The best Old Fashioned Recipe is the simplest. These are delicious cocktails and are fun to make!

The Best Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe in all The Land

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The best Old Fashioned Recipe is the simplest. These are delicious cocktails and are fun to make!

The Old Fashioned Cocktail pops happily into my head every year right before Christmas, because they remind me of my drunk grandparents.

They would drink them when they came to visit, and my dad would serve them with the enthusiasm one possesses when contributing to the inebriation of one’s in-laws.

For this reason, I save my Old Fashioned consumption for Christmastime. Obviously this is a family tradition I must uphold with great fervor.

Would you like access to my secret recipe?

I bet you would, you tipsy little turtle.

But first a little history of the Old Fashioned. Feel free to jump right down to the recipe if you don’t give a rat’s ass about the back story, but it’s kind of interesting. Also, can you name one of my favorite movies where one of the main characters enjoys Old Fashioneds?

The Old Fashioned came to be right at the beginning of the 1800’s, but didn’t earn its name until the end of the 1800’s as it gained popularity at gentlemen’s clubs and restaurants.

As with most cocktails, there are a bunch of variations, but for the most part the Old Fashioned recipe includes some sort of whiskey or rye, a little sweetener, and bitters. I happen to love the addition of a marashino cherry and an orange slice, and I prefer to use a sugar cube as opposed to simple syrup.

All the ingredients for a delicious Old Fashioned cocktail

I take a sugar cube, plunk it into an Old Fashioned glass (yes, the glass was named after the cocktail), add about 4-5 dashes of Angostura bitters, and muddle the ever living hell out of the two. You want to see if you can break the glass with your muddling efforts the first time, then you can move onto the second glass.

Next, shake the concoction around the bottom of the glass a little bit to even it out, and throw in your cherry and orange slice. I muddle these bad boys a teensy tinsey bit, really just more of a mudd instead of a full-on muddle.

Now you want to add a good amount of pure, crisp, cold ice, and pour your whiskey (about 1 1 /2 oz) over the whole mess.

Give it a little stir and make a toast.

Some people swear by rye, but I like a good whiskey or bourbon equally, mostly because my palate isn’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference. Just don’t use the cheap stuff. I will find you and shake you if you do.

Enjoy your Old Fashioned cocktail, and then leave me a comment here. I love drunk comments.

How to make the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail

Old Fashioned Cocktail

best old fashioned cocktail recipe

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 4-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 1/2 oz whiskey or rye
  1. Put yer sugar cube in yer glass  

  2. Add about 4-5 dashes of Angostura bitters, and muddle the ever living hell out of the two

  3. Shake the concoction around the bottom of the glass a little bit to even it out, and throw in your cherry and orange slice. (Muddle again slightly)  

  4. Add a good amount of pure, crisp, cold ice, and pour your whiskey (about 1 1 /2 oz) 

  5. Give it a little stir and make a toast.


P.S. Serve these with a few pesto deviled eggs for a classy app hour. You also might like my Negroni recipe – it’s my other favorite cocktail.

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  1. We grandparents make almost the same drink, but, we don’t measure the whiskey, just pour on top of a lot of ice, leaving room for some sweet vermouth on top instead of sugar cube and we call it a Manhattan 🙂 We do this every night before supper. My husband is 87 and this makes him happy and content. Every night at about 4:00 he says, “It’s time for a drink!” It’s my opinion you young people shouldn’t be denying us old people the few pleasures left to us!

    1. On the contrary! Enjoy your Manhattan. Reading your comment today made me want one, so I made a special trip to go buy some ice, since we were out. I add a dash of bitters to mine. So good.

  2. I’ve been drinking old fashioned since way back, and your recipe is “ right on”!
    Manhattans are good too.
    I once heard an old fashion is a good before dinner drink- the bitters is appetite stimulating. I use it to stimulate my appetite for dessert also😜

    1. That’s my problem. One old fashioned leads to three because I usually make it too sweet so I have to keep adding booze. Then I want a pint of ice cream. I’m thinking I should switch to vodka. But I don’t want to.


  3. Good recipe! I drink one daily at 5. I also muddle a lemon wedge with the bitters, cherry, sugar cube and orange and use 2 and a half oz of whiskey-preferably Canadian Club. Cheers!!!

  4. Old Fashioneds are the bomb!!! These are what got me started on Whiskey and Bourbon and now I usually just drink those straight or on the rocks- but I still crave an OF Cocktail on occasion. I love how the drink looks in the image you have- it’s nice and clear and clean. I love to muddle the oj just as you described but when I do this, it clouds the drink a bit. Any suggestions? Maybe I should just muddle the peel for the oj flavor?? I must investigate…

    1. I think you have the right idea by just muddling the peel if you want to keep it clear. Come to think of it, I wonder if you could use a drop or 2 of orange flavoring? Now you’ve got me thinking…

  5. I’m a whiskey gal when it’s chilly. As soon as the weather dips below “hot as balls” I light up the fire pit and make me an old fashioned. I like to add a dash of soda to mine as well. Was happy to see one including the orange. I feel like it gives it a little something. I throw a good size orange peel in my drink. Cheers to drunk in laws!

  6. For someone that’s never tried one but is super curious and been wanting to for a long time, what is most important to know for a first time OF sampler? How strong and do and of the other ingredients make it less strong if it ends up being too much? Can you taste the sugar? I guess I’m curious about what the most prominent flavors other than the whiskey are.

    1. My advice for an OF newbie would be to order one from a quality, upscale restaurant. Unless you already know you like whiskey and have it on hand. The other flavors definitely cut the strength of the whiskey, but you’ll still taste it; it’s not like mixing whiskey with soda. Let me know what you think when you try one!

  7. I like to use mineral water with mine.
    I think I will try a brown sugar syrup then infuse with Marciano cherries and orange peel.
    I will start with 1 teaspoon per ounce.

  8. You had me at drunk grandparents. I’m going to find you and haunt you on Twitter.

    I light a fire under my orange peel. It releases the oils. At least that’s what I’m told, and I look pretty fancy-pants while I’m taking my blow torch to the poor thing. Like another commenter I like a scotch old-fashioned, too–the peaty-er the better. Lagavulin is my go-to.

    You’re hilarious!

  9. On lordy…scotch? Around here, untaxed moonshine is as common as sunshine. Years ago at a party a jar was going around containing scorched moonshine. It could not be sold so the cook was giving it away, except that he could not, as it was horrible. After one pull, I thought, I’ve tasted that nastiness before. It then hit me…scotch!. I promise you, whomever invented scotch, was cooking something else and burned it. Old Fashioned yes…scotch never.

  10. Before you think you know, check with a Wisconsinite. All Old Fashion glasses are filled with 7 UP, sour soda, or seltzer. Without that you have a manhattan – just add sweet vermuth. All Old Fashions have some kind of soda pop added at the end and stir. Haven’t found anyone who can make one in any other state. They are that local. Now go make a real one!

  11. So some questions . . .

    1. I’m use to gulping my cocktail but this seems like a sipping drink. Correct?

    2. If I do gulp it is it okay to have 2 or 4 or so lined up ready to go?

    3. Has anyone ever made a pitcher of old fashion’s for a party, even if it’s a party of one?

    4. Is it ok to chew the whiskey flavored ice between sips or mini-gulps so ya don’t over imbibe too fast?

    Last one . . .

    5. Is it okay to eat the orange and cherry and call it dinner?

    Thx for the input, happy trails.

  12. Being from Wisconsin, most of us drink our OF’s with Korbel brandy. While visiting Korbels in California the cashier asked us where we were from. After telling her the badger state, she smirked and said 70% of their brandy is exported to our state. Funny, huh? Your writing is also hilarious so thank you for that.

  13. I started my OF journey the same way. And then I started reading. Here’s what I finally settled on. In a bar mixing glass I add one wedge of fresh orange. One bar spoon of Demerara syrup and 3 to 4 dashes of bitters. Add clear bar ice. Pour 2 oz of your favorite brown juice, I’m on a Markers Mark Cask Strength kick these days and stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Pour with bar strainer into OF glass with one cherry and a single rock of large clear ice. Top with twist of orange peel over the top. I let mine sit for a few minutes and then enjoy! Goes very well with any chocolate or a good cigar. Cool nights round the fire pit are meant for Old Fashions and good company!

  14. You forgot the 7 up. BUT I have found a great recipe for an old fashioned mix that takes all the muddling out. Love it with brandy and southern comfort also

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