The product was originally made from fruit spirits, flavored with rum and coconut flavoring in Curaçao. Originally, the product was used to simplify the making of piña coladas by bartenders. When the product took off, the production was then moved to Barbados where the rum is made by West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd., and the quality of the ingredients used was improved.
The brand was sold by Diageo to Allied Domecq for £560m ($800m) in 2002. In 2005, French company Pernod Ricard purchased Allied Domecq for $14 billion. The deal meant that Pernod Ricard acquired a number of alcoholic beverage brands including Malibu rum.
Past advertising campaigns labeled it "seriously easy going" and usually features people from the Caribbean taking life seriously, in a parody of the stress associated with the Western urban lifestyle, with a voice over at the end saying "If people in the Caribbean took life as seriously as this, they would never have invented Malibu. It's seriously easy going." The marketing thrust of Malibu rum has also strongly focused on marketing Malibu rum's online streaming audio station known as RadioMaliBoomBoom.com.
Since 2014, the advertising campaign has shifted toward the idea of Malibu encouraging people to have their "best summer ever"  with a YouTube campaign and TV ads showing the difference between "summer you vs rest of the year you".
The original version of Malibu rum is flavored with coconut. Currently, there are 12 Malibu rum variations in the worldwide market, flavored with various tropical fruits, such as banana, pineapple, passion fruit, island melon and mango. Additionally, there are a blend with tequila and several flavored mixes with sparkling water.
- "Diageo sells Malibu rum". BBC News. 27 February 2002. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
- Timmons, Heather; Kanter, James (22 April 2005). "Purchase of Allied Domecq Seen Spurring Other Deals". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2005.
- Official website
- Popular information about Malibu Rum
- West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd.
- Photo of West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd. on Brighton's Beach, St. Michael
- Malibu Rum on Facebook