Old Fashioned Drink

Classic cocktails become classics for a reason.  Sure, we all like a mixologist working his or her magic.  And trying the house cocktail at a new restaurant is lots of fun.  But when the eagle lands, most of us are looking for a classic cocktail, and an Old Fashioned is hard to beat.

Old Fashioned

What is a Classic Cocktail?

So what makes a classic cocktail?  The word classic is defined as timeless, authoritative, historically memorable, and meeting a high standard of excellence.  And a classic cocktail should rise to those descriptors.  In most mixology circles, a classic cocktail is defined as a drink created between 1887, the year the first cocktail book was published, and Prohibition.  However, most bartenders and cocktail lovers count other cocktails as classics, even if they weren’t invented during that time frame.

Classic cocktails are consistent, and when you order one – no matter where you are in the country/world – you should get something totally recognizable to you. 

Old-Fashioned Ingredients

This Old-Fashioned is a mix of bourbon, or rye (occasionally scotch or brandy, your call) mixed with Angostura bitters, sugar, orange, and garnished with maraschino cherries.   Sometimes club soda is added.

Old Fashioned

Cherries in an Old-Fashioned 

If you want to upgrade your maraschino cherry, there are a lot of cool bottled cherries on the market – we were loving these bourbon soaked cherries, and if you are at a farmers’ market and see jars of preserved cherries, buy a couple, and sub them in for the traditional maraschino cherries.

Old Fashioned: A simple recipe for the timeless, classic cocktail.

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What Kind of Glass Do You Serve an Old-Fashioned In?

A rocks glass is the traditional glass to serve an old-fashioned in, and in fact it is sometimes called an Old-Fashioned glass, or a lowball glass.

Old Fashioned

Club Soda in an Old-Fashioned

Some people have very strong feelings about adding club soda to an old-fashioned, pro and con.  It’s optional in this recipe, so you can make your own decision on that!

Best Bourbon For Old Fashioned

This is a very charged question with very subjective answers! Here are some of the best bourbons for old-fashioneds recommended by top bartenders:

  • Buffalo Trace
  • Basil Hayden
  • Knob Creek
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Wild Turkey Rare Breed
  • Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel
  • Rowan’s Creek
Old Fashioned

What is a Manhattan vs an Old Fashioned

A Manhattan usually includes vermouth, sweet or dry, instead of the sugar in an Old Fashioned. Manhattans are usually served neat, while Old Fashioned are usually served over ice, or on the rocks. Old Fashioneds are a bit sweeter in general than Manhattans.

Old Fashioned Bitters

Bitters are a spirit infused with botanicals, which is the category of vegetation that includes fruit, leaves, spices, bark, roots and herbs. Angostura is a type of bark, and Angostura bitters are one of the most commonly available types of bitters. Other ingredients commonly found in old fashioned bitters are orange peel, gentian root, cassia bark, cascarilla and cinchona bark.

You can keep bitters indefinitely, even once opened. Explore the many different kind of bitters available.

What is Muddling?

Muddlers are available in a variety of materials, though the most popular is made of a soft, uncoated wood.  They are about 6 inches long and have a flat end on one side.  They are used for mashing fruit, sometimes with sugar, to release juice.  

Old Fashioned

To muddle, place the fruit, sugar (or any other ingredients, such as herbs, that the drink calls for) in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, or a sturdy glass.  Use the flat end of the muddle to press the fruit, twisting as you go.  You’re aiming to crush and break down the fruit/herbs /etc. to release as much juice and oils from the produce as possible.  Be gentle if you are muddling herbs on their own; it doesn’t take all that much to release the most flavor from delicate herbs.

How to Make an Old-Fashioned

Place one orange half slice, 1 cherry, 2 dashes bitters, and ½ teaspoon sugar in each of two rocks glasses. 

Old Fashioned

Muddle until the fruit is well mashed (see Note). 

Old Fashioned

Fill each of the two glasses with ice, add the bourbon or other spirit, and stir well.  

Old Fashioned

Top off each glass with 2 ounces club soda and stir well. 

Garnish each glass with the remaining orange slice and cherry, one in each drink.

Old Fashioned

Other Cocktail Recipes:

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Old Fashioned Cocktail

A simple recipe for the timeless, classic cocktail.
Yield: 2 People
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 4 half slices of orange , divided
  • 4 maraschino cherries , divided
  • 4 dashes bitters
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Ice for serving
  • 6 ounces bourbon , rye, scotch, or brandy
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • 4 maraschino cherries , divided

Directions

  • Place one orange half slice, 1 cherry, 2 dashes bitters, and ½ teaspoon sugar in each of two rocks glasses. Muddle until the fruit is well mashed (see Note).
  • Fill each of the two glasses with ice, add the bourbon or other spirit, and stir well. Top off each glass with 2 ounces club soda and stir well. Garnish each glass with the remaining orange slice and cherry, one in each drink.

Notes

To muddle, place the oranges, cherries, bitters and sugar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, or a sturdy glass. Use the flat end of the muddle to press the fruit, twisting as you go. You’re aiming to crush and break down the fruit to release as much juice and oils from the produce as possible.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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