How to Make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

how to make an old fashioned cocktail
Photo: Pexels

The old-fashioned is a classic whiskey cocktail that has stood the test of time. Consisting of just a few key ingredients, it’s one of the easiest yet most delicious cocktails to make at home.

Choosing the Whiskey

The most important ingredient in an old-fashioned is the whiskey itself. Traditionally an old fashioned is made with bourbon, a style of American whiskey made primarily from corn. However, you can also use rye whiskey or even Scotch. The key is to avoid lighter blended whiskeys and instead opt for a high-quality, aged spirit that can stand up to other strong flavors.

Building in the Glass

An old fashioned is constructed directly in the glass it’s served in, usually a rocks or lowball glass. Start by placing a sugar cube in the glass and soaking it with 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters, a concentrated herbal liquor that adds complexity. Use a cocktail spoon or bar spoon to muddle and gently crush the sugar cube while coating it with the bitters.

Adding the Whiskey

Next, add your preferred whiskey. Typically 2 ounces is used for a standard cocktail, but feel free to adjust to taste. The sugar and bitters help balance and enhance the flavors of the whiskey rather than covering them up. Add a large ice cube or sphere to the glass to chill the cocktail without overdiluting it.

how do you make the drink old fashioned
Photo: Pexels

Finishing Touches

Finish your old-fashioned by gently stirring everything together to blend and properly chill. Express the oils of a piece of citrus peel over the top before dropping it in; lemon and orange are classic choices. Finally, garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Tips for the Best Old Fashioned

– Use a high-proof bourbon or rye whiskey so the cocktail doesn’t get overly diluted. Look for bottled-in-bond varieties.

– Make your own simple syrup rather than using plain sugar for easier mixing.

– Try different bitters like orange or chocolate to put a unique spin on the cocktail.


What kind of glass do you serve an old fashioned in?

An old fashioned is traditionally served in a rocks or lowball glass filled with ice cubes or a large ice sphere. This allows you to stir and chill the cocktail properly.

What’s the difference between an old-fashioned and a Manhattan?

While they’re similar whiskey cocktails, an old-fashioned one is made with whiskey, sugar, and bitters. A Manhattan also includes sweet vermouth as a key ingredient.

Do you put ice in an old-fashioned?

Yes, an old-fashioned is built and served over ice. Large cubes are preferred as they chill the cocktail without excess dilution. Simply stirring over ice helps properly blend and chill an old-fashioned.

In conclusion, the beauty of the old-fashioned lies in its simplicity. By learning how to select the right whiskey and balance sweet and strong flavors, you can easily master this enduring classic.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here