Taking first place in our rum Old-Fashioned tasting was Jelani Johnson’s recipe, which calls for a blend of three rums: Mount Gay XO from Barbados, Hamilton 151-Proof Demerara rum from Guyana and Smith & Cross from Jamaica, complemented by a teaspoon of rich cane sugar syrup and a dash each of Angostura and Bittermens Elemakule Tiki bitters. “This drink is trying to do something, trying to take you to a Caribbean place,” said St. John Frizell, “it doesn’t taste like a rye Old-Fashioned, it’s a rum Old-Fashioned.” The drink was stirred with an orange twist and served with a lime coin adding just the right amount of aromatics for what bar owner Paul McGee likened to a “Ti Punch-style serve.”
Jelani Johnson’s Rum Old-Fashioned
Jelani Johnson | New York City
- 1 1/2 ounces Barbados rum, preferably Mount Gay XO
- 1/2 ounce overproof Guyanese rum, preferably Hamilton 151-proof Demerara rum
- 1 teaspoon Jamaican rum, preferably Smith & Cross
- 1 teaspoon rich cane syrup (2:1, cane sugar:water)
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 dash Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki bitters
- 1 orange twist
Garnish: lime coin
- Express the orange twist into a mixing glass then drop it in.
- Add the remaining ingredients then ice, and stir until chilled.
- Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
- Garnish with a small lime coin, sliced off the side of the lime, about the size of a nickel. Express the lime coin from about a foot away from the glass then drop it in.