Rum Old-Fashioned

Rum Old-Fashioned Cocktail

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

Put down the bourbon and mix up a rum old-fashioned instead. A simple twist on the classic whiskey cocktail, this recipe is a brilliant way to dress up a spirit that's often reserved for fruity, tropical drinks. It's quick and easy and you don't even need a muddler.

This rum old-fashioned recipe features a combination of two styles of rum. A preferred sipper in the rum family, dark rum forms the cocktail's base and gives it a rich oakiness. Navy strength rum is a high-proof blend of aged Caribbean rums that gives the drink a nice boost. Combine those with demerara syrup and two types of bitters and you have an impressive little cocktail with a great balance of flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces dark rum
  • 1/2 ounce navy rum
  • 1 teaspoon rich demerara syrup
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Garnish: orange peel

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Rum Old-Fashioned Cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  2. In an old-fashioned glass, place one large ice cube. Pour the two rums and syrup into the glass.

    Rums and syrup added to a glass with a big ice cube

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  3. Add 2 dashes each of aromatic and orange bitters.

    Rum Old-Fashioned Cocktail with bitters added

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  4. Stir well and garnish with an orange peel. Serve and enjoy.

    Rum Old-Fashioned Cocktail with orange peel

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Tips

  • This cocktail is designed to showcase a sipping rum, so use mid-range or top-shelf brands that you enjoy on their own.
  • This old-fashioned recipe is designed for a rich (or 2:1) syrup: Use 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and either make it on the stovetop or shake the two ingredients in a jar or shaker until the sugar dissolves. The latter is ready for immediate use because it doesn't need to be cooled.
  • For the garnish, use a sharp pairing knife to cut a large piece (about 2 inches long) of orange peel. Try to avoid cutting into the bitter white pith.
  • You can squeeze the peel over the drink to express bits of orange oil into the mix. If you're careful (and haven't already had too much to drink), do this in front of a lighter or lit match; little sparks are produced when the oils hit the flame.

Recipe Variations

  • The rum old-fashioned works well with a single aged or dark rum. In this case, pour a 2-ounce shot.
  • Try the rum old-fashioned with orgeat syrup. Its floral, nutty flavor is an excellent pairing for rum.
  • Some rum old-fashioned recipes add 1/4 ounce or so of allspice dram or falernum for extra flavor.

What Is Demerara Syrup?

Demerara syrup is a simple syrup made with demerara sugar. It's a large-grain type of raw cane sugar that's brown in color and richer in flavor than white sugar. Turbinado and other types of raw sugar are good substitutes, as is coconut (or palm) sugar.

How Strong Is a Rum Old-Fashioned

Navy rum is often bottled around 57 percent ABV (114 proof), and dark rums may be a little stronger than the average 80-proof rum. With that in mind and the fact that it's tamed down by just a bit of syrup and ice dilution, the rum old-fashioned is always going to be a strong drink. This cocktail should weigh in around 33 percent ABV (66 proof), and that will vary based on the rums you choose.