The Rum Old Fashioned is like a classic Old Fashioned with one exception – it’s crafted with rum instead of whiskey. After you follow our easy recipe and craft this drink at home, you’ll wonder where this stiff rum cocktail has been all of your life.
While sipping a Rum Old Fashioned at a bar, we had one of those aha moments. Why does the primary ingredient in an Old Fashioned have to be whiskey?
The answer – it doesn’t.
We were so inspired by this revelation that we crafted Rum Old Fashioned cocktails at home a few days later. We even bought the same Riedel rocks glasses designed by Zane Harris to replicate the bar experience. Yes, we’re that obsessed.
Replacing whiskey with rum seems so simple. And, yet, a Rum Old Fashioned is its own special cocktail. Since it’s super easy to craft and dangerously delightful to sip, it’s now become part of our home cocktail rotation.
What Is A Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail?
The Rum Old Fashion is a modern twist on one of the world’s most classic cocktails. And, no, we’re not talking about the orange twist that often garnishes both versions.
While replacing bourbon with rum is the obvious twist, we go one step further in our Rum Old Fashioned recipe by replacing Angostura bitters with orange bitters. The resulting cocktail has a tropical flavor that screams summer but tastes great all year long.
History Of The Old Fashioned Cocktail
While we don’t know when or where the Rum Old Fashioned was invented, we do know that the original Old Fashioned pre-dates Prohibition. It was possibly invented in Louisville during the Civil War but its origin may go back further. It’s so iconic that people drink Old Fashioned cocktails in old fashioned glasses.
Discover more Pre-Prohibition cocktails.
Rum Old Fashioned Ingredients
You need the following ingredients to craft this Rum Old Fashioned recipe:
You may have all of these ingredients in your pantry and liquor cabinet. If not, they should be easy to find at your local market and/or liquor store.
Use your favorite aged or dark rum in this recipe. We like to use Havana Club Ańejo Especial Cuban Rum We bought our first bottle of this aged rum to craft Cuba Libre cocktails. Double aged in oak barrels and with flavors that include cinnamon, orange and vanilla, the golden Cuban rum is now our go-to aged rum for crafting rum cocktails. It has a 40% ABV.
Discover our favorite rum cocktails.
We bought a bottle of Angostura orange bitters specifically to craft Bijou cocktails and we’re still using that same bottle. With an aromatic blend of orange extracts and spices, these orange bitters smell delightful. They also add provide a pleasant kick thanks to a 28% ABV.
How To Craft A Rum Old Fashioned
Our easy Rum Old Fashioned recipe only requires the following bar tools:
Feel free to get creative if you’re missing either of these basic bar tools. For example, you could use a mini angled measuring cup if you don’t have a jigger.
Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.
Once you gather these two bar tools (or their replacements) and the ingredients, the first step is to drop a sugar cube into an old fashioned glass.
Add a few dashes of orange bitters and a splash of water to the glass.
Buy a bottle of orange bitters from Amazon if you need a bottle.
Muddle the sugar cube, bitters and water with a muddler. Ideally, you can use the bottom, muddling end of your bar spoon to do the muddling.
Buy a bar spoon with a muddler from Amazon if you need a bar spoon, a muddler or both.
Drop a jumbo ice cube tray into the glass. The bigger the better! Not only do jumbo ice cubes look pro, but they also melt more slowly due to their size.
Buy a jumbo ice cube tray from Amazon if you need don’t already have one.
Measure the aged rum with a jigger and pour it directly into the glass. We always use a Japanese jigger when we measure liquor to achieve accurate measures and clean pours.
Buy a Japanese Jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Give the cocktail a good stir using a bar spoon or other stirring implement.
Express an orange peel around the glass’s rim. This step releases pleasing orange scents and coats the rim with a light layer of orange oil.
Drop the orange peel into the glass.
Rum Old Fashioned Drink Alternatives
Since the Rum Old Fashioned isn’t a classic cocktail, you can and should craft it any way that makes you happy. Here are some ideas:
Rum Old Fashioned FAQs
A Rum Old Fashioned is an Old Fashioned crafted with rum instead of whiskey.
The key Rum Old Fashioned ingredients are rum, bitters and sugar. Typical garnishes include orange peel and maraschino cherries.
The Rum Old Fashioned cocktail is stirred, not shaken
Rum Old Fashioned Recipe
- 2 ounces aged rum
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 splash water
- 1 jumbo ice cub
- orange peel
- Drop sugar cube into an old fashioned glass.
- Add orange bitters and water. Muddle until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Place jumbo ice cube in the glass.
- Pour rum into the glass.
- Gently stir.
- Express the glass with orange peel before using it as garnish.
- You can replaced the aged rum with a different type of rum.
- You can replace the sugar cube with simple syrup.
- You can replace the orange bitters with other bitters.
- You can additionally garnish the drink with one or more maraschino cherries.
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Riedel Drink Specific Glassware Neat Glass, 6.14 Fluid Ounces
Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Samuelworld Ice Cube Tray Large Size Silicone Flexible 8 Cavity Ice Maker for Whiskey and Cocktails, Keep Drinks Chilled (2pc/Pack)
KITESSENSU Bar Spoon, 12 Inches Stainless Steel Cocktail Mixing Spoon With Muddler, Bartender Bar Stirring spoon for Layering, Stirring, Crushed Ice, Spiral Pattern
Domino Sugar - 1 lb
ANGOSTURA Orange Bitters, 118 ml / 4 oz.
Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler 3-Pack Red/Green/Yellow
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About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: July 28, 2023