The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (2024)

How to make the best old fashioned co*cktail.In our recipe below, we share our favorite recipe for an Old Fashioned at home and a few of our twists to change it up.

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (1)

To make a classic old fashioned, you will place all the ingredients (whiskey or other liquor, sugar, and bitters) into a glass. Stir a few times, and then add ice. We like giant ice cubes or ice spheres. See my tips below for making them yourself. Tips for choosing the best alcohol for this recipe are below!

If you love whiskey co*cktails, you might also enjoy our Manhattan co*cktail. We make it with bourbon. Like this old-fashioned recipe, it only calls for three main ingredients.

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (2)

Old Fashioned Ingredients

A classic Old Fashioned co*cktail calls for rye whiskey or bourbon.We like to stick with reliable, mid-range bottles. Four Roses is a fantastic everyday choice, especially for the price. Bulleit is popular, too (we’ve got their 10-year rye right now). Our friends rave about Woodford Reserve Double Oaked if you want something special. Of course, the world of whiskey is vast, so if you have a favorite, let us know in the comments!

Don’t limit yourself to just whiskey and bourbon. Gin, brandy, and rum also work in this classic co*cktail. We have a soft spot for dark, aged rum. If you see us sipping an old fashioned co*cktail, I’ll have one made with bourbon while Adam goes for the dark rum.

The best old fashioned recipes call for sugar to balance the alcohol.I use simple syrup, which quickly dissolves and is simple to make. It also allows us to play around and use brown sugar instead of white sugar for the syrup, giving our co*cktail a caramel-like flavor that works well with whiskey or rum.

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (3)

We use two or three dashes of Angostura bitters, which are sold in most liquor stores. A well-stocked store or a quick online search will give you a world of options for more varieties of of bitters.

I also add some fruit. The amount of fruit in an Old Fashioned depends on who’s making it. We’ve seen everything from a handful of muddled oranges and cherries to nothing at all! When I make them, I stick with a piece of orange peel (blood orange is excellent) and a cherry or two.

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (4)

Try a flaming orange peel!Take a coin-sized slice of orange peel (leave some white pith for easier squeezing), squeeze it between your fingers, and light a match next to it (be careful!). The oils will ignite in a quick flash. Hold it close to, or over, your glass to infuse some toasted orange aroma. We don’t add the peel, but a quick rub of the flamed peel on the glass rim is a nice touch. (Check out our video above to see how we do it.)

Making Clear Ice Cubes for Your Old Fashioned co*cktail

Adam’s gone full-on ice nerd since we’ve been making old fashioned co*cktails at home. Regular ice cubes no longer cut it (although I’m not here to shame you into not using them)! Cloudy ice melts fast and breaks apart, which waters down your drink. Clear ice looks way cooler and keeps your co*cktail strong.

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (5)

We love giant ice spheres, but they’re tricky to freeze clear. There are fancy gadgets, but we found an excellent DIY method. Our tap water freezes clear with this technique, but depending on where you live, you might need to use filtered or boiled water.

Here’s the trick (or watch our video):

  1. Nest a small container inside an insulated mug. We used a small Rubbermaid container and an inexpensive mug found online.
  2. Fill the mug with water, making sure it covers the small container.
  3. Fill your sphere mold with water, then plug the hole with your finger.
  4. Flip the mold upside-down and carefully submerge it in the mug.
  5. Lower the water level in the mug until it’s even with the top of the small container.
  6. Freeze it solid!
The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (6)

Adam’s holding our DIY (almost) clear ice ball on the left in the photo above. The one on the right is a regular frozen mold—way cloudier! It did melt slower than regular ice, as seen in our Old Fashioned photo below.

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (7)

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail




  • PREP

The Old Fashioned is a simple classic co*cktail with just three main ingredients. This also leaves plenty of room for your own creative twists! While bourbon or rye whiskey are traditional, don’t be afraid to experiment. Gin, brandy, and rum all shine in this co*cktail. We especially love the depth and richness that a dark, aged rum brings to the party.

Makes 1 Drink

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 to 2 teaspoons simple syrup, see how to make simple syrup

3 dashes bitters, Angostura is great and readily available

2 ounces mid-range bourbon or rye whiskey

One 2-inch piece of orange peel, optional

1 to 2 maraschino cherries, optional


    1Combine simple syrup, bitters, and whiskey in an Old Fashioned glass. Stir well.

    2Add 1 to 2 large ice cubes and stir a few more times to chill.

    3Garnish with an orange peel and cherry.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Simple syrup: Here is our easy tutorial for making it at home. It can be stored in the fridge for about one month.
  • Adding water: Some people add a splash of soda or still water to their Old Fashioned co*cktails. We suggest tasting the drink before adding any water and going from there.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.

Nutrition Per Serving Calories 166 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 7 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 6 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

You May Also Like...

Perfect Cosmopolitan co*cktail

Classic Bourbon Manhattan co*cktail Recipe

Soothing Honey Hot Toddy

Best Classic Mimosa

The Best Rum Mojitos

Perfect Aperol Spritz

The Best Old Fashioned co*cktail (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5737

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.