Spiced Rum Old Fashioned

An old fashioned is one of the greatest “classicbourbon-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 1800s which described a similar drink as a ”potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar”.

spiced rum old fashioned

Around the 1860s, this forgotten favorite cocktail made a surprising comeback 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 1880s.  However, the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky, claims the Old Fashioned cocktail was actually invented there.

spiced rum old fashioned

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.

spiced rum old fashioned

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.

Recipe: Spiced Rum Old Fashioned

: 1 : 5 min : : 5 min : easy


  • 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.
About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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