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  • Luis Hernandez

The Rum Old Fashioned, it's a thing!

The better version of the old fashioned, it's one made with rum, it's true. Please send all fighting words to my Instagram @luishernandezdrinks.


In these times of saving money, while imbibing nothing but the best, I present to you a great alternative to a classic that is easy to execute, and delicious. While others out there will write about the history of the old fashioned, and how it was maybe, possibly, almost certainly the original cocktail, today, we will focus on how to make this thing whether you have tools or not. Although we are going to be making an old fashioned with rum, you can feel free to go with practically any whisky, genever, or aged brandy.  


As a rum/rhum/clairin/cachaça/most-cane-distillates lover, I was able to discover the joys of sipping rums a long time ago; as a young bartender, my thought immediately went to, "how can I use this in a drink?". The basics of thinking you're cool when you first start bartending are switching an ingredient in a cocktail for another. You find out that it tastes good, and you believe that you've invented something amazing. You then find yourself sipping that drink while crying internally once the inevitable happens. You realize that you were far from the first one to put rum in an old fashioned. However, this is how most of us start, develop our palates and our skills. Some drinks are good enough to stay with you forever, as part of your arsenal. The rum old fashioned is that drink for me.


Enough shenanigans, let's do this. 

PRO TIP: Rum is an incredibly varied spirit in terms of the range of flavors, styles, and uses. Be sure to try some different ones out there and see which rum works best for your old fashioned. They will all more than likely follow this recipe. 

We will be using a rum from my home of Venezuela, Santa Teresa 1796. Why? Because it's dry, delicious, and complex due to solera aging. 




Rum Old Fashioned

2 oz Santa Teresa 1796 (I also like Jamaican rums for this)

1 tsp Demerara Syrup (2:1) (You can use brown sugar or white sugar syrup)

2 dashes Aromatic Bitters 

1 dash Orange Bitters

Garnish: Orange & Lemon Twist 

Method: Add all ingredients to the glass in this order: Bitters, Syrup, Rum. Add ice and stir in the glass. Garnish and enjoy!


As many may not have access to a lot of ice or are staying at home with lots of thirsty people, you can use this method to make one or batch a few. 

Rum Old Fashioned (Quarantine Style)

Recipe makes 8 

8 oz Santa Teresa 1796 (I like Jamaican rums for this, too)

6 oz Cold Water 

2 1/2 Tbsp Demerara Syrup (You can use brown sugar or white sugar syrup)

16 dashes Angostura Bitters 

8 dashes Orange Bitters

Garnish: Orange & Lemon Twist 

Method: Add all ingredients to a freezer-safe container in this order: Water, Bitters, Syrup, Rum. Place in a freezer for a few hours. When you're ready, pour on top of ice and garnish it. 


PRO TIP: You can do a lot of fun things such as play around with different bitters, use different citrus zests, smoke the cocktail, and all kinds of fun. Fat washing is coming your way soon. 


Rum Old Fashioned (with a twist):  

1 oz Santa Teresa 1796

.75 oz High Proof Rye

.5 oz Tawny Port 

.25 oz Ancho Reyes 

2 Dash Cacao Bitters 

Garnish: Lemon Twist 

Method: Add all to glass and stir. Easy. 


A straightforward cocktail and delicious to boot, you can make this cocktail in minutes and have yourself a pretty sweet cocktail with zero prep. You get to look like a boss when people ask you over zoom what you're drinking, "Oh, this, well, I'm kind of a mixologist actually." Please don't say that. Just enjoy. 

Soon we will all be back to make you drinks in our bars, in the meantime, drink responsibly. Drink responsibly when we get back to our bars, too, please. 

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