Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail Drink

Rum Old Fashioned

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley

If you want a classic cocktail with a kick, you’ll love this Rum Old Fashioned recipe! It’s an easy-to-make drink full of tasty ingredients.

Rum Old Fashioned Recipe

Enjoy winter with this easy Rum Old Fashioned recipe! This cozy cocktail only requires rum, sugar, and Angostura bitters.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

208 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Dark Rum, approx. 75 ml
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 barspoon soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange twist or cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Muddler
  • Stirring Glass
  • Cocktail or Julep strainer
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes.
  • Prep Sugar: Place 1 Sugar cube in your stirring glass.
  • Add Bitters: Soak the sugar cube with 6 dashes Angostura Bitters.
  • Muddle: Add 1 barspoon soda water in the stirring glass. Then, use a muddler to crush the sugar, water and bitters together.
  • Add Rum: Pour 2½ oz Dark Rum into the stirring glass as well. Using the bar spoon, stir well so the sugar dissolves.
  • Add Ice: Fill the stirring glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently (for about 15-20 seconds).
  • Strain: Using the cocktail strainer, strain the drink into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a cherry and/or orange zest twist (to do so, 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: You can use any kind of dark rum you like for this recipe (even spiced rum). If you don't have dark rum, use bourbon or rye whiskey instead: this will make for a delicious classic Old Fashioned. Cognac or Scotch are also great alternatives.
  • Angostura Bitters: Try using Peychaud's bitters if you're out of Angostura bitters. You can also try experimenting with less conventional bitters such as chocolate or Mexican mole bitters, or even a combination of several bitters. They work great with rum!
  • Bartender’s tip: If you don’t have cubed sugar and/or are looking for an easier, faster way to make an Old Fashioned, you can use sugar syrup (homemade or store-bought). We advise you to make your own by mixing equal parts of brown cane sugar and hot water: it’s cheap and super easy, plus you can use any type of sugar you like! Once you have your syrup, process it as follows:
    • In the stirring glass, combine 6 dashes of Angostura bitters, ¼ oz of sugar syrup, and 2 ½ oz of dark rum.
    • Add ice, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds), and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry and/or orange zest.
If you want to be even faster, it’s also possible to combine the ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass, then add ice, stir and serve directly.

Making a Pitcher of Rum Old Fashioned:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 20 oz of dark rum, 8 sugar cubes, and 48 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: Combine the sugar cubes and bitters in a large pitcher. Add a splash of soda water and crush the cubes using the muddler. Then, add the rum and stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled Old Fashioned glasses, garnish with an orange twist or cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute; these are available and do a good job mimicking the flavor of 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.
  • Angostura bitters: To get the spicy touch from the bitters, you can use a spice syrup (cinnamon, allspice, etc.) instead of sugar to prepare your drink. 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 and your degree of tolerance on the topic, this can also be a suitable option.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular rum, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Rum Old Fashioned cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it can be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

  • Sugar Cube: Ensure that the sugar you're using is vegan. Some sugars are processed with bone char, which is not vegan. Look for organic sugar or beet sugar, which are typically vegan-friendly.
  • Garnish: If you're using a maraschino or candied cherry for garnish, make sure the brand you’re using is vegan friendly: some brands use cochineal to give the cherry their bright red color.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
208
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Potassium
 
2
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.03
mg
0
%

 

Rum Old Fashioned Cocktail Drink

Rum Old Fashioned Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Enjoy winter with this easy Rum Old Fashioned recipe! This cozy cocktail only requires rum, sugar, and Angostura bitters.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 208

Ingredients
 

  • oz Dark Rum - approx. 75 ml
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 barspoon soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange twist or cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Muddler
  • Stirring Glass
  • Cocktail or Julep strainer
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes.
  • Prep Sugar: Place 1 Sugar cube in your stirring glass.
  • Add Bitters: Soak the sugar cube with 6 dashes Angostura Bitters.
  • Muddle: Add 1 barspoon soda water in the stirring glass. Then, use a muddler to crush the sugar, water and bitters together.
  • Add Rum: Pour 2½ oz Dark Rum into the stirring glass as well. Using the bar spoon, stir well so the sugar dissolves.
  • Add Ice: Fill the stirring glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently (for about 15-20 seconds).
  • Strain: Using the cocktail strainer, strain the drink into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a cherry and/or orange zest twist (to do so, 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: You can use any kind of dark rum you like for this recipe (even spiced rum). If you don't have dark rum, use bourbon or rye whiskey instead: this will make for a delicious classic Old Fashioned. Cognac or Scotch are also great alternatives.
  • Angostura Bitters: Try using Peychaud's bitters if you're out of Angostura bitters. You can also try experimenting with less conventional bitters such as chocolate or Mexican mole bitters, or even a combination of several bitters. They work great with rum!
  • Bartender’s tip: If you don’t have cubed sugar and/or are looking for an easier, faster way to make an Old Fashioned, you can use sugar syrup (homemade or store-bought). We advise you to make your own by mixing equal parts of brown cane sugar and hot water: it’s cheap and super easy, plus you can use any type of sugar you like! Once you have your syrup, process it as follows:
    • In the stirring glass, combine 6 dashes of Angostura bitters, ¼ oz of sugar syrup, and 2 ½ oz of dark rum.
    • Add ice, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds), and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry and/or orange zest.
If you want to be even faster, it’s also possible to combine the ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass, then add ice, stir and serve directly.

Making a Pitcher of Rum Old Fashioned:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 20 oz of dark rum, 8 sugar cubes, and 48 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: Combine the sugar cubes and bitters in a large pitcher. Add a splash of soda water and crush the cubes using the muddler. Then, add the rum and stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled Old Fashioned glasses, garnish with an orange twist or cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute; these are available and do a good job mimicking the flavor of 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.
  • Angostura bitters: To get the spicy touch from the bitters, you can use a spice syrup (cinnamon, allspice, etc.) instead of sugar to prepare your drink. 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 and your degree of tolerance on the topic, this can also be a suitable option.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular rum, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Rum Old Fashioned cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it can be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

  • Sugar Cube: Ensure that the sugar you're using is vegan. Some sugars are processed with bone char, which is not vegan. Look for organic sugar or beet sugar, which are typically vegan-friendly.
  • Garnish: If you're using a maraschino or candied cherry for garnish, make sure the brand you’re using is vegan friendly: some brands use cochineal to give the cherry their bright red color.

What is a Rum Old Fashioned?

A Rum Old Fashioned is a rum-based cocktail of dark rum, sugar, and bitters. It’s relatively easy to make as it only requires these three ingredients and some stirring skills.

The Rum Old Fashioned is a variant of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, traditionally using bourbon or rye whiskey instead of rum. The substitution with dark rum adds an exciting depth and sweetness that sets this version apart from its traditional counterpart.

A side shot of a Rum Old Fashioned cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a yellow tray on a wooden table surrounded by a bar spoon, a jigger, two lemons, three sugar cubes and a green placemat.

What is a Rum Old Fashioned made of – The ingredients

Get ready with these ingredients to make your own Rum Old Fashioned:

  • Dark Rum: The base spirit of the cocktail, it provides a rich, deep flavor.
  • Sugar Cube: Adds sweetness to balance the strong taste of the rum.
  • Angostura Bitters: Enhances the drink’s complexity with herbal and spicy notes.
  • Orange Peel: Used as a garnish, it adds a hint of citrus aroma and flavor.

Dark Rum, three sugar cubes, Angostura aromatic bitters, and soda water laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Rum Old Fashioned?

Crafting a Rum Old Fashioned is easy when you follow our detailed steps:

1
<p>Fill an Old Fashioned glass with a generous amount of ice cubes.</p>

Fill an Old Fashioned glass with a generous amount of ice cubes.

2
<p>Place a sugar cube in a stirring glass. This will serve as the base of your cocktail and add a touch of sweetness to balance out the strong flavors of the rum.</p>

Place a sugar cube in a stirring glass. This will serve as the base of your cocktail and add a touch of sweetness to balance out the strong flavors of the rum.

3
<p>Proceed by dousing the sugar cube with 6 dashes of Angostura bitters (you can use fewer or more to match your tastes). The bitters will help enhance the rum's flavor and add complexity to the cocktail.</p>

Proceed by dousing the sugar cube with 6 dashes of Angostura bitters (you can use fewer or more to match your tastes). The bitters will help enhance the rum's flavor and add complexity to the cocktail.

4
<p>Next, add a bar spoon of soda water to the stirring glass. This will help to dissolve the sugar cube and mix the bitters evenly throughout the cocktail.</p>

Next, add a bar spoon of soda water to the stirring glass. This will help to dissolve the sugar cube and mix the bitters evenly throughout the cocktail.

5
<p>Now, it's time to muddle the mixture. Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube and mix it with the bitters and water. This will create a thick, syrupy base for your cocktail.</p>

Now, it's time to muddle the mixture. Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube and mix it with the bitters and water. This will create a thick, syrupy base for your cocktail.

6
<p>Once the sugar is crushed, add 2 ½ ounces of dark rum and stir well to dissolve the sugar. The rum is the show's star in this cocktail, so choose a high-quality dark rum for the best flavor.</p>

Once the sugar is crushed, add 2 ½ ounces of dark rum and stir well to dissolve the sugar. The rum is the show's star in this cocktail, so choose a high-quality dark rum for the best flavor.

7
<p>Fill the stirring glass with ice.</p>

Fill the stirring glass with ice.

8
<p>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>

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.

9
<p>Using the cocktail or julep strainer, strain the drink over the ice.</p>

Using the cocktail or julep strainer, strain the drink over the ice.

10
<p>Finally, garnish the cocktail with a cherry and/or an orange peel. To do so, express the orange zest on top of the glass; </p>

Finally, garnish the cocktail with a cherry and/or an orange peel. To do so, express the orange zest on top of the glass;

11
<p>Then, you can either discard the orange peel or place it on the rim of the glass for an added orange touch. The citrusy aroma of the orange peel and the sweet flavor of the cherry will add the finishing touches to your Rum Old Fashioned.</p>

Then, you can either discard the orange peel or place it on the rim of the glass for an added orange touch. The citrusy aroma of the orange peel and the sweet flavor of the cherry will add the finishing touches to your Rum Old Fashioned.

History and Origin of the Rum Old Fashioned

The history of the Rum Old Fashioned cocktail starts in the 1800s. Back then, people made cocktails with spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. They didn’t have unique names; they were just “cocktails.” But as bartenders started to play around with new ingredients and ways of making drinks, these simple cocktails turned into something more fancy, like the Margarita and other Cosmopolitans we know today.

By the beginning of the 20th century, some people started missing the more straightforward drinks from before. They would go into bars and ask for their drinks to be made the “old-fashioned” way – with just spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. And so, the Old Fashioned was born.

At first, bartenders used whiskey, and more specifically Bourbon, to make Old Fashions. But when rum became more accessible and more popular in America, some clever bartenders decided to use rum instead of whiskey. This made a smoother, sweeter version of the Old Fashioned that many people liked.

A Rum Old Fashioned cocktail, shot from above, in an old fashioned glass on a beige surface surrounded by Dark Rum, three sugar cubes, Angostura aromatic bitters, and soda water

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Rum Old Fashioned?
A standard Rum Old Fashioned contains approximately 200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the rum used and the sugar added.
How strong is a Rum Old Fashioned?
The strength of a Rum Old Fashioned can vary based on the type of rum used. Generally, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 28-32%, translating to 56-64 proof. This makes it a relatively strong cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in a Rum Old Fashioned?
As the name suggests, Rum Old Fashioned uses rum as its primary alcohol. Dark-aged rum is typically preferred for its rich, complex flavors that complement the sweetness of the sugar and bitterness of the bitters.
In what kind of glass is a Rum Old Fashioned served?
Traditionally, a Rum Old Fashioned is served in an old-fashioned glass, a rocks or lowball glass. This short tumbler provides ample room for ice and allows the drinker to appreciate the aroma and flavors of the cocktail fully.
What does a Rum Old Fashioned taste like?
A Rum Old Fashioned offers a harmonious balance between sweet and bitter flavors. The dark rum imparts rich caramel notes while the sugar adds sweetness. The bitters provide a counterpoint to these sweet elements, adding complexity and depth to the drink.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Rum Old Fashioned?
The typical ratio for a Rum Old Fashioned is 5:1, meaning 5 parts rum for 1 part sugar, and 6-8 dashes of Angostura bitters per drink (to adjust to taste). However, this ratio can vary greatly depending on taste, on the type of rum used and if using cubed sugar or sugar syrup.
How is a Rum Old Fashioned served with ice?
A Rum Old Fashioned is usually served over ice, generally ice cubes but some bars choose to use a single large cube or sphere. This not only chills the drink but also allows for a slow dilution, which can enhance the flavors of the cocktail.

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