One of the 7 classic cocktails, an Old Fashioned combines bourbon, bitters & sugar for a simple drink that’ll have any whiskey lover smiling!
Why We Love an Old Fashioned Drink
- You can’t beat a classic whiskey cocktail. Old Fashioneds are great for sipping and the balance of flavors is wonderful.
- It’s easy to subtly change up your cocktail by changing the bourbon you use.
- This is one of those cocktails that will get you some respect from the bartender. It’s a solid cocktail choice that isn’t too involved and has the right components to enhance your favorite bourbon.
Old Fashioned Ingredients
BOURBON: This cocktail is ALL about the bourbon, so use a good one. It doesn’t have to be a $100+ bottle or anything crazy, but don’t go grabbing any bottle on the bottom shelf at the store. I like Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, or Blanton’s personally, but Jim Beam is a good middle-shelf option too.
ADD-INS: The other parts of this cocktail are a sugar cube and Angostura bitters. If you’re partial to a citrus-forward old fashioned, you can use orange-flavored bitters if you like.
FRUIT: Grab and orange and some maraschino cherries. We’re going to cut a nice sliver of orange peel and use 1 cherry.
How to Make an Old FashionedJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Place the sugar cube into a rock glass. Shake the bitters onto the sugar and then pour in the water. Muddle everything together until the sugar is almost completely dissolved.
STEP 2 Add some ice to the glass and pour in the bourbon. Stir everything together.
STEP 3 Gently squeeze the orange peel over the cocktail to express the orange oils into the drink. Then drop the orange peel and a cherry into the glass for garnish.
Tips & Tricks
- You want to use a full strip of orange zest, removing as much of the pith as possible using a pairing knife. This will make it easier to express the oils and not leave a bitter taste in the cocktail from the pith.
- Using water helps dissolve the sugar more quickly than bitters alone. You can skip adding any water if you prefer. I do recommend using filtered water since this is such a simple drink.
- If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can use 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar and muddle it with the bitters and water.
- If you want to change up your old-fashioned, you can swap out the bourbon for your favorite American whiskey or rye whiskey.
Old Fashioned Cocktail FAQ
Why do they call it Old Fashioned?
Old Fashioned is really just an abbreviated way of saying you want an old-fashioned style whiskey cocktail. Back in the 1800s, a cocktail meant a combination of spirit, sweetener, and bitters. Sometimes called a “bittered sling” this drink is a modern spin on a pre-prohibition favorite.
What’s in a Manhattan vs Old Fashioned?
Manhattan drinks are made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitter, and a cherry for garnish.
Old Fashioned cocktails are bourbon, sugar, and bitters with an orange and cherry for garnish.
So really it’s a swap out for the sugar, a different type of whiskey, and one less garnish.
Is an Old Fashioned bourbon or whiskey?
Let’s start with this… all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.
An Old Fashioned is traditionally made with bourbon, but if you don’t have any on hand that’s okay. You can swap in any good-quality American-style whiskey and have a good drink. I’d skip the Irish whiskey and scotches though. That’s a whole different world of flavors.
Other Recipes You May like
- Peanuts and Coke with Bourbon
- Apple Cider Whiskey Punch
- The Belmont Bramble
- Bourbon Flip
- The Brown Derby
- 1 sugar cube
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 ounces bourbon
- Orange peel for garnish
- Maraschino cherry for garnish
- Place the sugar cube into the bottom of a rocks glass. Shake the bitters over the sugar and then pour in the water. Muddle until the sugar is mostly dissolved, this may take a minute or two.
- Add some ice to the glass. Pour in the bourbon and gently stir.
- Gently squeeze the orange peel in half over the glass to express the orange oils onto the drink. Then drop the peel into the glass along with a maraschino cherry for garnish.
- You want to use a full piece of orange zest, removing as much of the pith as possible using a pairing knife. This will make it easier to express the oils and not leave a bitter taste in the cocktail from the pith.
- If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can use 1 teaspoon of sugar and muddle it with the bitters and water.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.