It seems like every day there’s a new bar popping up around the corner, slinging great new craft cocktails, using house-conceived recipes of specialty ingredients and infused liqueurs. It is impossible to be bored when looking over a great cocktail list, and I don’t know about you, but I love to try them all. However, as you are perusing these menus, mixed amongst the new recipes, you’ll notice some tried and true favorites popping up on almost all of them.
One that’s impossible to miss is the Old Fashioned.
Harkening back to the earliest days of the cocktail, the recipes were pretty simple. So long as you had a spirit, sugar, bitters, and water (or ice), you were good to go. Then, as bartenders began to get creative and cocktail options grew, it left some customers longing for the good old days. Rather than a Whiskey Fizz or Whiskey Sour, they wanted an “Old Fashioned” Whiskey cocktail – made the way it used to be.
Because of its humble (but delicious) recipe, Old Fashioneds are not only great to grab from your local bar, but it also makes them perfect for your at-home happy hour. Even if you’ve never made a cocktail yourself, you’ve got this one in the bag.
For a perfect Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned
*(You can also substitute Bourbon or Scotch)
- 2 oz Rye Whiskey
- Orange Wedge (I trim off the peel and pith)
- 3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 Cherry (Splurge for the Luxardo Maraschino Cherries… trust me!)
- ½ oz Simple Syrup
Muddle the Orange, Simple Syrup, Cherry and Bitters in a rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add Whiskey and stir until chilled. Fini!
Now looking at the original definition, you’ll notice the first Old Fashioneds would not have included fruit. Whether you choose to include the orange and cherry is up to you. If you want to forgo muddling, try rimming the glass with orange peel to release the essential oils.
Once you’ve perfected the Whiskey Old Fashioned, feel free to experiment. Just remember the original definition: spirit, sugar, bitters, water. The possibilities are endless!
Here are some ideas.
- 2 oz Waterloo Antique Gin
- Lemon Wedge
- ½ oz Simple syrup
- 2-3 dashes Angostura or Fee Brother’s Orange Bitters
- 2 oz Z Pepe Anejo Tequila
- Lime Wedge
- Grapefruit Wedge (optional)
- ½ oz Agave Nectar
- 2-3 dashes Fee Brother’s Grapefruit Bitters