How to make an Old Fashioned – a simple American classic. This version substitutes orange zest for the traditional orange peel garnish and honey simple syrup, elevating it to its fullest potential!
What is an Old Fashioned?
The Old Fashioned. So-called, in the late 1800s, because cocktails had become so encumbered with newfangled ingredients that bar patrons began to request the simpler, “old fashioned” concoctions they used to enjoy. And the Old Fashioned is about as simple as it gets: just bourbon (or rye) whiskey, sugar & bitters. Easy, right? It is. But with so few ingredients it’s crucial that each one shines.
Sometimes an unadorned glass of whisk(e)y can be hard to beat. The finest examples are flavorful, complex, and balanced – precisely what a great cocktail strives to be. If all spirits were that impeccable we might never be inclined to add anything to them, but that is simply not the case – most whiskies could use a leg up. And that, to me, is what this American classic is all about: giving the base spirit just enough of a nudge to help it realize its potential.
How to make an Old Fashioned
It starts with the whiskey…
Step one: Fill a mixing glass with 2 ounces of bourbon, or rye – as good as you can afford without breaking the bank. Old Forester’s “Signature 100 Proof” bourbon, or Rittenhouse’s “100 Proof” rye, are good entry-level choices. But do your research!
Whiskies vary radically, and with all the choices out there it’s easy to pay too much money for an inferior product. I’ll often check with www.whiskybase.com to see what the global community of whisky geeks thinks of different bottles.
Step two: To that, add about a teaspoon of orange zest. This is an unorthodox take on the traditional orange peel garnish, but it imparts more flavor. (If you prefer to stick with convention: once the drink is made, cut a 3-4″ long strip of orange peel with a paring knife or vegetable peeler, sharply bend the strip with the skin (orange) side out to express the oils, then rub the bruised skin around the rim of the glass before dropping it in.)
Step three: Now for the sweet part. Historical purists will opt to muddle a sugar cube in an empty glass, with bitters, and/or a little water, until the sugar dissolves – but I prefer a honey simple syrup for its smoother texture. Honey is a common characteristic of American whiskies, so it’s a nice fit.
Step four: Finish with a dash or two of Angostura bitters, then stir to combine, and strain over a large chunk of ice (the larger the cube, the slower it will melt and dilute the drink) set into an 8 or 10-ounce “rocks” or “old fashioned” glass.
And that’s it! Our take on a deservedly venerated classic.
Hope you enjoy this Old Fashioned Cocktail recipe… let us know what you think in the comments below.
Other cocktails you might enjoy:Print
Here’s how to make an Old Fashioned Cocktail- a simple American classic. This version substitutes orange zest for the traditional orange peel garnish and incorporates honey simple syrup, elevating it to its fullest potential!
- 2 ounces bourbon (or rye) whiskey
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon honey simple syrup
- 1–2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Honey Simple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon hot water
The honey simple syrup makes enough for 6 drinks.
- Serving Size: 1 drink
- Calories: 203
- Sugar: 7.6 g
- Sodium: 2.6 mg
- Fat: 0.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.8 g
- Fiber: 0.9 g
- Protein: 0.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: old fashioned, old fashioned cocktail, classic old fashioned cocktail, how to make an old fashioned.