An old fashioned is one of the greatest “classic” bourbon-based cocktails around. Even through the years, this old-time favorite has rained king. Invented in Louisville, Kentucky, this simple drink contains just a few basic ingredients: whisky, sugar, bitters and an orange twist. Sweetened traditionally with a single sugar cube, an old fashioned falls in the “serious drink” category if you ask me. It’s also a drink my husband loves.
History traces a version of the old fashioned as far back as the early 1800’s which described a similar drink as a ”potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar”.
Around the 1860s, this than forgotten favorite cocktail made a surprising came back and was officially coined the “old-fashioned“. The first true mention in print of “old fashioned cocktails” was in the Chicago Daily Tribune in the early 1880. However, the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky, claims the Old Fashioned cocktail was actually invented there.
The story has it that the recipe was invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who later brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. But despite the disagreement, since its inception, the old fashioned cocktail has become and remains iconic in nature.
My recipe for a spiced rum old fashioned is a modern twist of an old classic. I replace the traditional whisky with a more mellow (and seasonal) spiced rum which brings big, bold spices and a lovely orange, caramel finish that’s great for the holiday season. But the real takeaway, this cocktail is a winter delight, warming and smooth for sipping on the coldest of nights.
Spiced Rum Old Fashioned
- 2 1/2 ounces spiced rum (I prefer Greenbar Distillery's spiced rum because it's more mellow than others)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- Splash of water
- Orange peel
- 2 Toschi sour black cherries (no other brand, these are amazing)
- Step 1 Place a handful of ice in a lowball glass and set aside.
- Step 2 In a cocktail shaker add the sugar cube, 1 tablespoon of water and orange peel. Use a muddler to muddle the mixture and dissolve the sugar
- Step 3 Add the spiced rum, bitters and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass and garnish with cherries.
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