Old Fashioned

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One of the earliest cocktails on record, a classic Old Fashioned cocktail is made with whiskey, simple syrup, and muddled bitters.

An Old Fashioned cocktail in a rocks glass.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for an old fashioned.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Whiskey: Rye whiskey has a spicy, aggressive flavor and its mash must be made from at least 51% rye.
  • Simple syrup: To make it yourself, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat and cool before adding 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) to your cocktail shaker with the other ingredients. Store leftover simple syrup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To a mixing glass, add rye whiskey, simple syrup, and both bitters. Fill the glass three-quarters full with ice.
Mixing an Old Fashioned cocktail in a glass mixing glass.
  1. Using a bar spoon, stir until mixture is just combined and chilled, about 15-30 seconds.
Mixing an Old Fashioned cocktail in a glass mixing glass.
  1. Strain cocktail into chilled Old Fashioned glass, then fill glass half way with ice. Twist the orange peel and rub around the rim of the glass. Garnish with the orange peel.
An Old Fashioned cocktail in a rocks glass.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
  • Glassware: An Old Fashioned cocktail is traditionally made in an Old Fashioned glass, a 6-ounce to 10-ounce glass tumbler. Similar to a rocks glass or lowball glass, the Old Fashioned glass is decorated in the cut glass style.
  • Big batch: Old Fashioned cocktails are best blended individually, one drink at a time.
  • Brandy Old Fashioned: The most popular supper club drink in Wisconsin has brandy instead of whiskey, and its sweetened with maraschino cherry juice and grapefruit soda.
  • Fizzy Old Fashioned: A sweeter version made with blood orange soda.
  • Strawberry Old Fashioned: Muddle strawberries with the bitters in the mixing glass.
An Old Fashioned cocktail in a rocks glass.

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An Old Fashioned cocktail in a rocks glass.

Old Fashioned

One of the earliest cocktails on record, a classic Old Fashioned cocktail is made with whiskey, simple syrup, and muddled bitters.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Servings 1 cocktail
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 168

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey (¼ cup, see note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or 1 sugar cube (see notes 2 and 3)
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters (about ⅛ teaspoon)
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura orange bitters (about ⅛ teaspoon)
  • 1 twist orange peel for garnish

Instructions 

  • To a mixing glass, add rye whiskey, simple syrup, and both bitters. Fill the glass three-quarters full with ice.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir until mixture is just combined and chilled, about 15-30 seconds.
  • Strain cocktail into chilled Old Fashioned glass, then fill glass half way with ice. Twist the orange peel and rub around the rim of the glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

Notes

  1. Whiskey: Rye whiskey has a spicy, aggressive flavor and its mash must be made from at least 51% rye.
  2. Simple syrup: To make it yourself, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat and cool before adding 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) to your cocktail shaker with the other ingredients. Store leftover simple syrup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
  3. Sugar cube: To use a sugar cube, omit simple syrup in step 1. Add sugar cube to Old Fashioned glass after straining cocktail and combine using a muddler. Add ice and continue with step 2.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
  5. Glassware: An Old Fashioned cocktail is traditionally made in an Old Fashioned glass, a 6-ounce to 10-ounce glass tumbler. Similar to a rocks glass or lowball glass, the Old Fashioned glass is decorated in the cut glass style.
  6. Big batch: Old Fashioned cocktails are best blended individually, one drink at a time.
  7. Brandy Old Fashioned: The most popular supper club drink in Wisconsin has brandy instead of whiskey, and its sweetened with maraschino cherry juice and grapefruit soda.
  8. Fizzy Old Fashioned: A sweeter version made with blood orange soda.
  9. Strawberry Old Fashioned: Muddle strawberries with the bitters in the mixing glass.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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