The Rum Old Fashioned is my favourite cocktail. It’s simple, yet very sophisticated. It’s a cocktail for people who love their fine spirits and appreciate a concoction that brings out the best of their liqueur selection rather than hide it behind unnecessary flavours.
Dating back to the 1880’s the Old Fashioned is traditionally a bourbon whisky based beverage said to have been invented at the Pendennis Club in Kentucky, and popularised by a club member and bourbon distiller, Colonel James E Pepper who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.
The recipe is simple – sugar, bitters, bourbon whisky and a single orange rind. Barman across the globe have taken their creativeness to this drink using any number of infused bitters, flavoured sugars and varying garnishes to personalise this beverage.
For the past few years, I’ve loved a rum based old-fashioned. Slightly sweeter than the traditional recipe, but with the right amount bitters and consistency you can create an endlessly smooth drink appropriate for any situation. Ron Zacapa 23yr is a Guatemalan rum, and it’s my staple for this cocktail. A delicious rum on its own, it develops and opens up in this cocktail.
1 x Sugar Cube
Splash of Angostura Bitters (mixed with an orange bitters is also a nice touch)
60ml Zacapa 23 Rum
Nice big ice blocks
Soak the sugar cube in bitters and stir together until a smooth paste is formed. Add a single cube of ice and 15ml of rum, stir until ice is partially diluted and sugar is totally dissolved. Add remaining rum while stirring to create a smooth consistency. Top with ice and stir through with the long orange rind.
The beauty of the rum old fashioned (and any old-fashioned for that matter) is that as the drinks sits, it develops in flavour. The orange rind fuses with the drink creating a zesty end to each sip. Next time you’re out and about and want to try something new and sophisticated put down the beers for a moment and try your hand at a Ron Zacapa Old Fashioned.