Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Old Fashioned


Disclaimer: This one is totally Sweet & Sweaty style. Some like it with muddle and some don’t like any muddle at all. We like both versions, but for this lesson it’s going to be a Sweet and Sweaty style combo. And, we believe this will be a better whiskey cocktail gateway drink for everyone anyway.

In fact, there is even debate on which is the ‘right way’. The original Old Fashioned was made only with rye, sugar, bitters, water, and a lemon peel garnish. Many modern day cocktail artists take to sweetening up the joint by adding orange slices and maraschinos, they mix in soda water, and/or use bourbon more often than rye whiskey.

Let’s get to it though so you can get on with your weekend and enjoy this tasty beverage!
2 oz bourbon
.25 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 Maraschino cherries
1 orange slice, peeled
Tools: shot measure, mixing glass*, barspoon*, strainer*, pearing knife, muddler or a tiny whisk
Glass: old fashioned / tumbler (chilled)
Garnishes: lemon and orange twists
*Pictured in addendum at bottom of post

Note: We’re currently on a bottle of lower-shelf, Four Roses Bourbon Yellow and it makes a fine cocktail. Inexpensive and still satisfying.

Make your simple syrup as soon as you get home as it will take some time to cool. Also, put your Old Fashioned glass in the fridge or freezer to chill while you’re making the simple syrup:

Combine 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool. An empty jar makes for a good storage receptacle! Store in the fridge once packaged. We’ve used simple syrup over the suggested 2-3 week ‘shelf-life’, so I wouldn’t fret too much. The best solution would be to label it and start over after 30 days.

Once your simple syrup is cooled, drop two ice cubes in your mixing glass. Next, add the simple syrup, bitters, cherries, and orange slice. Muddle the cherries and orange slice with the simple syrup. Add the bourbon and muddle some more.

Get your chilled glass, and drop in an oversized cube or two normal ice tray cubes. Strain the contents of the mixing glass over the ice in your chilled glass, and garnish with both lemon and orange twists/peels. We always like squeezing some zest from the peels over the drink and running the peels around the glass rim, before they adorn, or are dropped in the glass – awwww yeah.

This will certainly give you a sweeter version of the Old Fashioned. If you like to eat your drink while you drink it, like we do: use normal cubes vs. the oversized cube, forego straining, and then you’ll be able to easily stab and eat the fruit while you imbibe. Or… if you like a stronger drink, forego the orange slice and cherries all together!

We’d love to hear your feedback on this cocktail. Especially in regards to which version you like best of all, if you’ve done some experimentation. Enjoy responsibly and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Addendum – mixing glass, barspoon, and strainerOld Fashioned