old fashioned in environment
old fashioned in environment
old fashioned in environment
old fashioned in environment
old fashioned against white background

Old Fashioned

Simple Syrup, Bourbon, Angostura Bitters, Orange Zest

4.45 from 2534 votes


How to make a Old Fashioned

Grab a rocks glass and add Simple Syrup or Sugar. Add half of your Whiskey, a few dashes of Bitters, and ice. Stir, add the rest of your Whiskey and top up with more ice. Garnish with a nice big Orange Zest and enjoy!

Hot Tip: Make sure to zest your Orange while holding it above the drink to capture all those yummy aromatic oils!

Story about Old Fashioned

Written by Michael Bergström

One of the first written records of the term ’Cocktail’ can be found in one of the first ever published cocktail books from 1806. In it, the “Cock-tail” is described as “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” Sound familiar?

The earliest iteration of an Old Fashioned comes from the first-ever published book on drink recipes from 1862, although the recipe originally called for Holland Gin aka Genever. The DNA of the ’cocktail’ evolved as bartenders added dashes of Absinthe for an ’Improved Cocktail’ or Curaçao for a ’Fancy Cocktail.’ However, not all customers appreciated this evolution. A small rebellious movement emerged, demanding ’Old Fashioned Cocktails’ and rejecting the ’silly’ modern variations. Over time, Whiskey became the preferred choice, and the name was shortened to the familiar Old Fashioned we know today!

During the craft cocktail revival in 1990s London, a specific ritual surrounding the Old Fashioned gained a cult-like following. It involved multiple stages and took approximately 5 minutes to make. Some argued that it needlessly overcomplicated the recipe, while others saw it as a tribute to the Old Fashioned, paying utmost respect to the royalty of cocktails. Here’s how it’s done: Place a bar napkin on top of a tumbler glass and put a sugar cube on it. Douse the sugar cube in Angostura Bitters until fully soaked, allowing the napkin to absorb any excess bitters. Drop the soaked sugar cube into the glass, add a splash of soda water, and muddle the sugar until almost dissolved. Stir in ⅓ of the Whiskey, then add 2-3 ice cubes and continue stirring. Gradually add another ⅓ of the Whiskey with a few more ice cubes and keep stirring. Finally, pour in the remaining Whiskey, give it a last stir, and top it off with a few more ice cubes. Finish by garnishing with a generous zest of Orange, ensuring to rub the zest over the rim of the glass to release the aromatic oils. Complicated? Somewhat. Delicious? Definitely!

What is a classic old fashioned made of?
The old fashioned calls for whiskey, sugar, bitters and water. While the Old Fashioned might seem intimidating due to its legendary status, it’s actually deceivingly simple to make from home. Mastering it however, is a whole other discussion. 

What is the difference between Manhattan and Old Fashioned?
You could say that the Manhattan is kind of an evolution from the Old Fashioned. Both stem from the Whiskey Cocktail, but where the Old Fashioned uses Sugar for its sweet component, the Manhattan instead calls for Sweet Red Vermouth. The Manhattan is also served in a chilled Cocktail Glass, rather than a Rocks Glass. 

If you love the Old Fashioned, you should definitely give the Manhattan a try. Both are stiff drinks with a nice backbone of Whiskey and spice, rounded delicately with either Sugar or Vermouth. 

What kind of sugar is used in an Old Fashioned?
Any type of sugar can and has been used in an Old Fashioned by creative bartenders world wide. White refined might be the most common but Demerara, Brown Sugar, Muscovado, Coconut Sugar etc can be used. They all give a slightly different character to your drink, so try to experiment and find out what you like!

What you’ll need:
Tools & Glassware
Rocks Glass
Bar Spoon or a teaspoon

Sugar or Simple Syrup
Aromatic Bitters
An Orange for Peel 
Optional: A splash of water if you’re using sugar

Step by Step
• Add Simple Syrup and a few dashes of Bitters into the glass

• Give it a quick stir

• Add ice, then Bourbon

• Stir until cool

• Zest a nice big peel of Orange over the cocktail and put it in

• Enjoy!

Rate this drink recipe

Simple Syrup Bourbon Angostura Bitters Orange Zest
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