How to Make an Old Fashioned

Welcome to the World of Classic Cocktails: How to Make an Old Fashioned

Looking for a simple yet classic cocktail recipe that will transport you to the good old days? Look no further than the Old Fashioned. This timeless drink has been enjoyed by generations and remains a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts today. With its smooth, elegant taste and simple ingredients, it’s no wonder the Old Fashioned has stood the test of time.

In this article, we’ll show you how to make an Old Fashioned in 12 easy steps. We’ll also dive into the history of this beloved cocktail and share some tips and tricks to take your mixology skills to the next level.

Steps on How to Make an Old Fashioned

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

The first step in making an Old Fashioned is gathering your ingredients. You’ll need:

  • 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • Club soda (optional)

Once you have all your ingredients handy, it’s time to start mixing!

Step 2: Muddle the Sugar Cube

In a mixing glass, place one sugar cube and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Use a muddler to crush the sugar and bitters together until they form a paste-like consistency. This step is crucial to the flavor of the Old Fashioned, so take your time and do it right.

Step 3: Add the Orange Slice and Cherry

Next, add an orange slice and a maraschino cherry to the mixing glass. Use your muddler to gently press the fruit into the sugar/bitters paste, releasing the juices and oils.

Step 4: Add Ice and Whiskey

Fill the mixing glass with ice, then add 2 oz of bourbon or rye whiskey. Stir for about 20-30 seconds to combine the ingredients and chill the drink.

Step 5: Strain and Serve

Strain the mixture into a fresh glass filled with ice. You can also strain it into a rocks glass without ice if you prefer a stronger drink. Garnish with an orange twist, if desired.

Step 6: A Variation – The Smoked Old Fashioned

If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a smoky twist to your Old Fashioned. To do this, use a smoking gun to infuse the drink with a smoky flavor before straining and serving. This adds a whole new dimension to the classic cocktail.

Step 7: A Variation – The Maple Old Fashioned

If you have a sweet tooth, try making a Maple Old Fashioned. Simply substitute the sugar cube with maple syrup for a delicious variation on the classic recipe.

Step 8: A Variation – The Mezcal Old Fashioned

If you prefer a smokier flavor profile, try swapping out the bourbon or rye whiskey for mezcal. This Mexican spirit packs a serious punch and adds a unique smokiness to the drink.

Step 9: A Variation – The New York Sour

If you want to take your Old Fashioned to the next level, try making a New York Sour. This variation adds a layer of red wine to the classic cocktail, yielding a complex and delicious drink that is sure to impress.

Step 10: A Variation – The Boulevardier

For a twist on the classic Old Fashioned, try making a Boulevardier. This variation replaces the whiskey with Campari and sweet vermouth, giving the drink a bitter and complex flavor profile.

Step 11: A Variation – The Sazerac

Another classic cocktail that shares some similarities with the Old Fashioned is the Sazerac. Made with rye whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters, this New Orleans drink is a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast.

Step 12: Experiment and Have Fun!

The best thing about making cocktails is that there are endless flavor combinations to try. Experiment with different types of whiskey, fruit, and spices to find your perfect Old Fashioned recipe. And most importantly, have fun!

Explanation on How to Make an Old Fashioned

Now that you know how to make an Old Fashioned, let’s dive deeper into the history and background of this classic cocktail.

The Old Fashioned is a simple and elegant cocktail that dates back to the early 1800s. Originally called the Whiskey Cocktail, it was one of the first recorded mixed drinks and was made by mixing sugar, water, bitters, and whiskey in a punch bowl. Over time, the recipe evolved, and by the mid-1800s, the Old Fashioned as we know it today began to emerge.

One of the keys to a great Old Fashioned is the use of high-quality ingredients. Choose a good quality bourbon or rye whiskey, use fresh fruit and high-quality bitters, and take your time to crush the sugar and muddle the fruit. As with all cocktails, the quality of the ingredients will directly impact the flavor of the final product.

Another important aspect of making an Old Fashioned is the technique. Take your time to muddle the fruit and sugar, stir the ingredients well, and strain the mixture carefully. Attention to detail and care in preparation are crucial to creating a delicious and satisfying drink.

Tips and Tricks on How to Make an Old Fashioned

1. Use high-quality ingredients

As mentioned, the quality of the ingredients is key to a great Old Fashioned. Use a good quality bourbon or rye whiskey, fresh fruit, high-quality bitters, and pure cane sugar for the best results.

2. Don’t skimp on the muddling

The muddling process is crucial to the flavor of the Old Fashioned. Take your time to crush the sugar and muddle the fruit, releasing the juices and oils for maximum flavor.

3. Experiment with different types of whiskey

Every whiskey has its own unique flavor profile, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different types and brands to find your perfect Old Fashioned recipe.

4. Try different variations

There are countless variations on the classic Old Fashioned recipe, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Add a smoky twist, substitute maple syrup for sugar, or explore other classic cocktails that share similarities with the Old Fashioned.

5. Garnish for added flair

A well-placed garnish can take your Old Fashioned to the next level. Try an orange twist, a cherry, or even a sprig of fresh herbs for a pop of color and flavor.

6. Enjoy Responsibly

As with all alcoholic beverages, it’s important to drink responsibly. Enjoy your Old Fashioned in moderation and never drink and drive.

7. Have Fun!

Mixology is an art form, and making cocktails should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new things, and most importantly, have fun!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making an Old Fashioned Cocktail

Old Fashioned cocktails have been a beloved drink for many years and remain a popular option for those who enjoy a classic drink. Making an Old Fashioned cocktail may seem simple, but there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider.


1. Flavor: The flavor of an Old Fashioned is warm and comforting. The combination of bourbon, sugar, and bitters creates a unique taste that cannot be found in other cocktails.

2. Simplicity: Creating an Old Fashioned is not complex. With only a few ingredients, it is easy to make at home without requiring any special equipment.

3. Customizable: An Old Fashioned can be customized to your preference. You can adjust the amount of sugar and bitters to your taste, or even switch out the type of whiskey that is being used.

4. Timeless: The Old Fashioned cocktail is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. It has been enjoyed by generations and will continue to be for years to come.

5. Highly Adaptable: Old Fashioned cocktails can be easily adapted to suit different occasions. You can serve it on the rocks, neat, or even garnished with a lemon or orange twist.

6. Low in Calories: Compared to other cocktails, the Old Fashioned is relatively low in calories. It is a healthier option for those who want to enjoy a classic drink without all the added sugar and calories.

7. Suitable for Any Occasion: An Old Fashioned can be enjoyed on any occasion. Whether it is at a bar, a party, or even at home, it is a versatile drink that never disappoints.

8. A True Classic: The Old Fashioned cocktail is not a passing fad. It has been a popular and enduring drink for over a century.

9. Affordable: The ingredients needed to make an Old Fashioned are readily available and affordable, making it a great drink to make at home.

10. Easy to Learn: Making an Old Fashioned is easy to learn, even for beginners. With a little practice, anyone can master the art of creating this classic cocktail.


1. Time Consuming: Making an Old Fashioned can be a time-consuming process. It requires muddling, stirring, and precise measurements, which can be overwhelming for some.

2. Noisy: The process of muddling the sugar and bitters in the glass can be noisy, which might be a problem during a quiet moment.

3. Requires Special Equipment: While the equipment needed for an Old Fashioned is minimal, some equipment such as a muddler and a mixing glass are necessary to make it correctly.

4. Requires Patience: Making an Old Fashioned requires patience, as the sugar needs time to dissolve, and the bitters need time to infuse.

5. Flavors May Cling: Because of the nature of the ingredients used in an Old Fashioned, the flavors may cling to the glass, making it difficult to use for anything else.

6. Too Strong for Some: The flavor of an Old Fashioned cocktail may be too strong for some people, especially those who are not accustomed to drinking cocktails.

7. Not Suitable for Everyone: The classic nature of an Old Fashioned cocktail may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds. Some people may prefer a different type of drink altogether.

8. Sugar Content: While an Old Fashioned is relatively low in calories, it still contains sugar, which may be an issue for some people.

9. Limited Variety: The ingredients needed to make an Old Fashioned are limited. There are not many opportunities to add variety to the drink, which may make it less appealing to some people.

10. Requires Some Skill: While making an Old Fashioned is relatively easy, it still requires some skill to get the right balance of ingredients. Some people may find this challenging, especially if they are not used to making cocktails.

In conclusion, the Old Fashioned cocktail is a classic drink that has been enjoyed by generations. While it has both advantages and disadvantages, the overall experience of drinking an Old Fashioned is a pleasurable one. Whether you are new to the world of cocktails or a seasoned expert, making an Old Fashioned is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.


1. What is an old fashion?

An old fashion is a classic cocktail made with whiskey or bourbon, sugar, bitters, and a citrus peel.

2. What type of whiskey should I use?

Traditionally, an old fashion is made with rye whiskey, but you can also use bourbon or any other whiskey of your choice.

3. What type of sugar should I use?

You can use granulated sugar, but many bartenders prefer to use a sugar cube or simple syrup.

4. What type of bitters should I use?

Angostura bitters are the most commonly used bitters for old fashions, but you can also experiment with other flavors such as orange bitters or cherry bitters.

5. How do I muddle the sugar and bitters?

Place the sugar cube or simple syrup in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add a few dashes of bitters and use a muddler or the back of a spoon to gently crush the sugar and bitters together until a paste forms.

6. What type of citrus should I use for the peel?

You can use an orange, lemon, or lime peel for your old fashion.

7. How do I prepare the citrus peel?

Using a vegetable peeler, cut a thin strip of peel from the citrus fruit. Be careful to avoid the white pith, which can make the drink bitter. Twist the peel over the glass to release its oils, then rub the peel around the rim of the glass before dropping it in.

8. Should I add ice to my old fashion?

Yes, an old fashion is traditionally served on the rocks or with a large ice cube.

9. What type of glass should I use?

A rocks glass or an old-fashioned glass is the traditional glass for serving an old fashion.

10. Can I add a splash of soda water to my old fashion?

While some people prefer their old fashions with a splash of soda water, it is not traditional and not necessary for the drink.

11. Can I make an old fashion in advance?

An old fashion is best served immediately after it is made, but you can prepare the sugar and bitters mixture in advance and store it in a sealed container until you are ready to serve.

12. How should I garnish my old fashion?

In addition to the citrus peel, you can also add a cherry or a small piece of pineapple to your old fashion.

13. Are there any variations on the classic old fashion?

Yes, there are many variations on the traditional old fashion, including using different types of whiskey, adding fruit juices or herbs, or using different types of bitters. Feel free to experiment and find your own perfect version of this classic cocktail.

Conclusion: How to Make an Old Fashioned

In conclusion, making an old fashioned is not as difficult as you might have previously thought. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic mixing skills, you can create a delicious and classic cocktail in no time. Remember to use high-quality ingredients such as premium bourbon or rye whiskey and a good quality bitters for the best results. Don’t be afraid to experiment with variations on the classic recipe to find your own perfect version of the old fashioned.

Closing: How to Make an Old Fashioned

Thanks for reading our article on how to make an old fashioned! We hope you found it helpful and informative. Remember, making cocktails is all about having fun and experimenting with different flavors and techniques, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new. Whether you’re enjoying an old fashioned at home or in a bar, you can always impress your friends with your newfound mixing skills. So go ahead and raise a glass to the good life, and cheers to your next delicious cocktail creation! Until next time, happy mixing!