Rum Old Fashioned. Photo by me.

Rum Old Fashioned. Photo by me.

Taking up part-time residence in New York City last month, I was delighted to meet a downstairs neighbor, Tobin Ludwig, who makes the lovely Hella Bitters. What good karma for our new old building!

“What is your favorite use of bitters?” I asked. For someone who makes bitters, he struggled. I pushed. He relented and said, “A rum old fashioned.”

What a splendid idea, I thought.

Last night a tweet asked me for a cocktail with a good rum. And so there it was. The rum old-fashioned called. The weather has cooled, I have some most excellent rum, and the sweetness and the bitters combine for a great summer rum cocktail.

But lo—there was more, karma-wise. I returned to my original old-fashioned post and noticed that I’d used Hella bitters, long before I’d met Tobin! So this completes the circle, a cocktail destined for the Friday Cocktail Hour.

I suppose I’ll need to replenish my supply of Hella bitters!

Happy Friday all!

rum old 2a


The Rum Old Fashioned

  • 4 to 6 grams sugar (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 4 to 6 grams bitters (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 60 grams good rum (2 ounces)
  • Lemon
  1. Place the sugar and bitters in a rocks glass and muddle and stir to get the sugar dissolving.
  2. Add the rum and stir.
  3. Add ice and a squeeze of lemon (or a twist or orange zest).

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.