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how to make an old fashioned cocktail
how to make an old fashioned cocktail

A Good Old Fashioned Old Fashioned

March 17th, 2016

An Old Fashioned cocktail is perfectly simple and simply perfect.

In the realm of classic cocktails, the venerable Old Fashioned stands alone. Simple – it only requires a few ingredients – slightly sweet and absurdly easy to make, it’s a true gentleman’s drink. Here’s how we make ours here at HSS.

Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

2 oz. Bourbon
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Sugar cube

Place a sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass. Soak with the bitters. Muddle until the sugar dissolves. Add the bourbon and stir a bit to mix. Add a large ice cube and stir for 15-20 seconds. Garnish with an orange peel.

how to make an old fashioned cocktail

I usually build my drinks in a mixing glass, but I like to make my Old Fashioned in the glass I’m drinking it in.

What’s the history of the Old Fashioned?

We’re going to defer to David Wondrich on this one. If you are seriously into cocktails, Imbibe is a must-read.

Can I use rye instead of bourbon?

Absolutely. The spirit you choose is completely dependent on your preference and I’m not going to be the elitist who turns my nose up and says you’re wrong if you don’t make yours in such and such a way. This is conceivably why you like us here at HSS…

However, if you do use rye, I recommend garnishing with a lemon peel instead of an orange peel. Why? Lemon plays better with rye and orange plays better with bourbon.

how to make an old fashioned cocktail

When Don Draper made an Old Fashioned in Mad Men, he muddled fruit too. Is that wrong?

If you happen to be a cocktail purist, then yes, that was wrong. But, again, there are many ways to make an Old Fashioned. If a man wants his to be sweeter, then he should muddle fruit – I like an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry – dammit.

What are some other good Old Fashioned variations?

Man, there are so many! And the beautiful thing is that every bartender has his or her own take. If there happens to be an Old Fashioned variation on any reputable classic/craft cocktail menu, you’d better believe I’m going to give it a try. A couple have been featured on the site:

A SPICY VARIATION: The Oaxacan Old Fashioned

A SMOKY VARIATION: The Hickory Old Fashioned

If you’re a cocktail buff, chances are you’ve got your own take on the Old Fashioned. So, do us a solid and chime in below with your favorite way to make this classic.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Robin West

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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