How to Make an Old Fashioned
Why This Recipe Works
- Bitters add complexity and dimension to the bourbon or rye.
- Sugar brings subtle sweetness to open the bourbon's aroma.
- Toasted sugar tastes less sweet than plain, and can add a subtle note of caramel to play off the bourbon or rye.
The Old Fashioned is one of the most venerable of cocktails, predating not only the motorcar but the presidency of Abe Lincoln. All it takes is serving whiskey, sugar, bitters and, if you like, a cherry or orange garnish on the rocks. Properly made, it's strong but not too strong, sweet but not too sweet, and, most importantly, it's dead-simple and absolutely delicious.
The best bitters for an Old Fashioned are up for debate, but Angostura is classic for a reason, while Fee Brothers offer a welcome alternative.
Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe
The classic Old Fashioned cocktail features little more than whiskey, sugar, and bitters. Done right, it's a perfectly balanced, timeless crowd-pleaser.
1 teaspoon (5g) superfine sugar, toasted sugar, or 1 sugar cube
2 to 3 dashes bitters (Angostura bitters are traditional and work well; Fee Brothers’ Whiskey Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned Bitters are better)
2 ounces (60ml) bourbon or rye whiskey
Orange and/or cocktail cherry, such as Luxardo to garnish (optional)
Combine whiskey, bitters, and sugar in a mixing glass. Add several large ice cubes and stir rapidly with a bar spoon to chill. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish, if you like, with a slice of orange and/or a cherry.
Mixing glass, cocktail strainer
The best bourbon for an Old Fashioned is a highly personal decision; Bulleit is a safe choice for bourbon or rye, while Four Roses has a pleasant caramel edge for cocktail newcomers.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 5g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|