How to Use Classic Cocktails For Inspiration To Create A New Drink With A Popular Spirit Like Rum

On this episode of Smart Kitchen and Bar, our resident master mixologist, Oscar Castaneda, shares with us how to take a different approach with a popular spirit like rum, featuring Mount Gay® Rum. The Black Barrel rum used in this episode features complex aroma notes of spice, toasted wood, and fruit. It has a bold spice taste balanced with oaky vanilla and sweet caramel.

“Rum is something that might be a little bit too sweet and what I usually suggest as an operator and as a mixologist is: Don’t fight it, try to work with it!” says Castaneda.

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Old Fashioned cocktails are traditionally made by muddling sugar with bitters, adding whiskey and garnished with a citrus rind. Using that process as inspiration, Castaneda figures out how to incorporate rum into the classic cocktail for his first drink. Named Twist On An Old Fashioned, this drink will help you wow those guests who are looking to be adventurous. This cocktail will surprise anyone who tastes it, as it branches out of its classic presentation to become its own creation.


  • 2 oz. Mount Gay Rum

  • Dash of Pineapple Juice

  • Orange Zest

  • Dash of Walnut Bitters

Served as an Old Fashioned in a short, round, tumbler-like glass with a cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg rim. It is topped with whipped cream (made out of almond milk, line, lemon and cilantro) and garnished with an orange peel, cinnamon stick, and topped with a black cherry.

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This next drink was inspired by the classic drinks that you would normally think of when someone says rum. Our master mixologist wanted to make a drink that was a little lighter and refreshing, but still maintained the tropical vibe that characterizes rum drinks.

“We are going to use the same ingredients but in different layers to create almost like a new age of a Piña Colada,” says Castaneda.

TROPICAL TYPHOON (New Age Piña Colada)

  • 2 oz Mount Gay Rum

  • 1 oz Coconut water & allspice

  • 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice

  • Dash of Cinnamon

  • Dash of Base Cherry Juice

Garnish drink with two lime slices and orange zest.

Check out the Smart Kitchen and Bar episode to learn tips about how to present these drinks in your beverage program!