how to make an old fashioned with bourbon

1. What ingredients are needed to make an Old Fashioned with bourbon?

To make an Old Fashioned with bourbon, you will need the following ingredients:
– 2 ounces of bourbon
– 1 sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
– 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
– A few drops of water
– Orange peel (for garnish)
– Ice cubes

2. How do you prepare the sugar cube for an Old Fashioned?

To prepare the sugar cube for an Old Fashioned, follow these steps:
1. Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass (also known as a rocks glass).
2. Add 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters onto the sugar cube.
3. Add a few drops of water onto the sugar cube to help dissolve it.

3. What type of bourbon is best for an Old Fashioned?

When making an Old Fashioned, it is recommended to use a higher-quality bourbon that brings out the flavors of the cocktail. Some popular choices include Bulleit Bourbon, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, or Four Roses Small Batch.

4. How much bourbon should be used in an Old Fashioned?

For an Old Fashioned, use 2 ounces of bourbon. This amount provides a balanced and flavorful cocktail.

5. What is the purpose of adding bitters to an Old Fashioned?

Bitters add depth and complexity to an Old Fashioned, enhancing the overall flavor profile. Their aromatic properties meld with the sweetness of the sugar and the richness of the bourbon, creating a well-rounded cocktail.

6. Can I substitute the sugar cube with simple syrup?

Yes, you can substitute the sugar cube with 1/2 teaspoon of simple syrup if you prefer. Simply pour the syrup into the glass instead of using a sugar cube, and proceed with the recipe as usual.

7. How do you properly muddle an Old Fashioned?

To muddle an Old Fashioned, follow these steps:
1. Place the sugar cube (or simple syrup) and bitters in the glass.
2. Gently muddle the sugar cube (or stir if using simple syrup) to dissolve it and release the flavors of the bitters.
3. Add a few drops of water if using a sugar cube to help dissolve it completely.

8. Should I use a specific type of glass for an Old Fashioned?

Yes, an Old Fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass, is typically used for serving this cocktail. The wide and sturdy design of the glass allows for muddling and stirring without spilling, while providing ample space for ice, bourbon, and garnish.

9. Is it necessary to garnish an Old Fashioned with an orange peel?

Garnishing an Old Fashioned with an orange peel is a traditional touch that adds a subtle citrus aroma and enhances the visual appeal of the drink. It is not necessary, but it is recommended to elevate the overall experience.

10. How do you garnish an Old Fashioned with an orange peel?

To garnish an Old Fashioned with an orange peel, follow these steps:
1. Take a wide strip of orange peel, ensuring there is no pith.
2. Hold the peel between your thumb and forefinger, skin side facing out.
3. Squeeze the peel slightly over the glass to release the citrus oils onto the surface.
4. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass and drop it into the cocktail.

11. Should an Old Fashioned be served with ice?

Yes, an Old Fashioned is typically served with a few ice cubes. The ice helps to chill the cocktail and dilute it slightly, mellowing the flavors and making it more enjoyable.

12. Can I use crushed ice instead of ice cubes?

While using crushed ice is not traditional for an Old Fashioned, some people prefer the added chill and faster dilution it provides. However, using ice cubes is more commonly recommended to maintain the intended spirit-forward nature of the cocktail.

13. How do I properly stir an Old Fashioned?

To properly stir an Old Fashioned, use a bar spoon or a long-handled spoon and follow these steps:
1. Fill the glass with 2 ounces of bourbon, sugar cube (or simple syrup), bitters, and a few drops of water.
2. Gently stir the ingredients in a circular motion for about 30 seconds to ensure proper mixing and chilling.
3. Once well-mixed, add ice cubes to the glass and continue stirring for an additional 15-20 seconds.
4. Your Old Fashioned is now ready to be enjoyed.

14. Can I shake an Old Fashioned instead of stirring it?

Traditionally, an Old Fashioned is stirred rather than shaken. Stirring allows for gentle mixing without excessive aeration, preserving the flavors and texture of the cocktail. Shaking can lead to additional dilution and a different mouthfeel.

15. Is it necessary to use water in an Old Fashioned?

Using a few drops of water in an Old Fashioned is a matter of personal preference. Water can help to mellow the strong flavors of the bourbon and make the cocktail more approachable. However, it is not necessary if you prefer a stronger, spirit-forward drink.

16. Can I add other ingredients to customize my Old Fashioned?

Certainly! While the classic Old Fashioned recipe focuses on bourbon, sugar, and bitters, you can customize the cocktail to suit your taste. Some popular additions include muddled fruits (cherries, orange slices), a splash of soda water, or a touch of flavored syrup. Experimentation can lead to unique variations.

17. What is the history behind the Old Fashioned cocktail?

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail with a rich history. It dates back to the early 19th century and is considered one of the oldest known mixed drinks. Its name reflects the “old-fashioned” way of making a cocktail, without the frills and complexities seen in more modern recipes.

18. How did the Old Fashioned become associated with bourbon?

The Old Fashioned became associated with bourbon due to its origin in the United States, where bourbon whiskey has a long-standing tradition. The use of bourbon adds a distinctive and robust flavor profile to the cocktail, making it a popular choice among whiskey enthusiasts.

19. Can I make an Old Fashioned without bourbon?

While bourbon is the traditional choice for an Old Fashioned, you can experiment with other spirits like rye whiskey or aged rum. Each spirit will bring its own character and flavor nuances to the cocktail, providing a unique twist on the classic recipe.

20. Are there any variations of the Old Fashioned?

Yes, there are several variations of the Old Fashioned that incorporate different spirits or additional ingredients. Some examples include the Rum Fashioned (using aged rum), the Sazerac (rye whiskey with absinthe), or the Tequila Old Fashioned (using tequila instead of bourbon).

21. Can I make a large batch of Old Fashioned in advance?

Yes, you can make a large batch of Old Fashioned in advance for parties or gatherings. Simply scale up the measurements according to the number of servings needed, mix the ingredients together, and store the mixture in a sealed container. When ready to serve, pour over ice and garnish individually.

22. What is the best way to enjoy an Old Fashioned?

The best way to enjoy an Old Fashioned is to take your time and savor the flavors. The cocktail is meant to be sipped and appreciated, allowing the robustness of the bourbon and the aromatic qualities to come through. Take small sips, letting the drink evolve on your palate.

23. Can I make a non-alcoholic version of an Old Fashioned?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of an Old Fashioned by substituting the bourbon with a non-alcoholic alternative such as Seedlip Spice 94 or alcohol-free whiskey alternatives. Follow the recipe as usual, ensuring to adjust the measurements accordingly, and enjoy a flavorful mocktail.

24. Are there any food pairings that complement an Old Fashioned?

An Old Fashioned pairs well with various savory and rich foods. Consider pairing it with cured meats, aged cheeses, grilled steak, roasted nuts, or dark chocolate. The cocktail’s complexity and depth harmonize with these flavors, creating a delightful culinary experience.

25. What are some other classic cocktails worth trying if I enjoy an Old Fashioned?

If you enjoy an Old Fashioned, you might also appreciate these classic cocktails:
– Manhattan: A cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, often garnished with a cherry.
– Negroni: A refreshing combination of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, served over ice and garnished with an orange twist.
– Martini: A timeless cocktail made with gin (or vodka) and dry vermouth, typically garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.
– Sazerac: A New Orleans classic made with rye whiskey, absinthe, sugar, and Peychaud’s bitters, often garnished with a lemon peel.

Remember to enjoy these cocktails responsibly and in moderation. Cheers!


I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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