The Old Fashioned is one of the classic cocktails made with whiskey. Learn how to make it the right way.

Old Fashioned

Orange zest


6 cl
1 cl
Aromatic bitter
2 dashes
The number of ingredients in an Old Fashioned are limited. Therefore, each ingredient really makes its mark on the final cocktail. Although you can lift a bad whiskey, it can be a long way to a really great cocktail. Keep that in mind when selecting your ingredients.

The history of Old Fashioned

The cocktail was invented at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, which was founded in 1881. The recipe was allegedly invented by a bartender in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, who was a prominent bourbon distiller. The colonel took the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York.

The original recipe prescribes that you put a lump of sugar in a glass, mix it with aromatic bitters and a bit of sparkling water and muddle it. The cocktail is then built up and stirred. This method takes a long time and the result can vary, depending on how effectively you stir the sugar into the rest of the cocktail. Therefore, we definitely recommend that you use a sugar syrup, so that the sugar is more easily distributed in the cocktail and the result is the same from time to time.

Variations of the classic Old Fashioned

In the book Cocktail Codex the Old Fashioned is described as one of 6 basic recipes from which all cocktails originate. In any case, we agree with the book that the recipe for an Old Fashioned is simple and gives rise to experimentation. The basic ingredient (alcohol) can be easily replaced by a completely different type of spirit, such as e.g. brandy or rum. We can definitely recommend replacing the whiskey with Diplomatico rum.

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Learn more about whiskey

The word whiskey comes from the Scottish Gaelic expression "uisge beatha" which means water of life. The earliest whiskey was almost exclusively distilled by monks. It was never allowed to mature, and tended to be very raw. It is perhaps not so surprising either, since it was primarily considered to be a medicine that was used against a wide range of diseases.
Read more about whiskey