The Old Fashioned Recipe – A Timeless Classic

The Old Fashioned Recipe is a legendary cocktail that has stood the test of time. Its origins can be traced back to the early 19th century, making it one of the oldest known cocktail recipes. The beauty of the Old Fashioned lies in its simplicity and elegance, as it showcases the flavors of whiskey with just a few essential ingredients. In this article, we will delve into the history of the Old Fashioned and explore how to make this timeless classic at home.

The History of the Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned cocktail gained popularity during the 19th century in the United States. It was a defining drink of the era and was originally referred to as the “Whiskey Cocktail.” Over time, bartenders began to experiment with different variations, adding sugar, bitters, and garnishes. However, in the late 19th century, the term “Old Fashioned” was coined to describe the traditional recipe, which emphasized the pure flavors of whiskey.

The Old Fashioned became particularly popular during the Prohibition era when the quality of alcohol was often compromised. By using sugar, bitters, and water to mask the harsh taste of low-quality whiskey, people could still enjoy a satisfying drink. This classic recipe survived the test of time and has become a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts worldwide.

The Old Fashioned Recipe - A Timeless Classic

The Classic Old Fashioned Recipe

To make the perfect Old Fashioned, you will need the following ingredients:

– 2 oz (60 ml) bourbon or rye whiskey

– 1 sugar cube or ½ teaspoon of sugar

– 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters

– A splash of water

– Orange peel or cherry for garnish (optional)

Here’s how to prepare it:

1. Place the sugar cube or sugar in an Old Fashioned glass.

2. Add the bitters and a splash of water.

3. Muddle the sugar, bitters, and water together until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Add the whiskey and stir gently to combine.

5. Add ice cubes and stir again until the drink is chilled.

6. Optionally, garnish with an orange peel or a cherry.

Variations and Modern Twists of Old Fashioned Recipe

While the classic Old Fashioned recipe remains a beloved favorite, there are several variations and modern twists that you can explore. Some enthusiasts prefer to use different types of whiskey, such as bourbon, rye, or even Scotch whisky, to bring out distinct flavors. Others experiment with flavored bitters or add a touch of sweetness with maple syrup or honey.

In recent years, bartenders have pushed the boundaries further by incorporating innovative ingredients like infused spirits, artisanal syrups, or even smoke to add complexity and unique flavors to the drink. These modern twists have brought a new dimension to the Old Fashioned, enticing both traditionalists and adventurous cocktail connoisseurs.

Appreciating the Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned is more than just a drink; it is an experience that takes you back in time. As you savor the flavors and aromas of this classic cocktail, you can’t help but appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into its creation. The Old Fashioned embodies the art of mixology and the appreciation for quality ingredients.

Whether enjoyed in a cozy speakeasy or mixed up at home, the Old Fashioned is a testament to the enduring appeal of simplicity and elegance. So, next time you’re in the mood for a drink with a touch of nostalgia, reach for an Old Fashioned, and transport yourself to a bygone era.


The Old Fashioned Recipe has proven its status as a timeless classic in the world of cocktails. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its simplicity, elegance, and the rich history it carries. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore the countless variations and modern twists, the Old Fashioned never fails to deliver a sophisticated and satisfying drinking experience. So, raise a glass to the past and savor the flavors of this iconic cocktail.