The Old Fashioned cocktail

For this post I actually tried two Old Fashioned recipes. One using a modern recipe and one using a recipe from the 1800’s. The modern cocktail calls for 1/2 of an orange slice to be muddled with a lump of sugar and Angostura Bitters. It also calls for an additional 1/2 orange slice and a maraschino cherry as a garnish. The older recipe omits the orange and cherry and in its place uses a lemon peel as a garnish.

The Old Fashioned cocktailFor the first cocktail, I used a what I thought was a thin slice of orange. I placed a sugar cube on top of the bitters bottle and inverted the bottle twice. I then muddled the sugar and 1/2 orange slice together. Next, I filled the glass with ice and poured in two ounces of Woodford Reserve . Then, another 1/2 slice of orange and a maraschino cherry to top it off. After a quick stir, I gave it a taste. I felt the orange was masking the whiskey way too much. It seemed to be a very sweet cocktail. I enjoyed the drink but, I felt this was not right for me.

Next, I tried the second recipe from an 1800’s

Old Fashioned

1800's Old Fashioned

bartending book. This time all I muddled was the sugar cube, bitters and one teaspoon of water. (A half teaspoon would have been sufficient in hindsight). I dropped in one ice cube and poured the two ounces of whiskey into the glass. After a stir, I twisted the lemon peel over the glass and then placed it on the rim.



I enjoyed this cocktail much more than the first. The balance between the whiskey and sugar seemed just right.

I have no idea what type of glass I used for this cocktail. It probably holds about 3 ounces of liquid. I guess it’s really a cordial glass. This was the smallest glass I had that did not have cartoon characters printed on it. The second recipe just seemed like it would get lost in the “rocks” glasses I have.

So the Old Fashioned goes into the winners column for me. I enjoyed both drinks but felt the second drink with less fruit was better overall.

** UPDATE **

I found another recipe that I think makes a superior Old Fashioned.

  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1 dash of bitters
  • 2 oz. whiskey
  • large orange peel

Put the simple syrup and bitters into an Old Fashioned glass. Fill half the glass with ice and stir.

Using a vegetable peel, hold the orange over the glass and cut off a large peel, expressing the orange oil into the glass.

cut off the rough edges of the peel and then squeeze the peel over the glass. Place the peel into the glass.

Add the whiskey and then fill with ice.


Okay, here comes the anal part: when I drink this, I make sure I line up the orange peel with my mouth so the whiskey flows over the peel and picks up the orange flavor. It’s awesome !!

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