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The Twist: The Rum Old Fashioned

Rum deserves its turn in the Old Fashioned spotlight.

Some mixologists might argue that rum gets the shaft—too often being used only in overly sweet beach beverages and neon tiki drinks. Instead, consider it in an Old Fashioned. “We believe the Old Fashioned, in its various forms, is one of the best cocktails to showcase high-quality premium dark spirits,” says Karen Hoskin, owner and founder of Crested Butte’s Montanya Distillers. “And because we believe dark rum is one of the highest-quality spirits, we love highlighting our rum with the cocktail, where tasting notes can be brought to the forefront.” 

Phillip Bragg, president and head distiller of 1350 Distilling in Colorado Springs, says a rum Old Fashioned goes toe-to-toe with the classic whiskey iteration. “Barrel-aged rum adds another flavor layer that you do not get from whiskey,” Bragg says. “It has a strong butterscotch and vanilla aroma that complements the bitters, and the slight sweetness really makes the rum shine. It’s like hearing a great song played by another band: comfortingly familiar but different.”

Here are the two Colorado bars’ prized recipes:

Montanya Distillers’ New Fashioned

In a glass, stack 1 fresh orange slice, 1 Amarena or Luxardo cherry, and a pinch of sugar, then muddle. Add ¼ ounce simple syrup, 3 ounces Montanya Oro rum, 5 drops of Montanya citrus bitters, and a large ice cube. Stir until chilled. Garnish with an additional Amarena or Luxardo cherry.

1350 Distilling’s Admiral Old Fashioned

In a glass tumbler, combine 1 large ice cube, 5 drops Cocktail Punk aromatic bitters, 3 drops Cocktail Punk orange cocktail bitters, 1 bar spoon Pikes Peak Lemonade mint simple syrup, and 2 ounces 1350 Distilling Fleet Admirals’ barrel-aged rum. Give it a quick stir, and garnish with an orange peel and a cherry. 

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