What is the Sugar Content in Rum?

Past readers know that I have been on a rant about sugar and how bad it is for our bodies.  I’ve been an on again, off again rum drinker over the years. When I lived in Costa Rica, I found that the liquor selection wasn’t up to my standards, meaning that when I traveled the country, my favorite tequilas weren’t around.  So, I went with a drink that was always around:  rum.  Today I’ll talk about the sugar content in rum in order to better understand the effects rum has on the human body.  Does rum make you fat?  Read on to find out what my research shows.

How Much Sugar is in Rum?

According to research, there is no sugar content in standard rum drinks.  

sugar in rum drinks

I went further down the rabbit hole, because as we know, not all spirits are created equal.  This is especially true in the tequila sector, as I drink only additive free tequilas, and if you are a casual tequila drinker, you probably drink tequilas with additives without even knowing it.  Additives give the tequila flavor, which leads to a possible hangover if you consume too much of it and don’t stay hydrated.  That’s a blog post for another day, so I’m going to stick to my rum example right now and further look into the sugar content in rum.

How Much Sugar is in Bacardi Rum?

One of the most iconic and well known rums is Bacardi, and their spirit goes back to 1862.  You’ll find that Bacardi has a bit of a sweetness to it, which led me to believe it had sugar in it.  Rum is made by fermenting and then distilling sugar cane juice or molasses.  However, according to research, here’s what you’ll find in your typical 1.5 ounce serving of Bacardi Rum.

  • sugar – 0 g
  • Carbs – 0 g
  • Protein – 0 g (seems obvious, right?)
  • Sodium – 0 g
  • Calories – 98

Generally speaking, the rum is still considered to be sugar-free because the sugar you’ll find in rum is converted to ethyl alcohol during the fermentation stage.  However, it’s worth noting that if you drink any flavored rum, like Captain Morgan, or a darker variety of rum, the sugar content will vary from your typical light rum.

Oh, and to remind everyone why I’m doing this, follow my journey to eliminate sugar for 2 weeks.

Is Bacardi Rum Healthy for You?

Like any alcohol, Bacardi is okay to drink in moderation.  However, know that there is little to no nutritional value in Bacardi rum.

Drinking rum can lead to health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, and even liver problems.  

Information Source:  TipWho

coca cola nutrition factsThe problem I see is that most people who drink rum mix it with cola.  I try to avoid soda at all costs, even before this weight loss journey I’ve been on, as even diet soda has a lot of artificial ingredients that are bad for the average person, and twice as bad for me since I have a chronic kidney disease and I’ve been instructed to avoid artificial sweeteners and dark colas.

Adding coca-cola, for example, a 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola has 130% of your daily intake of sugar!  That’s directly from Coca-Cola themselves!

(Have a look at the nutrition facts of an original Coca-Cola!  It’s downright frightening!

I drank a lot of soda as a child, and even in my early 20’s, but looking at this information, I wish I could take those back, even as delicious as those sodas were after a day of playing soccer in 90 degree heat!

Now, let’s take a look at one of those flavored rums, like Captain Morgan.

How Much Sugar is in Captain Morgan Spiced Rum?

Captain Morgan spiced rum has 1 gram of sugar as well as 1 gram of carbs.  I’ve read that it’s actually less than that, but it clearly has 1 gram on the label, so if you are trying to eliminate sugar entirely, avoid Captain Morgan spiced rum at all costs.  Let’s be honest, who has just one serving of any alcohol?

captain morgan spiced rum nutrition facts

Source:  CarbManager.com

I won’t get into the rabbit hole of all the brands that add artificial sweetener into rum after the fermentation process, but know that if it has any “flavor” added to it like “cherry rum,” or something similar, you are drinking added sugars, which are the worst kind to put into your body.

Which Rums Have The Most Sugar?

Some varieties of rum has between 17-22 grams of sugar per liter.  Now, if you are drinking a liter of rum, you are not only having an awesome time, but you are setting yourself up for a major hangover.  According to a 2014 Alcademics article, brands like Plantation, Bacardi, and my favorite, Zacapa, all fall into this category.  (The above Bacardi information was on their “white” rum, so I assume this refers to a darker one.)

Other brands are said to be even higher, but just for informational purposes, here’s what 20 grams of sugar looks like:

20 grams of sugar
Source: Alcademics.

Rum Drinks to Avoid Entirely

I’m in close proximity to the Florida Keys, and I visit there about every quarter.  Keys life is something special, and you’ll run into a lot of good rum drinks. I’ve been guilty in the past of diving head first into rum drinks, but here are the ones you need to avoid entirely if you are kicking sugar to the curb:

Pina Colada

You now the song….”if you like pina coladas….”

Well, if you like Pina Coladas, know that every 8 onces has 340 calories and 39.6 grams of sugar.

Frozen Daiquiri

Another favorite among cruise enthusiasts and anyone who takes tropical vacations is the daiquiri.  You’ll find 39.7 grams of sugar in the 286 calories for just 8 ounces.

Mai Tai

An 8 ounce serving has 351 calories and 30.4 grams of sugar.


A Miami favorite, the mojito has 384 calories and 23.8 grams of sugar.

It’s safe to say you need to avoid these drinks if you are watching your sugar!

Again, most rum drinkers add either ginger ale or soda to the drink as a mixer.  To me, the evidence is clear, this is a huge no-no.

And that my friends, is what you need to know about sugar content in rum.

What drinks do you consumer to avoid sugar? Curious to hear in the comments.


Leave a Comment