The aptly-named Old-Fashioned is one of the earliest classic cocktails, with at least one written recipe dating back to 1895. In fact, this drink is such a standby that it gave its name to the type of glass it’s traditionally served in (the ten ounce “old fashioned”). It mixes the flavor of bourbon (or rye, or scotch) with bitter, sweet and sour. The Old-Fashioned is like the grown-up version of the Whiskey Sour.
As is typical with cocktails that have been around for years, there’s more than one Old-Fashioned recipe. The official recipe calls for a dash of soda water, but purists claim soda water has no place in a true Old-Fashioned. I’ll include the soda water as an optional ingredient in this recipe.
The original recipe called for you to dissolve a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass. Simple syrup will actually work better, and you’d use about a tablespoon of it if you want to make that substitution. But part of the charm of this drink is the way you make it, and the sugar cube is central to that.
- Bourbon, rye or scotch. Rye is preferred by many drinkers, but not easy to get all over the world.
- 1 sugar cube (or 1 teaspoon of sugar)
- Angostura bitters
- Water (or soda water, if you’re not a purist)
- Ice cubes
- Marischino cherry
- Orange round
Drop the sugar cube into the bottom of a ten ounce old-fashioned glass. Pour 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters over it, and a dash of water – just enough to dissolve the sugar cube. Muddle the sugar and bitters together with the back of a spoon until it’s a paste. Pour in the bourbon, rye or scotch, leaving enough room to drop in a couple of ice cubes. Garnish with a marischino cherry and orange round. Stir and serve.