Old Fashioned Cocktail

bitters + bourbon = americana

Hey folks, it’s that time again! Everyone had such a great reaction to our first video that we really couldn’t wait to put up a second one. We decided to keep it simple yet again for our second take, so I bring you an American classic, The Old Fashioned Cocktail. This is the drink that Kramer and I make most at home, and it’s something that I love to make at parties, too. It’s easy to pull together, doesn’t take many ingredients, and I think that everyone appreciates a properly made old fashioned, especially if you have any brandied cherries leftover from the summer; we obviously ran out of ours, as I made them last July, but I will certainly be making them again because a splash of the juice that the cherries are stored in really takes this drink over the top. I don’t like to get too fussy with my cocktails, and this is the perfect example of that philosophy. All you need is a sugar cube, bitters, bourbon, ice, an orange peel, a lemon peel, and a cherry. Boom! You’re done. Now, as far as the bitters go, I like to use Angostura or orange bitters, depending on my mood. The Angostura has a more unique, warming flavor, while the orange variety makes the drink taste a bit more refreshing; I like to use orange in the summer and Angostura in the winter. You have a few options when it comes to your liquor, too. I like to use bourbon in my old fashioneds in the summer, as it’s generally a bit sweeter and I think makes the drink a bit more appealing to a large group of people. However, rye is an excellent option, too, and adds some depth to the cocktail. For this video, though, I used Michter’s whiskey, which is a nice, slightly gingery option that is perfect for the season. So, now that we’ve got that squared away, it’s time to make some drinks.

Our friend Matt Hobby was, yet again, kind enough to come over and guide us with this video shoot, which was much needed and appreciated. I promise that he was repaid in many an old fashioned…as we all were. I love a cocktail like this because you really have to make each one individually, but once you get it down, it takes all of 15 seconds to make each one, and you can chat and explain to your guests what you’re doing, which I think makes the process more fun. There are a million ways to make an old fashioned your own, but it’s truly The Great American Cocktail (in my eyes, anyway) and is something that I think everyone should know how to make. It warms you in the winter, and can be refreshing in the summer, shaken over ice and maybe with a citrus simple syrup instead of the sugar cube. You can make properly constructed drinks at home, and this just goes to show it. You don’t need to go to an expensive bar or buy the most budget-breaking liquor; just hand crafting a drink like this at home will make an evening in or before dinner drinks extra special.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

4.5 from 2 reviews
Old Fashioned Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 drink
A properly made American cocktail.
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 ounces bourbon, rye, or whiskey (although I prefer bourbon)
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 Maraschino or brandied cherry
  1. Take your first orange peel and rub it around the inside of the glass, then set it aside. Drop a sugar cube in the glass, then drop the bitters directly on top of the sugar cube and mash/muddle until the sugar has somewhat disintegrated and mixed with the sugar. Add in your bourbon, then the ice cubes. Drop in your orange peel, then rub your lemon peel around the rim of the glass. Drop in your cherry, stir to combine, and serve.


22 Responses

  1. This is my absolute favorite cocktail ever….if it wasn’t 9:38AM and if I was not at work, I’d be drinking one of these. Gorgeous photos and I love the new videos!

  2. Ooooh. Delightful! The music for the video is a perfect fit. Well done.

    My hubs loves old fashions, but I’m just not a bourbon person. This looks almost good enough to make me want to try one though!

  3. RK says:

    Wonderful video….perfect music!

  4. Laurie says:

    I am not a drinker, but LOVED the video! I also watched your chocolate chip cookie video. Keep them up, they are awesome!

  5. Love the video, again! And, I am ashamed to admit this, but I don’t think I’ve ever had an old-fashioned. Clearly, that need to change….

  6. Awesome video and gorgeous shots! You have a real knack for food photography and videography. Also, I gotta try this drink!

  7. JulieD says:

    LOVE the video!! Makes me crave an old fashioned right now!!

  8. Just beautiful. My favorite drink coupled with gorgeous photos and a scrumptious video with darling music. You’ve made my night! xo

  9. Fred says:

    Great video, makes me thirsty (unfortunately it´s tuesday morning)

  10. That Guy says:

    Some cocktail pedant is surely going to come along and point out all the things done wrong here.

    Like how they didn’t use enough bitters. Or how they should just leave out the cherry if they don’t have decent ones. Or how one should really choose between lemon and orange not use both. Or how a bit of a stir before adding the ice would really help to dissolve all that sugar. Or how you should store your glasses in the freezer.

    The guy who comes along and points all that out is a jerk. Fun tip: if you’re tired of whiskey, try brandy or (my current favorite) applejack.

    Also, this is an awesome drink for exploring and combining different bitters, like Peychauds (in which case you’re a few drops of absinthe away from a sazerac).

  11. I love your videos! Kudos to you on all the hard work and effort. I’m not much of a drinker but I do love bourbon

  12. Love, love, love this, Sydney! The photos are stunning and the video is fantastic. I know how much work those take! Amazing job!

  13. Caroline says:

    you’re the best! I loved the video and I use your recipes all the time with really good results =D keep up the awesomness!


  14. Lynna says:

    I love the video! Especially the music, which I felt was really fitting! These photos are gorgeous as well!

  15. Anthony says:

    Well done with the video, it takes CoW to a whole new level! :)

    Hmm… I do have bourbon in the house, and today is Friday…

  16. Christine says:

    I’ve always learned to make Old Fashioned’s with a splash of club soda at the end (or like my Grandfather always did, a splash of Ginger Ale). Adds some sparkle

  17. […] I can get behind that, although I generally don’t pick rum based drinks. I am more of a bourbon girl. I still wanted to celebrate a little bit, though, and I did have half a bottle of rum in my liquor […]

  18. […] You always need to have one solid cocktail option at any party – watch my video and learn how to make the perfect Old Fashioned. […]

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