Old Fashioned

Old-FashionedOld Fashioned
Two Peels of Citrus,
One Packet of Sugar,
Two Spoons of Water and
3 Shakes of Angostura Bitters,
Muddle, then Add ice
2 ounces Whiskey, Garnish with an Orange Peel.

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Cocktail is a very misunderstood drink nowadays.

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail made by muddling dissolved sugar with bitters then adding alcohol, such as jenever, whiskey or brandy, but usually whiskey, and a twist of citrus rind. The name references the combination’s age: it is possibly the first drink to be called a cocktail. It is traditionally served in a short, round glass called an Old Fashioned glass, named after the drink. There is great contention on the proper way to make an Old Fashioned. The apparently earliest written recipe, from 1895, specifies the following: “Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece of ice, a piece of lemon-peel, one jigger whiskey. Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass. This is the ‘old school’ preparation, however the more modern and contemporary preparation has the preparer muddle a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry with bitters, then add whiskey and ice. So… when your guest orders this cocktail, you should ask them, ‘Would you like the traditional ‘old school’ version or the more modern ‘contemporary’ style. By communicating this to your guest… then you will show them they are in good hands.


The first use of the specific name “Old Fashioned” was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, at the Pendennis Club, a gentleman’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is said to have been invented by a bartender at that club, and popularized by a club member and bourbon distiller, Colonel James E. Pepper. The apparently earliest written recipe, from 1895, specifies the following: Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece ice, a piece lemon-peel, one jigger or 1.5 ounces whiskey. Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass.

My version is decidedly different and not necessarily ‘classic’. Shown in my video is what the modern drinker ‘expects’ in a good ‘old fashioned’. THIS IS NOT THE END ALL RECIPE, it’s just a very tasty drink that has evolved for 130 years. Cheers!

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