Every Saturday, Mike Augustyniak helps kick off the weekend by checking out some of the best cocktail recipes from bars in the Twin Cities. This week, he gets the lowdown on a classic cocktail at the Meritage in downtown St. Paul. If you like the Old Fashioned, you’ll definitely want to give this drink a try.

Allspice Rum Old Fashioned

2 oz Appleton Special Rum
1 oz Velvet Falernum
2 eyedroppers St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram (about ¼ oz)
1 dash Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients over ice and stir for about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled lowball glass. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Taste Test

At its core, and Old Fashioned cocktail is made from spirits, sweetener, and bitters. While allspice dram (also known as pimento dram) can read as sweet, in this recipe, it’s being used as a bitter. Because of the strong, spicy flavor, a little goes a long way, and that’s why bartender Sean McCarty uses an eyedropper to add it; it allows for more precise portion control.

When mixed, the cocktail is a gorgeous burnt sienna color … but has a sweeter, lighter taste than a traditional whiskey Old Fashioned  Try it as a twist on the classic, for a taste of fall, or to introduce the less adventurous into the world of Old Fashioned cocktails.

Mike Augustyniak