsteen song. Sorry.

Born to Rum, a rum and lime cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

Born to Rum is just a breezier version of the mojito, fairly bursting with lime with a hint of mint and some fresh apple juice for depth.

We named it when creating a house drink for our Bruce Springsteen-themed Super Bowl party a few years back.

Yes, that one—the game where the Steelers won their sixth ring and Bruce played the halftime show—a watershed night in our house.)

rum and lime cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

It seems incongruous that I developed this quintessentially warm-weather drink in the dead cold of January, but maybe my mind was on other things, like the hot sun beating on the blacktop, or girls in their summer clothes, or a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way….

Since New Jersey is not only Bruce Springsteen’s home state but also the Garden State, the fresh apple juice that gives a little extra something to this rum and lime cocktail pays homage to the fruit orchards of the Boss’s stomping grounds in Monmouth County.

rum and lime cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

Likewise, mint grows quite well in Jersey soil—maybe not in the depths of winter, but I can attest to its locality. Limes aren’t exactly native to New Jersey, but we’ll give them a pass.

Rum, however, can be—now that everyone and their brother is opening up distilleries around the state. (Hey, it’s been drunk around these parts since they were colonized, so why not continue the tradition?)

My favorite is Brinley Gold Shipwreck’s lime rum, made by a New Jersey family-owned company.

rum and lime cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

Even if you’re not a rum drinker, give me the benefit of the doubt with this one.

There’s a subtle sweetness that comes from the rum that you don’t get with vodka, and it does significantly contribute to the smoothness of the drink.

Plus, uh, you can’t have a cocktail named Born to Rum without it!

rum and lime cocktail
rum and lime cocktail

Born to Rum: A Rum and Lime Cocktail

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
cooling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A twist on the mojito, a traditional rum and lime cocktail, this summery drink gives the refreshing classic a New Jersey-inspired Springsteen touch!


Lime-Mint Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams; 3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup water

For the cocktail:

  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) lime rum or white rum
  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) fresh apple juice


  • lime wheels
  • mint sprigs


Make the simple syrup:

  1. Heat the sugar, lime, mint, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.
  2. When the liquid comes to a simmer, remove from the heat and cover.
  3. Let steep for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

To make the drink:

  1. Stir the cooled, strained simple syrup with the rum, lime juice, and apple juice in a large (at least 3-quart) pitcher.
  2. At this point, the drink can be made up to 8 hours in advance. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. When you're ready to serve, fill the pitcher completely with ice.
  4. Allow guests to pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with lime wheels and mint sprigs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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  1. I Love Rum! With plenty of fresh mint growing in the garden and some simple syrup left over from Derby Mint Juleps in the fridge I’m going to whip up a batch of these. The apple Juice is an interesting twist!

  2. Yum! thanks for remnding me of this great drink that I had forgotten about..since that great Super Bowl Party!…First, I’ll have to find some Brinley Lime Rum. The rest will be easy!

  3. Yeah, I just thought the drink needed *something* to push it beyond mojito-land, and I happened to have an apple in the fridge… plus, I get weirdly obsessed with my juicer from time to time. A good white grape juice might also work?

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