Friday Cocktail: Rum Old Fashioned

This week’s cocktail is one of my favourite riffs on a classic cocktail. I was especially excited to give this a try with a really interesting and delicious aged rum we found that’s been aged briefly in an oak barrel (it also happens to be from Cuba). I’m of the opinion that classic cocktails are classic for a reason– after all, why would we keep making something if it wasn’t very good? Reinventing the wheel isn’t always a good idea, but it’s certainly nice to put new tires on every once in a while.

Maybe this metaphor is getting a bit out of hand, but hopefully you get the idea. This twist on a classic is, like the original, wonderfully simple. I definitely recommend using a dark rum for this drink, and absolutely nothing flavoured with ‘tropical’ things like coconut or pineapple. While those may have their place elsewhere (like spring breaks or sugary frozen piña coladas) that place is decidedly not here.


Rather than simple syrup, this recipe calls for Demerara syrup. To make it combine 1c sugar with 1/2 c water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is just dissolved. Make sure not to let it boil though or you’ll get something a bit more like caramel. Actually, that may bot be a bad thing– let me know if you give it a try! If you’re tempted to use regular simple syrup instead, don’t. The Demerara syrup makes it significantly better– trust me!


• 2oz rum

• 1tsp demerara syrup

• 2 dashes angostura bitters

•2 dashes orange potters (or Peychaud’s)


  1. combine ingredients into a mixing glass with ice
  2. stir everything to combine and chill
  3. strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel




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