Old Fashioned – Cocktail of the Month

As cocktails go, the Old Fashioned never gets old. Considered a bar classic standard, the Old Fashioned is a typical go-to cocktail for many. And although there are many variations of this classic cocktail, there is still what is considered to be the quintessential Old Fashioned recipe.

Classic Old Fashioned

What Makes a Good Old Fashioned

Whiskey: Both rye and bourbon offer different flavor profiles. Bourbon is slightly sweeter and rounder, whereas rye introduces a peppery bite. Either way, you’ll want something high in proof (over 100) as this extra alcohol will stand up to the dilution from melting ice. Try: Knob Creek, W.L. Weller Antique, Booker’s, Old Grand-Dad, Baker’s, Wild Turkey 101, Wild Turkey Rare Breed or Rittenhouse.

Glass: The old fashioned is one of the few drinks that has a glass named in its honor. The ideal Old Fashioned glass should be between 8 to 10 oz, with a thick heavy bottom.

Ice: This is a sipping cocktail that shouldn’t be allowed to turn into a watery mess. Avoid small cubes or invest in an ice sphere.

Sweetener: Often up for debate, simple syrup works well, but other options include honey, maple syrup or agave nectar. But, make sure to dilute these with equal parts water.

Bitters: Although there are dozens of new bitters on the market, the best is still the most common: Angostura. Two dashes will do the trick.

Technique: The classic Old Fashioned is made by stirring the drink with ice for about 20 to 30 seconds and then straining that mix over fresh ice.

Garnish: Orange twist, lemon twist or both.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon
  • 1 sugar cube (see Editor’s Note below)
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • splash warm water (if using sugar cube or sugar)

Garnish: orange peel


  1. In a double rocks glass, muddle the sugar cube or sugar with Angostura bitters and a small splash of warm water until dissolved.
  2. If using simple syrup, swirl with bitters in a double rocks glass.
  3. Add whiskey and ice (preferably an oversized cube or sphere) and stir well.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel.

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