The Old Fashioned is an American classic cocktail, traditionally made with bourbon, bitters and sugar. It's a simple drink that has stood the test of time and has been popular for over 100 years. An old fashioned is often served on the rocks with a slice of orange or lemon peel, but some people prefer to sip it neat or on its side in a rocks glass.
Try this recipe for an old-fashioned cocktail.
- Drop one sugar cube into the bottom of a mixing glass
- Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Add 2 ounces of bourbon (or rye)
- Stir, without ice, until sugar is completely dissolved
- Add ice cubes and stir with a spoon until melted and combined well
- Strain into a rocks glass over a king cube with an orange peel for garnish
The new and improved version of an old-fashioned is better made with rye and maple syrup.
If you want to improve upon the old-fashioned, it's time to try rye. Rye whiskey has a more assertive flavour than bourbon. It also can contain higher amounts of alcohol and is more complex in flavour, making it well-suited for this drink.
The finish on a rye cocktail tends to be longer than that on bourbon cocktails; rye has been shown to work better with sweeter ingredients like maple syrup and bitters because these flavours can stand up against its more robust taste profile. Once you’ve perfected the original, try an old-fashioned with maple syrup and chocolate bitters–you won’t be disappointed.
Many people are intimidated by old-fashioned cocktails, especially in bars where they’re served with a lot of flair and fancy garnishes. But the truth is that you can make one at home with just a few ingredients—nothing fancy is required!