Cocktail Hour: How to Make a Rum Old Fashioned

If you ever wondered why this delectable drink is called an Old Fashioned, it’s because it’s based on the ingredients for the very first cocktails of the early 1800s. Thrilling right? Apparently the first time the word ‘cocktail’ was used in print was in a paper in Hudson, New York in 1806 when a writer described it as being concocted of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.

The Old Fashioned we know and love was invented in Lousiville, Kentucky in 1881 and, in 2015, the city made the grand announcement that it was the official cocktail of Louisville. They are so besotted with the drink, in fact, that they hold an annual event in June called ‘Old Fashioned Fortnight.’ That is dedication people.

The recipe we came across at Little Jack’s Tavern in Charleston, South Carolina uses rum. Why? Well we asked their General Manager, Marc Hudacsko to explain, “Our cocktail menu consists of all classic cocktails. Things our parents and grandparents would have enjoyed. The Old Fashioned is, of course, as old school and classic as they come. With that particular cocktail, we wanted to throw a little bit of a curveball. Rum is a huge part of the culture and history of Charleston, so we decided to pay homage to that history. Also, we love rum!”

There you have it folks. And we have to say, it’s a damn good cocktail.

Without further ado, here is how to make one at home.

Rum Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Plantation 5 yr Rum
  • .25 oz demerara syrup
  • 14 drops (2 dashes) Regan’s orange bitters
  • 21 drops (3 dashes) Jack Rudy Aromatic bitters

Method: Press one Jack Rudy cherry to the bottom of the glass. Mix all ingredients in an old fashioned glass. Stir about 30 revolutions with ice. Garnish with an orange peel expressed in and around the glass.