Skip to main content

Banana-Infused Rum Old-Fashioned

BananaInfused Rum on a yellow background with a regular old fashion in the foreground
Photograph by Emma Fishman, food styling by Mieko Takahashi, prop styling by Tim Ferro
  • Total Time

    8 minutes (plus 1 week for infusion)

If you order an old-fashioned at a bar, chances are you’re expecting a whiskey cocktail. But seeing a rum old-fashioned recipe is not so unlikely. Take a glance at bartending books both classic and contemporary, and you’ll discover there’s no fixed recipe for the drink. The name refers to the method of preparation: A base spirit is softened and enhanced by the addition of sweetener, bitters, and citrus. An old-fashioned cocktail can be built with bourbon, mezcal, tequila—or any spirit you like (yes, even gin). Rum is my personal favorite—it has the depth of the more common rye old-fashioned but with lighter notes of flowers and fruit. It’s an easy way to put a fresh spin on an aged rum I’d otherwise drink neat.

When I want to bring in some extra tropical flair, I replace the usual simple syrup or sugar cube with a dash of banana-infused rum. Often associated with tiki cocktail recipes or frozen drinks, I find the cordial shines in spirit-forward preparations. You can make it yourself by soaking dried banana chips in the spirit for at least one week. But if you just can’t wait, use a high-quality banana liqueur such as Tempus Fugit, Giffard, or Marie Brizard. Either way, a good banana booze is a fun addition to any home bar—and equally delicious as a replacement for the sugar syrup in a daiquiri. (Prefer to skip the banana? Sub in ¼ oz. demerara syrup.) 

A one-two punch of bitters (in the form of Angostura aromatic bitters and orange bitters) adds subtle, fragrant notes of allspice and cardamom. I finish the drink with an orange twist, but I don’t slip it into the drink since I only want the peel’s oils, not the extra bitterness that would seep into the glass as it rests in the liquid.

All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through the retail links below, we earn an affiliate commission.

What you’ll need

Ingredients

Makes 1

Banana-Infused Rum

8

2

cups aged dark rum

Assembly

2

oz. aged dark rum

2

dashes Angostura bitters

2

dashes orange bitters

1

wide strip orange zest

Banana leaf or banana chip (for serving)

Special Equipment

A 1-qt. glass jar with a lid

Cheesecloth (optional)

Preparation

  1. Banana-Infused Rum

    Step 1

    Combine 8 oz. unsweetened banana chips and 2 cups aged dark rum in a jar. Seal jar and let sit at room temperature at least 7 days and up to 10 days.

    Step 2

    Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (line sieve with a layer of cheesecloth for the clearest infusion) into a small bowl; discard solids. Pour infused rum into a clean jar; cover with lid (makes about 2 cups).

    Do ahead: Infused rum can be made 1 month ahead. Store at room temperature.

  2. Assembly

    Step 3

    To make 1 cocktail, with a barspoon stir 2 oz. aged dark rum, ½ oz. banana-infused rum (or store-bought banana liqueur), 2 dashes Angostura bitters, and 2 dashes orange bitters in an old-fashioned glass or rocks glass filled with a large ice cube until very cold, about 20 seconds. Twist 1 wide strip orange zest over drink to express oils; discard. Garnish with banana leaf or banana chip.

Sign In or Subscribe
to leave a Rating or Review

How would you rate Banana-Infused Rum Old-Fashioned?

Leave a Review

Explore Bon AppétitCocktailRum