The old fashioned is a great drink any time of year. The cocktail was created to go back to the “old fashioned” way cocktails were made, before things got too complicated. But there are a few riffs on the classic formula that we love, too, and today we’re going to share a perfect gem for the season.
The recipe comes from Lynn House, who came up in the Chicago bartending scene before becoming the National Brand Educator at Heaven Hill Brands. House’s riff sticks with the core elements of the drink but also features apple-cinnamon syrup — adding those autumnal flavors we all crave this time of year.
Check the full recipe below and try to mix up a few of these this weekend. God knows it’s better than another pumpkin-spiced latte.
- 2-oz. Small batch bourbon
- 0.5-oz. apple cider syrup
- 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters
- 1 lemon peel for garnish
While House’s recipe calls for Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon, I decided to use their barrel proof. What’s that eyebrow raise all about? It’s Friday, folks.
You should be able to grab a bottle of Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters from most liquor stores or online outlets. The only thing you’ll need to make ahead is the apple-cinnamon syrup. It only takes about 15 minutes and is very low impact. We explain the process below.
For the syrup:
- 2 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
What You’ll Need:
- Cocktail Jug
- Cocktail strainer
- Old Fashioned glass
- Fruit Peeler
- Small pot
- Wooden spoon
- Medium bottle
- First, make the syrup. Add the apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a small pot. Bring to a very light simmer while stirring in the sugar until it dissolves. Lightly simmer until the juice reduces by about one-quarter and the sugars start to brown/caramelize. Remove from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick. Pour into a small bottle and refrigerate to cool.
- Prechill your old fashioned glass in a freezer.
- Add the whiskey, bitters, and apple cider syrup to a cocktail jug.
- Fill about 2/3 with ice and stir with a barspoon until the outside of the jug is frosted over.
- Retrieve the glass from the freezer.
- Fill the glass with fresh ice.
- Strain the cocktail into the waiting glass.
- Peel a lemon peel the size of your thumb from the lemon.
- Spritz the lemon oils over the cocktail and rub the peel around the rim of the glass and the body. Drop the peel into the glass.
Wow! This slaps hard this time of year. The cinnamon/apple base tastes like rain pattering outside your window. That lemon oil really helps lighten and brighten those stewed flavors. And the bourbon really pops.
I’m so glad I have a fair amount of this syrup. I’m definitely going to be putting this in hot toddies, dark rum old fashioneds, and much more all fall long. It’s light but really conjures the season.