Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Expense of Honesty

Expense of Honesty cocktail in a crystal-cut rocks glass with an orange peel garnish
Image: Ashley Hylbert

Strategic Hospitality beverage director Matthew Tocco says he’s noticed that guests are less apt to order a cocktail if it has rum or brandy as a base. Whiskey, however, is always popular. So when experimenting with Old Fashioned riffs at Nashville’s Pinewood Social, he decided to pair rum—two rums, actually—with bourbon to make his Expense of Honesty cocktail more appealing to drinkers.

Tocco starts with Brugal añejo rum from the Dominican Republic. It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks and leans drier than many rums. He also employs Arehucas Ron Miel Guanche, a honey-laced rum that hails from the Canary Islands. He found it sitting on a desk at a distributor’s office and thought it would be a great addition to the drink. For the bourbon, Tocco opts for Old Forester Signature—it’s spicy, robust and 100-proof, so it packs a punch. He finishes the cocktail with demerara sugar, honey and two kinds of bitters.

“Rum is a product that comes from sugar, so pairing it with sugar makes sense,” he says of the demerara. And honey is a natural choice to pair with the honeyed Ron Miel Guanche.

“A lot of people associate rum with sweet, fruity drinks, but there are a lot of different ways you can apply it.” He suggests exploring the category by tasting several different rums to find those that work best for your palate. While you undertake this noble journey, make the Expense of Honesty and you’ll see that, sometimes, two rums are better than one.


  • 1 ounce Brugal añejo rum

  • 1 ounce Old Forester Signature bourbon

  • 1/2 ounce Arehucas Ron Miel Guanche rum

  • 1 teaspoon demerara sugar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters

  • Garnish: orange twist


  1. Add the Brugal rum, Old Forester bourbon, Arehucas Ron Miel Guanche rum, demerara sugar, honey, Angostura bitters and Peychaud’s bitters into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.

  3. Garnish by expressing an orange twist over the top of the drink and then dropping it in.