The rum old fashioned is a strong drink with a lot of character. It might not be for everyone, but once you understand it you’ll find it very pleasing.
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What is Rum Old Fashioned?
Rum old fashioned is a twist on the classic, and it uses rum instead of bourbon or whiskey. This twist is part of a larger series, with different base spirits. The recipe calls for dark rum, and I think black rum would work even better. As long as it’s darker in color and aged, it will work well here. Here’s how to make this drink.
Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe
A rum version of the old fashioned
- 2 oz dark rum
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- 0.25 oz simple syrup
- an orange peel
- In a rocks glass add ice, preferably a single large cube.
- In a shaker or mixing glass add rum, bitters, simple syrup, a large ice cube.
- Stir until chilled, about 10 seconds.
- Strain into rocks glass.
- Twist the orange peel for flavor, leave the peel in the glass.
- The bigger your ice, the less surface area you have. This means less water gets diluted into the drink. However if you have no large ice cubes (like my situation), use regular ice and stir for less time.
- This is essentially a seasoned double shot of spirit. You can dress this up as you want, including a granulated sugar rim (skip the simple syrup).
When is this drink best ?
I think the rum old fashioned works great as a winter drink. The strong, nearly-neat spirit feels more like a winter drink, while the rum aroma reminds me a lot of a fireplace, cherries, and baking cookies, and I associate all these memories with winter and the holidays.
I also think the rum old fashioned would work better as an after-dinner cocktail, or something to enjoy on its own. It’s something you want to savor and really understand the nuances in the rum you’re drinking.
My thoughts on Rum Old Fashioned
I found the rum old fashioned too strong for me, but I am not used to drinking spirits neat so keep that in mind. The aromatic bitters pair really well with the rum and bring out a woody flavor in rum I didn’t think possible. There’s also an orange peel expressed in this, and you can feel it towards the end of each sip; it also makes the whole glass smell great.
There’s a strong alcohol burn at the end, of course, and the simple syrup helps it go down a little easier.
If you like Rum Old Fashioned, you might also like…
Tequila Old Fashioned – another twist, this time using tequila
Negroni – a strong, flavorful all-spirit drink
Notes, substitutes, and tips
The recipe calls for dark rum, but I think spiced rum would also work here. The spices would pair well with the orange peel, and you could swap the aromatic bitters for orange bitters, or another similarly flavored bitter.
This drink is going to showcase whatever rum you use, so make sure it’s a good rum, one you like, and one you’d be fine drinking neat in the first place.