Call us old fashioned, but the classics are classics for a reason. The original cocktail, the old fashioned isn't just reserved for cocktail parties in the offices of Mad Men. It's a timeless classic with a storied history in cocktail lore that continues today for any lover of simplicity, class, and whiskey. We have the best old fashioned cocktail recipe below, but first here's a little history on one of America's favorite cocktails.
Why is It Called an Old Fashioned?
The old fashioned cocktail earns its name from being the original way to make a whiskey cocktail. In the 1800s a "cocktail" really meant any combination of spirit, sweetener, and bitters. As time went on, bartenders kept experimenting to create all different types of blends and cocktail mixes to the point where walking into a bar and ordering a cocktail didn't mean what it used to. So people started ordering whiskey cocktails the "old-fashioned way". Eventually this phrase started working its way to mean the form of Old Fashioned we know today as the simple mix of whiskey, sweetener and bitters.
The Best Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe
As the history implies, there's not much complexity to the recipe of old fashioned cocktails. It's that simplicity and purity that makes them so enjoyable. But when a cocktail is that simple, the key difference between and OK drink and an incredible one are the quality of ingredients and method of assembling them.
1 tsp sugar
3 dashes Regan's orange bitters
1 tsp water
2 ounces bourbon (here is how to pick the best bourbon)
Orange twist for garnish
1 large ice cube (a single large cube prevents dilution)
- Combine the sugar, water and bitters into a mixing glass, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Fill the mixing glass with ice, add bourbon, and stir until the glass is chilled to the touch.
- Place the ice cube into a rocks glass, and strain the mixing glass over the ice cube into the glass to chill the liquid further.
- Take an orange peel and give it a gentle twist over the rocks glass to express the oils and aromas. Drop the peel into the glass and serve.