The Cocktail Revolution HQ

The Timeless Old Fashioned

Cool and refreshing in summer and soothingly warm in winter, the classic Old Fashioned has been satisfying tastes of all persuasions since the early 19th century.


In May 1806, the word ‘cocktail’ made its debut appearance in The Balance and Columbian Repository, a newspaper published in Hudson, New York.  The word was defined as any spirit, combined with sugar, bitters and water. Drinkers could order a cocktail with their preferred spirit, commonly whiskey, bourbon, rye and further down the track, gin.


Sometime later, during the 1860s, a collection of new mixed drinks burst onto the scene, using a variety of ingredients, techniques and flavours. But the old-timers couldn’t bare to step away from what they’d been used to sipping on for the last 50 years. Due to this one simple fact, the cocktail term ‘old fashioned’ was coined and essentially, a true Old Fashioned nowadays refers to the first, classic, three-ingredient, no-nonsense cocktail of the early 19th century.


Since then, many variations have been made on the lasting theme and therefore, half the fun of preparing this classic is quarrelling with friends and bartenders over the true Old Fashioned recipe. That said, it’s always a lot of fun to experiment with modern variations. With this in mind, we’ve prepared two great Old Fashioned recipes for you to try – one classic and one with a modern twist.


The Old Fashioned Old Fashioned:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 standard shot rye whiskey
  • ice
  • orange peel
  • maraschino cherry

Place the sugar cube in a glass. Wet it down with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and

crush with a wooden muddler or spoon. Next, rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a few large ice cubes and pour in the rye whiskey. Garnish with orange peel and maraschino cherry.


The Contemporary Old Fashioned:

  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • fresh orange slice
  • fresh lemon slice
  • ¼ fresh ripe peach, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbls bourbon
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Schweppes soda water
  • fresh peach slice


Place large ice cubes in a short glass. Next, muddle orange slice, lemon slice, chopped peach and maple syrup in cocktail shaker until fruit is broken up. Add bourbon and bitters to shaker, shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with peach slice.



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