I’ve been assembling a guide to cocktail syrups over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been really fun to look back over hundreds of my old recipes to choose a few to feature. One that I knew I had to showcase under honey syrup is this Saffron Honey Rum Old Fashioned.
I created this recipe about a year ago, when I was really just beginning to explore the world of aged rums. Rum is a massive spirit category, and there’s always something new to learn. For a long time, I felt almost too intimidated to know where to start. There are so many different rums from so many different geographic locations, all with their own unique characteristics.
Since last year, I’ve tried many new rums and had my eyes opened to the incredibly wide range of flavors they can exhibit. From grassy, funky, vegetal flavors to deep cocoa, vanilla, or caramel, rum is a pretty amazing and versatile spirit to mix with.
The floral sweetness of honey pairs well with just about any rum, in my opinion, and a touch of exotic saffron adds an earthy depth and its own honey-like notes. Just a quarter ounce of this saffron honey syrup and a dash or two of orange bitters really open up and brighten the flavors of aged rum. For this Rum Old Fashioned I used Kirk & Sweeney 23 Year, but you can use any aged rum you prefer.
How to make saffron honey syrup
To make the syrup, start with a 1:1 honey simple syrup. Combine equal parts honey and water and stir until the honey has fully dissolved. Then add a small pinch of saffron threads (I use about 5-10 threads per 1/2 cup honey / 1/2 cup water).
Let the saffron steep in the honey syrup for at least a few hours, then strain out the saffron and store the syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator. For more about honey syrup and many other syrups, check out my Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Syrups!
If you like saffron cocktails, try my Saffron Rosewater syrup!
Tip: If you want to make a more “traditional” Rum Old Fashioned, simply replace the saffron honey syrup with demerara syrup (or even simple syrup), and the orange bitters with Angostura.
Saffron Honey Rum Old Fashioned
- 2 oz aged rum I used Kirk & Sweeney 23
- 1/4 oz saffron honey syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill 3/4 with ice.
- Shake until chilled, about 12 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, or over one large cube. Garnish with an expressed orange twist.