How to make an old fashioned?

The Old Fashioned is not just a cocktail; it’s a classic, timeless libation that exudes sophistication and elegance. Crafted to perfection, this drink dates back to the 19th century and remains a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to create a flawless Old Fashioned, offering insights into its rich history, ingredients, tools, variations, and expert tips. So, let’s embark on a journey to craft the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail.

History of the Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Old Fashioned cocktail, often simply called the “whiskey cocktail,” harks back to the early 19th century. It’s considered one of the original cocktails and is rooted in simplicity. In its purest form, it’s a blend of sugar, bitters, whiskey, and a citrus twist, served over ice. This classic recipe celebrates the intrinsic flavors of the whiskey, making it a timeless favorite.

Ingredients for an Old Fashioned

To create the perfect Old Fashioned, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 oz whiskey (Bourbon or Rye)
  • 1 sugar cube or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel or cherry for garnish
  • Ice

Tools Required

Gather these essential tools:

  • Mixing glass
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon
  • Old-fashioned glass
  • Ice cubes
  • Jigger

Step-by-Step Guide to Making an Old Fashioned

Choosing the Whiskey

The choice of whiskey is critical. Bourbon offers a sweeter, smoother profile, while Rye whiskey adds a touch of spiciness. Choose one that complements your palate.

Preparing the Glass

Start by placing the sugar cube in the old-fashioned glass. Add the bitters, and gently muddle them together. Muddling releases the flavors.

Adding Ice

Fill the glass with ice cubes. The larger, the better. This helps dilute the drink slowly without overdoing it.

Pouring the Whiskey

Using a jigger, pour 2 oz of your chosen whiskey over the ice. Stir gently with a bar spoon.

Garnishing the Cocktail

Express the oils from an orange peel over the drink. Rub the peel along the rim, then add it to the glass. Alternatively, you can garnish with a cherry.

Variations of the Old Fashioned

While the classic Old Fashioned is delightful, you can experiment with variations. Some people use different types of sweeteners, such as maple syrup or honey, to give it a unique twist.

Tips for a Perfect Old Fashioned

  • Always use high-quality whiskey.
  • Don’t rush the muddling and stirring process.
  • Experiment with garnishes and sweeteners to find your perfect balance.
  • Use a large ice cube or sphere for a slower dilution.
  • Serve in a well-chilled glass.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Over-muddling can lead to a bitter cocktail.
  • Using low-quality whiskey can ruin the drink.
  • Don’t rush the process; take your time to savor the flavors.

Enjoying Your Old Fashioned

Sip your Old Fashioned slowly, savoring the balanced blend of flavors. The rich, oaky notes of the whiskey, the sweetness of the sugar, and the aromatic bitters create a masterpiece worth sipping and enjoying.


The Old Fashioned is a cocktail that transcends time and trends. It’s a testament to the beauty of simplicity in mixology. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can create a perfect Old Fashioned every time. So, raise your glass to the past and present, and enjoy the timeless allure of this classic cocktail.


1. Can I use any type of whiskey to make an Old Fashioned?

  • While Bourbon and Rye are the traditional choices, you can experiment with other whiskey types to suit your taste.

2. Are there non-alcoholic versions of the Old Fashioned?

  • Yes, you can make a mocktail version by substituting the whiskey with a non-alcoholic spirit or flavored syrup.

3. What’s the ideal glass for serving an Old Fashioned?

  • An old-fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass or lowball glass, is the best choice.

4. Can I use other garnishes besides orange peel and cherries?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with garnishes like lemon twists, pineapple, or even herbs.

5. Is it essential to use a muddler when making an Old Fashioned?

  • Using a muddler is recommended to release the flavors from the sugar and bitters, but you can use the back of a spoon in a pinch.

Remember, the Old Fashioned is not just a drink; it’s a work of art, a reflection of craftsmanship, and a glimpse into history. So, embrace the tradition, create your masterpiece, and savor every moment with this timeless classic.

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