Cocktail Chronicles 008: Old Fashioned


Old Fashioned Cocktail in an Amehla Co. Gold Rimmed Old Fashioned Glass

One of the first cocktails, in not the first cocktail, the old fashioned dates as far back to at least 1806 when it was first printed for a paper. Although now there are many variations of the cocktail, some with a very slight twist and others that are more complicated.


Simply, an Old Fashioned is sugar, bitters, and spirit. Some folks enjoy adding a sugar cube to a mixing glass adding their bitters and then muddling the sugar and bitters together. Then taking their whiskey and adding it to the mixing glass and stirring until they have reached the desired dilution. This is considered the more traditional manner to create this drink.


On the other hand, others have chosen a slightly different method to create the old fashioned. That is, they replace a sugar cube with simple syrup which removes the need to muddle anything altogether. In my opinion, it is a simpler and quicker method. Perfect for if you find yourself behind a packed bar on a busy weekend shift or if you are just wanting to get back to hanging out with the friends that you are having cocktails with.


The main difference between these two methods will be how they develop over time. The muddling of the sugar cube will result in a drink that develops sweeter as you near the bottom of it. Whereas, the Old Fashioned with the simple syrup tends to stay more balanced from beginning to end.  

Old Fashioned Cocktail getting ready to be poured in an Amehla Co. Gold Rimmed Old Fashioned Glass

Old Fashioned Cocktail in an Amehla Co. Gold Rimmed Old Fashioned Glass

Old Fashioned Cocktail in an Amehla Co. Gold Rimmed Old Fashioned Glass

Old Fashioned Cocktail in an amehla Co. gold rimmed old fashioned glass

Recipe With Sugar Cube:

  • 2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey 
  • 2-4 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

Again, place the sugar cube in a cocktail mixing glass and add the Angostura bitters. Muddle those ingredients until the sugar is dissolved into the bitters. Pour in the two ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey. Then add ice and begin stirring until adequately chilled and diluted. This should take ~20-30 seconds.


Recipe with Simple Syrup:

  • 2 oz Bourbon or Rye
  • 2-4 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • ¼ oz Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

Place all your ingredients in a mixing glass starting with your simple syrup and finishing with your bitters. Add ice and begin stirring until adequately chilled and diluted. Again, this should take ~20-30 seconds.  

 

Now that we have supplied you the most traditional recipes of an Old Fashioned, we thought we’d also provide a couple of Old Fashioned variations for you to think about attempting for your next cocktail evening.


Honey Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 2-3 Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • ¼ oz Honey Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange and Lemon twist

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Dash of Orange Bitters
  • ½ oz Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist or Brandied Cherries or Cinnamon Stick

Irish Old Fashioned 

  • 2oz (60ml) Irish Whiskey
  • 1 Demerara Sugar Cube
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Fee's Orange Bitters
  • 1 Dash Regan's Orange Bitters
  • 1 Dash Soda Water
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist 

Coffee Old Fashioned 

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • ½ oz Coffee Liqueur (Mr. Black Cold Brew or Kahlua)
  • ½ oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 Dash Orange Bitters
  • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with Orange Peel and Coffee Beans

Note: If using Kahlua omit the simple syrup from the recipe. The Kahlua has a natural sweetness to it and in combination with simple syrup, the drink may end up being too sweet.