The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that requires only a handful of ingredients, many of which you may have in your home bar already. It doesn't even involve shaking or much stirring! In my humble opinion, when it comes to cocktails, it doesn't get much better than an Old Fashioned.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
It's a classic. This drink is a classic. And it's easy to see why.
It requires few ingredients. You really only need a handful of good ingredients!
It's delicious. Plain and simple. It's one of my favorites.
💭 What is an Old Fashioned?
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that originated in the 1800s. It's made with bitters, sugar syrup (or a sugar cube and a wee splash of water), and whiskey and served in a rocks glass--otherwise called an Old Fashioned glass.
This is a drink of which Ron Swanson would approve. After all, he did utter these wise words:
- Bitters: Angostura bitters would be preferred here. But if you have orange bitters, you can definitely sub those!
- Demerara syrup: Demerara syrup has a caramel-y flavor that goes really well with bourbon. You could also use some plain simple syrup, too, if that's what you have on hand.
- Bourbon: Go with something good to very good here. Since it's one of few ingredients, and the bourbon flavor will be very prominent, you want to make sure that you're using a high quality bourbon. Err on the side of something higher proof, too.
- Garnishes: An orange peel and Luxardo Cherry are the perfect garnishes for your Old Fashioned.
👩🏻🍳 How to make an Old Fashioned?
Start out by adding a few dashes of bitters and some demerara syrup to the bottom of a mixing glass. Alternately you can use a sugar cube and the tiniest splash of water along with the bitters.
Add some ice to the mixing glass, followed by your bourbon. If you'd prefer, you could use rye whiskey instead of the bourbon. Use a bar spoon to stir around the outside of the mixing glass until the contents are well-chilled.
After that, strain the drink into a rocks glass with one large cube of ice in it. You could stop here. But don't do that. You're going to want some garnishes.
When it comes to garnishes, you'll definitely want to use an orange peel for that fresh orange flavor and aroma. Just take a vegetable peeler and peel a bit off (avoiding the bitter white pith as much as possible). Express the orange peel over your drink (maybe rub it around on the rim of the glass) and drop it into the glass.
And though a regular old maraschino cherry from a jar is fine (or no cherry at all, depending on your tastes) you can definitely kick up the fanciness a notch by garnishing your Old Fashioned with a homemade Luxardo Cherry or Bourbon Cherry. They couldn't be easier to make and really add something to this drink.
🔗 More bourbon cocktails
Need more bourbon cocktails? Click on any of the photos below to go straight to the recipe!
❓ Recipe FAQs
Ultimately, you should use whatever kind of bourbon that you prefer. I recommend using something that is 100 proof or higher.
Sure. Rye whiskey is a common substitute for bourbon. You can also make a rum, tequila, or mezcal if you want to really switch things up.
Use a short glass. They're sometimes called a lowball, rocks, or Old Fashioned glass.
I'd love to know what you thought of this recipe! Don't forget to leave a comment and ⭐️ star rating below!
Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe
- Add the bitters and demerara syrup to the bottom of a mixing glass. Add ice to the glass.
- Add the bourbon and using a bar spoon, stir until well-chilled.
- Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass with one large cube.
- Express the orange peel over the drink and add the peel and cherry for garnish.
- Angostura bitters are preferred, but orange-flavored bitters would work well, too
- In lieu of the demerara syrup, you can also use plain simple syrup or another flavored syrup, according to your preferences
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is a generated estimate and is not guaranteed to be accurate.