Palmetto Cocktail Drink

Palmetto

Are you in the mood for an extraordinary cocktail? Look no further than this Palmetto Drink recipe! It’s a delicious drink brimming with excellent ingredients and a cinch.

Palmetto Cocktail Recipe

Enjoy your favorite rum with a twist thanks to this straightforward Palmetto cocktail recipe! The rum, vermouth, and orange bitters blend makes it a genuinely invigorating, heartwarming drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

179 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Dark Rum
  • oz sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Mixing Glass
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Martini Glass chilled
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Fill your cocktail glass with ice to chill it. Set it aside.
  • Pour 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters into the mixing glass.
  • Add 1½ oz sweet Vermouth.
  • Add 1½ oz Dark Rum of your choice to the mix.
  • Fill the mixing glass with ice. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds). Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary.
  • Take your cocktail glass and discard the ice. Using the cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  • Express the orange zest on top of the glass. You can either discard it after or place it on the rim of the glass for an added orange touch.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Dark Rum: For this drink, you can use any kind of dark rum you like and even experiment with a blend of rum of your choice. If you don't have any dark rum on hand, you can substitute light rum or bourbon. The flavor profile will change slightly but still makes a decent cocktail.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry vermouth can be used instead of sweet vermouth if needed. Just add a small splash of simple syrup to balance out the bitterness. You can use any kind of red or sweet vermouth you have available on hand for this cocktail. You could also try a fortified wine like ruby port or sherry (Oloroso, Palo Cortado, or Pedro Ximenez for example) for a different flavor profile.
  • Angostura orange bitters: Angostura bitters or any type of spiced bitters can be used as a substitute if you're out of orange bitters. It will give the cocktail a different flavor, but still tasty. Lemon bitters could also work, in which case we recommend garnishing the drink with a lemon zest instead of an orange zest. If it pairs well with your rum, you can even experiment with a dash of cocoa bitters!

Making a Pitcher of Palmetto Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of dark rum, 12 oz of sweet vermouth, and 16 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the dark rum, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. Add ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain to remove the ice, serve immediately into chilled cocktail glasses, and garnish with orange zests. If you have some leftovers, be sure to keep them in the fridge (make sure no ice cubes are left inside) in an airtight container as vermouth is prone to oxidation when kept at room temperature.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute; these are available in the market and do a good job mimicking the flavor of dark rum. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own dark rum substitute by infusing together rooibos tea and a bunch of spices of your liking (vanilla, cinnamon, clove, allspice and banana are always a good way to start). Mix all the ingredients together, add hot water, cover, and let it infuse for at least 3h (the stronger the better, so if you have time let it infuse overnight. In that case, you can either let it rest in the fridge once the liquid has cooled down). Give it a taste, adjust the spice level if necessary, and strain it once you’re happy with the result. Stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), this “tea-rum” can be kept for up to a week.
  • Sweet Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic sweet vermouth substitute. You can also try using non-alcoholic red wine, in which case you’ll probably need to add a bit of sugar to the final drink. To recreate the spiciness of the vermouth, you can add a dash of Angostura bitter to the wine. 
  • Orange bitters substitute: To get the citrusy touch brought by the Orange bitter, you can slightly muddle an orange zest into the shaker/mixing glass before adding the rest of the ingredients. Also, note that 2 dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol, this can also be a suitable option.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use those non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular dark rum and sweet vermouth, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Palmetto cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

The Palmetto cocktail is naturally vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including rum and vermouth, are vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially if a filtration process is involved. Always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
179
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Potassium
 
42
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Palmetto Cocktail Drink

Palmetto Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Enjoy your favorite rum with a twist thanks to this straightforward Palmetto cocktail recipe! The rum, vermouth, and orange bitters blend makes it a genuinely invigorating, heartwarming drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 179

Ingredients
 

  • oz Dark Rum
  • oz sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Mixing Glass
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Martini Glass chilled
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Fill your cocktail glass with ice to chill it. Set it aside.
  • Pour 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters into the mixing glass.
  • Add 1½ oz sweet Vermouth.
  • Add 1½ oz Dark Rum of your choice to the mix.
  • Fill the mixing glass with ice. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds). Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary.
  • Take your cocktail glass and discard the ice. Using the cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  • Express the orange zest on top of the glass. You can either discard it after or place it on the rim of the glass for an added orange touch.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Dark Rum: For this drink, you can use any kind of dark rum you like and even experiment with a blend of rum of your choice. If you don't have any dark rum on hand, you can substitute light rum or bourbon. The flavor profile will change slightly but still makes a decent cocktail.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry vermouth can be used instead of sweet vermouth if needed. Just add a small splash of simple syrup to balance out the bitterness. You can use any kind of red or sweet vermouth you have available on hand for this cocktail. You could also try a fortified wine like ruby port or sherry (Oloroso, Palo Cortado, or Pedro Ximenez for example) for a different flavor profile.
  • Angostura orange bitters: Angostura bitters or any type of spiced bitters can be used as a substitute if you're out of orange bitters. It will give the cocktail a different flavor, but still tasty. Lemon bitters could also work, in which case we recommend garnishing the drink with a lemon zest instead of an orange zest. If it pairs well with your rum, you can even experiment with a dash of cocoa bitters!

Making a Pitcher of Palmetto Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of dark rum, 12 oz of sweet vermouth, and 16 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the dark rum, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. Add ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain to remove the ice, serve immediately into chilled cocktail glasses, and garnish with orange zests. If you have some leftovers, be sure to keep them in the fridge (make sure no ice cubes are left inside) in an airtight container as vermouth is prone to oxidation when kept at room temperature.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute; these are available in the market and do a good job mimicking the flavor of dark rum. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own dark rum substitute by infusing together rooibos tea and a bunch of spices of your liking (vanilla, cinnamon, clove, allspice and banana are always a good way to start). Mix all the ingredients together, add hot water, cover, and let it infuse for at least 3h (the stronger the better, so if you have time let it infuse overnight. In that case, you can either let it rest in the fridge once the liquid has cooled down). Give it a taste, adjust the spice level if necessary, and strain it once you’re happy with the result. Stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), this “tea-rum” can be kept for up to a week.
  • Sweet Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic sweet vermouth substitute. You can also try using non-alcoholic red wine, in which case you’ll probably need to add a bit of sugar to the final drink. To recreate the spiciness of the vermouth, you can add a dash of Angostura bitter to the wine. 
  • Orange bitters substitute: To get the citrusy touch brought by the Orange bitter, you can slightly muddle an orange zest into the shaker/mixing glass before adding the rest of the ingredients. Also, note that 2 dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol, this can also be a suitable option.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use those non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular dark rum and sweet vermouth, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Palmetto cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

The Palmetto cocktail is naturally vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including rum and vermouth, are vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially if a filtration process is involved. Always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

What is a Palmetto Drink?

A Palmetto Drink is a rum-based classic cocktail made of aged rum, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. It’s easy to make as it only requires three ingredients and some stirring. The drink is a variant of the Manhattan, substituting whiskey with rum and opting for a slightly sweeter balance. Its simplicity doesn’t compromise its taste – the combination of sweet vermouth and orange bitters complements the rich flavor of aged rum perfectly, making it an elegant choice for any occasion. 

A side shot of a Palmetto cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster on a brown table surrounded by a cigar, a cigar cutter and a white cloth

What is a Palmetto Drink made of – The ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to create a Palmetto Drink:

  • Dark Rum: This is the base spirit of the Palmetto cocktail. It provides a rich, deep flavor that forms the backbone of the drink. You can use any aged rum of your liking for this drink!
  • Sweet Vermouth: This fortified wine adds sweetness and complexity to the cocktail, balancing out the strong flavor of the rum.
  • Orange Bitters: A few dashes of this ingredient enhance the overall taste of the cocktail, adding a subtle citrusy note that complements the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Orange Peel: Used as a garnish, it adds a fresh, zesty aroma that enhances the drinking experience.
  • Ice: Chills the cocktail and slightly dilutes it, making it more palatable and refreshing.

Dark Rum, sweet Vermouth, and Angostura aromatic bitters laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Palmetto Drink?

Follow our uncomplicated steps to make a delicious Palmetto Drink:

1
<p>Begin by chilling the cocktail glass: fill it with ice and set it aside.</p>

Begin by chilling the cocktail glass: fill it with ice and set it aside.

2
<p>In a mixing glass, pour in 2 dashes of Orange bitters. The orange bitters will give the cocktail a subtle citrusy note, adding an extra layer of flavor and acting as a bridging ingredient between the rum and the sweet vermouth.</p>

In a mixing glass, pour in 2 dashes of Orange bitters. The orange bitters will give the cocktail a subtle citrusy note, adding an extra layer of flavor and acting as a bridging ingredient between the rum and the sweet vermouth.

3
<p>Add 1 ½ ounces of sweet vermouth to the mixing glass. The sweet vermouth will balance out the strong flavor of the rum, adding a touch of sweetness and complexity to the cocktail.</p>

Add 1 ½ ounces of sweet vermouth to the mixing glass. The sweet vermouth will balance out the strong flavor of the rum, adding a touch of sweetness and complexity to the cocktail.

4
<p>Finally, pour 1 ½ ounces of dark rum of your choice. This will serve as the base and main spirit of your cocktail.</p>

Finally, pour 1 ½ ounces of dark rum of your choice. This will serve as the base and main spirit of your cocktail.

5
<p>Fill the mixing glass with ice. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds). Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary.</p>

Fill the mixing glass with ice. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds). Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary.

6
<p>Once the cocktail is well mixed, discard the ice from your chilled cocktail glass.</p>

Once the cocktail is well mixed, discard the ice from your chilled cocktail glass.

7
<p>Strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. This will remove any ice shards and ensure a smooth cocktail.</p>

Strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. This will remove any ice shards and ensure a smooth cocktail.

8
<p>Finally, twist a piece of orange peel over the glass to express its oils.</p>

Finally, twist a piece of orange peel over the glass to express its oils.

9
<p>Then discard it or place it on the rim of the glass. This not only adds a pop of color to the cocktail but also releases essential oils from the peel, enhancing the overall aromas and flavors of the drink.</p>

Then discard it or place it on the rim of the glass. This not only adds a pop of color to the cocktail but also releases essential oils from the peel, enhancing the overall aromas and flavors of the drink.

History and Origin of the Palmetto Drink

The Palmetto Drink first appeared in print in Harry Craddock’s famous “The Savoy Cocktail” book, published in 1930. It was originally shaken, but there is an industry consensus today that stirring brings out the best of this type of cocktail, as shaking can lead to overdiluting the drink and losing its smooth texture.

It is what some may call a “forgotten classic”, but in our opinion, it is still definitely worth a shot!

A Palmetto cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a beige surface surrounded by Dark Rum, sweet Vermouth, and Angostura aromatic bitters

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Palmetto drink?
A standard serving of the Palmetto cocktail contains approximately 200 calories. However, this can vary slightly depending on the specific brands of alcohol used.
How strong is a Palmetto drink?
The strength of a Palmetto cocktail depends on the ratio of its ingredients. Typically, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 22-24% and a proof of 44-48. This makes it a moderately potent cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in a Palmetto drink?
The Palmetto cocktail primarily uses two types of alcohol: dark rum and sweet vermouth. The dark rum provides a rich, deep flavor, while the sweet vermouth adds complexity and sweetness. Orange bitters are also used to perfectly balance this drink.
In which glass is a Palmetto drink typically served?
Traditionally, you serve a Palmetto cocktail in a chilled coupe glass. This type of glass helps maintain the drink's temperature and is just the perfect size for one serving.
What does a Palmetto drink taste like?
A well-made Palmetto cocktail offers a harmonious blend of flavors, which will depend greatly on the rum you choose to use. Generally speaking, the dark rum imparts richness and warmth, while the sweet vermouth adds sweetness and herbal notes. Additionally, the dash of orange bitters gives it a subtle citrusy undertone.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Palmetto drink?
The classic recipe for a Palmetto cocktail calls for a 1:1 ratio (equal parts) of dark rum to sweet vermouth.
How is a Palmetto drink served with ice?
Typically, you stir all the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass until well-chilled, then strain into your serving glass without ice - this method is known as serving "up".

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