There’s nothing better than a classic bourbon old fashioned this time of year. There’s something about the simplicity of the mix of sugar, bourbon, and bitters than just works with its subtle spiciness, soft sweetness, and rich whiskey vibes. That’s why it’s time to make one at home.
For this recipe, I’m keeping things very simple. This is a straightfoward stirrer that you can make in about a minute if you’re in a rush. And that’s the point. This is a uncomplicated cocktail that lives or dies by the quality of the whiskey you use as the base spirit. Don’t skimp.
Okay, we’re talking about an old fashioned here. We don’t need more preamble. Let’s just dive and get stirring up a great cocktail for weekend imbibing!
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Classic Old Fashioned
- 2 oz. bourbon whiskey (plus a splash)
- 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- 1 barspoon raw sugar
- 1 barspoon mineral water
- 1 orange peel
- 1 cherry
- Ice + Large cube for service
Again, don’t skimp on the bourbon here. The better tasting the whiskey in your cocktail, the better your cocktail is going to taste. I’m using a single barrel Buffalo Trace Bourbon. I like to lean toward single barrel bourbons that tend to have a classic cherry/vanilla/spice/leather matrix with a bit of apple orchard and caramel thrown in. Whatever bourbon whiskey that you use, make sure that you actually like drinking it.
What You’ll Need:
- Lowball glass
- Mixing glass
- Cocktail strainer
- Fruit peeler
- Prechill your glass in the freezer.
- Add the sugar, water, and bitters to the mixing jug and give it a pre-mix with the spoon until the sugar starts to dissolve.
- Add the bourbon and give it a stir for ten or so seconds to dissolve the sugar.
- Add in a big handful of ice to the mixing glass and stir for about 20-ish seconds or until the mixing glass is ice-cold to touch.
- Fetch the glass from the freezer, add the large cube to the glass, and strain the cocktail into the glass.
- Express the oils from the orange peel over the cocktail and run the peel around the rim of the glass. Twist the peel and drop it into the ice cube.
- Drop in a cherry and serve.
Yup, delicious! There’s a lovely softness to the texture of this drink (thanks to the quality of the bourbon) that feels like silk on your palate. The bitters and orange add a nice level of botanical spice and sharp citrus counterpoint to the lush vanilla and apple orchard sensations in the flavor profile.
Overall, we’re talking about a true classic with clear and concise flavor notes. It’s bourbon-heavy but has a delicacy to it that’s lush. It’s lightly spicy, softly fruity, and and full of whiskey depth. You really can’t beat this cocktail for it’s ease to make and great level of satisfaction.