New Old Fashioned

The New Old Fashioned Cocktail

Whiskey is back, bourbon is back, real hand crafted cocktails are back, so its time we update one of the oldest cocktails you can possibly find in text and early America.  The Old Fashioned.  Somewhere along the line it went from bitters and whiskey to basically a fruit punch with muddled orange, cherries and sugar.  Disregarding all recipes from the past hundred years, this is what the cocktail should consist of if you are paying $11 or more for a cocktail.

While most will associate this with bourbon whiskey, it can be any whiskey really, it depends on your preference, my local retail spirits guy who is pretty knowledgeable says he likes his with rye. I was at a Scotch Whisky event recently, and one of the featured cocktails was a Scotch Old Fashioned, and I was impressed, it really worked well.


  • 60ml or 2 ounces of whiskey of your choice (if you are unsure, make it any American whiskey)
  • 1 Packet or 1 Teaspoon of Sugar, Turbinado or white sugar
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Fee’s Orange Bitters (any orange bitters will work, but I love the brightness of the Fee’s)
  • Orange rind
  • Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (optional)

The mixing method is the important part. You first want to put the sugar in your mixing glass which should be separate from the glass you will be drinking from.  Add in your bitters, enough to coat the grains of sugar. Now add a splash of warm or room temperature water, or even a splash (a splash, a half ounce) of club soda.  The key here is to be sure all the sugar is dissolved, you don’t want the rest of the sugar sitting at the bottom of the glass so the last sip is super sweet.  Add in your whiskey, and stir continuously with only 2-3 large ice cubes. You don’t want the ice too large so they don’t melt and add adequate chilled water to this cocktail, but you certainly don’t want a bunch of small ice slivers which are going to over dilute it either.  Continue to stir for at least a minute, then pour through a strainer into a separate glass with one large ice cube.  Take a fresh orange rind, twist it over the cocktail, wipe the rim and serve.  The oils from the fresh orange peel is really going to elevate this just as much as the orange bitters.  This is what the New Old Fashioned is, or at least should be.

From there, you can really substitute any fine spirit for a variation including mezcal, tequila, even rum (in this case I would omit the sugar since rum is a sugar-based spirit).  The important thing here is the method and mixology of the way it is prepared.  Cheers!

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