Classic Mixology: The Improved Whiskey Cocktail

The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is basically an Old Fashioned with a singular spin on the sweet

You have to admit that in name alone, an Improved Whiskey Cocktail sounds a bit oxymoronic. How on earth, you may ask, could you possibly improve a whiskey cocktail? Isn’t anything with whiskey already as good as it gets?

Our answer to that question is, well, yes, especially when you’re talking about a good old fashioned Old Fashioned. But sometimes a little variation is nice, especially when it’s a classic in its own right.

The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is more or less a “riff” on an Old Fashioned. You’ve got your spirit, sweet and bitters. Except instead of getting its sweet from a sugar cube, the Improved Whiskey Cocktail’s sweet has a little more of a unique flavor thanks to a small dose of Maraschino.

Here’s how to make it.

Improved Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

2 oz. Bourbon
.25 oz. simple syrup
.25 oz. Maraschino
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine the bourbon, simple syrup, Maraschino and bitters in a mixing glass. Stir with ice and strain over a large ice cube into an absinthe-rinsed rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

improved whiskey cocktail recipe

You can use any bourbon you fancy. However, we suggest choosing one of the higher proof variety to help stand up to the sweetness of the simple syrup and Maraschino. Our current Improved Whiskey Cocktail bourbon of choice? Old Weller Antique 107.

STILL THIRSTY? Check out more of our favorite cocktail recipes.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

This recipe comes from Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide via The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan.

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Chime In

  • Tom B

    Nice change-up on the Old-Fashioned, my favorite cocktail. Generally speaking, as long as you don’t put soda water or a fruit salad in it, you can’t go wrong with any variation on an Old-Fashioned.

    By the way, you should sign off on your cocktail posts with “Thirstily Yours”….

  • http://www.thekentuckygent.com Josh @ The Kentucky Gent

    Oooh, like the absinthe rinsed glass bit! I’ll have to try this out next time I’m mixing up cocktails.