hala kea old fashioned

A New Way to Make an Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a popular classic cocktail that can be found in nearly any bar. It’s traditionally made by muddling sugar and bitters, adding alcohol (originally whiskey, sometimes brandy), and finished with a twist of citrus rind. Let’s get real, though, this drink was created in the 19th century, so it’s about time Old Fashioned got a makeover, which is exactly what our Director of Mixology, Jen Ackrill, did! Today, she’s going to teach you a new way to make an Old Fashioned, which we’ve named the Hala Kea Old Fashioned. Keep reading (and watch that video below!) to see how she subbed out a few ingredients to create a simple variation of an Old Fashioned while keeping her final recipe classic(ish).


First, add 1oz of pineapple rum. We’re using Plantation Pineapple rum but, whichever rum you choose to use, just make sure it’s good quality. The quality of this rum will affect the flavor of your final drink (no pressure)!


Next, add in 1oz of aged rum. We’re using Bacardi 8, but you can use any aged rum as long as it’s good (yes, this will also affect the flavor of your final drink… what did you expect with a spirit-forward cocktail?).


Then, add in 0.5-0.75oz of banana liqueur. Depending on how sweet you want your drink, you can add a little more or a little less. Remember, this is your drink- make it the way you want it!


Now, we’re going to add a good amount of coffee aromatic bitters. To make this, we just took Angostura bitters and steeped some coffee beans in it overnight. The next morning, take out the coffee beans, pour the bitters back into their bottle, and voila! You’ve got yourself some home-made coffee bitters!


Lastly, we’re adding some Hellfire Shrub. This is going to balance some of the excess sweetness and give it a little bite! The Hellfire Shrub also adds some spice and gives the drink a cool middle note in its flavor.


Now that we have in all our main components, it’s time to add ice and stir. Jen’s stirring with her favorite pineapple spoon but, don’t worry, your drink will taste the same whether you use a pineapple spoon or a regular spoon (the pineapple spoon just looks cooler).


We want to make sure we stir it enough so that the ice dilutes the cocktail a tad. This will cool it down, plus the water will do some fancy things to make our drink taste like a cocktail rather than a bunch of spirits in a glass.


Once you’re done stirring, go ahead and pour your drink into your Old Fashioned glass using a Hawthorne strainer and add in some fresh ice.


Final touch! Take a lemon peel/zest/swath/duke- whatever you call it. Take a part of a lemon off its home, twist to express some of the oils, swirl it around the rim of your glass, and drop it on in to the drink. Swirling it around the rim ensures that you’ll get some of those citrus notes no matter which side you sip from. (Tangent: is it still called a ‘side’ if the glass is a circle?)


And, there you have it. Your very own (new) Hala Kea Old Fashioned! Bust this out at your next dinner party and everyone will think you are *raises pinky* so sophisticated.