When you get right down to it, the Bourbon Old Fashioned is little more than a slug of whiskey, seasoned and sweetened. Yet for all of its suave simplicity, the drink remains as relevant today as it was when it first captured drinkers’ hearts 200 years ago.
What is an Old Fashioned?
In simple terms, an Old Fashioned is a cocktail made of bourbon, sugar, bitters, orange, and a cherry. But depending on quality and quantity of ingredients, you can get a pretty wide spectrum of flavors. So we did extensive testing to ensure we perfected the recipe.
- 1 sugar cube (or 1 bar spoon simple syrup)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitter
- 2 ounces rye or bourbon
- Orange twist
- Muddle the sugar cube and bitters with one bar spoon of water at the bottom of a chilled rocks glass. (If using simple syrup, combine bitters and one bar spoon of syrup.) Add rye or bourbon. Stir.
- Add one large ice cube, or three or four smaller cubes. Stir until chilled and properly diluted, about 30 seconds. Slip orange twist on the side of the cube.
While a barspoon of syrup can cut your prep time in half, it robs the drink of some of the weight and texture that provides its deep appeal. If you want to make the drink like they did back in the 19th century, granulated sugar or a sugar cube is the way to go. If you want to make the cocktail with more of a modern twist, opt for simple syrup. (Although what’s the big rush? The Bourbon Old Fashioned isn’t going anywhere.) Just know that simple syrup adds a bit more water to your drink, so you may need to adjust your ice and stirring accordingly.
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