Modern Old-Fashioned Cocktail
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extra-large ice cube or standard ice cubes
of a fresh ripe peach, coarsely chopped
tablespoon pure maple syrup
tablespoons (2 oz) bourbon
dashes aromatic bitters
Add extra-large ice cube to lowball or rocks glass.
Muddle orange slice, lemon slice, chopped peach and maple syrup in cocktail shaker until fruit is broken up. Add standard ice cubes, bourbon and bitters to shaker; shake and strain into glass.
Garnish with peach slice.
More About This Recipe
- Having a top-notch home bar is about more than buying a few bottles of your favorite booze. You also have to have the right gear on hand to mix up those drinks.Good bar tools can elevate a cocktail to the next level, turning your drink into a beverage you would happily pay good money for if you were at a restaurant. And you don't have to be a cocktail nerd to admit that a lot of tools used for drink-making look pretty cool. So head to your nearest housewares store and stock up on these awesome gadgets before your next cocktail party.Fancy Ice Cube TraysThose plastic ice cube trays that come standard with every freezer are fine for a glass of water or some juice, but if you want to chill your cocktail, reach for something a little fancier. Cubes from standard trays are not uniform in size and will water down your drink by melting too fast. Have a tray or two in your freezer of good ice, so you'll always have some on hand for impromptu gatherings. Look for a tray that produces large, perfectly made cubes. These are usually made of silicon or some other rubber-like material.
- JiggerEyeballing the pours that make up your libations are fine in a pinch, but if you want to get your recipes just right, you should have a jigger on hand to measure out the exact amount of spirit that you're adding to a beverage. This is especially important if you're making the intricately crafted, multi-ingredient drinks that are all the rage these days. Get a double-sided, stainless steel model with a one ounce pour on one side and a two ounce on the other, and you'll never mess up your mixology again.Cocktail StirrerA bar isn't complete without one of those gleaming metal cocktail shakers and a metal strainer, but those aren't good for every drink. A cocktail stirrer is essential if you're making classic selections like Manhattans or Martinis. The thinking is that violently shaking some of these drinks "bruises" the spirit, leading to a watered down, way-too-cold mess. Stirring, however, unlocks the nuances of the flavors and chills the drink without leaving you with a sore arm. A lot of metal stirrers have a muddler built onto the end, letting you fulfill two needs behind the bar with one gadget. Sweet.Glass Seltzer BottleIs there any reason, flavor-wise, to squirt your seltzer out of a classic glass bottle rather than pouring it out of some plastic? Nope, but if there is one gadget that can transform the look of your home bar to that of a swanky speakeasy, it's a bottle like the one they used to freshen up their beverages in all of those old-time movies. Yeah, you have to deal with getting cartridges of carbon dioxide (available at high-end housewares stores), but there's nothing like spraying some bubbles into your beverage to create a little buzz at your par-tay.
15 New Takes on the Old Fashioned
Why not try an updated take on one of America's oldest cocktails?
Why not try an updated take on one of America's oldest cocktails?
.5 oz. simple syrup (you can use a teaspoon of sugar, but the simple syrup works better since you are smoking this drink.)
2 good dashes of Angostura bitters.
2 pieces of dried rosemary
Pour spirit over ice, add simple syrup and bitters. Squeeze orange twist into drink. Take rosemary and light it on fire, put it over the drink, but not in it. Cover with shaker for 10 seconds. The fire will go out immediately and the drink starts to infuse with smoke. Take tin off slowly and enjoy the gorgeous cloud of smoke over your drink. Take rosemary burnt sprig away. If you have an excess of rosemary left over on top, serve with small straw.
Muddle orange, lemon and cherries in a mixing glass. Add bourbon and St. Germain. Roll and strain into a rocks glass. Top with a splash of ginger ale and garnish with orange and cherries.
2 oz. bacon-infused 4 Roses Bourbon
7 dashes coffee pecan bitters
Combine all ingredients and stir.
2 dashes house orange bitters (page 284)
Garnish: 1 grapefruit twist
Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a double rocks glass over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with the grapefruit twist.
Plain, unflavored cotton candy (about a softball-size per cocktail)
Stir rye and bitters. Pour cocktail over cotton candy until all is melted. Garnish with oil from orange peel.
Buy Now Marquis by Waterford Markham Double Old Fashioned Glasses, Set of 4, $31.99
1 heaping bar spoon of Fig Jam
1 thinly sliced Orange wheel
2.5 oz Basil Hayden bourbon
2 dashes angostura bitters
In mixing glass muddle jam with orange, add bitters, bourbon and ice, and stir well to incorporate all ingredients. Strain into old fashioned glass, top with fresh ice and express and incorporate peel.
2 oz Tequila Añejo, preferably Rial Azul
2 barspoons or 1 quarter oz Agave Nectar
1 dash of Chocolate Bitters
4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Mix together into a mixing glass with ice Stir and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.
4 dashes of 18.21 Black Currant and Cocoa Tincture bitters
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice for 30 seconds. Serve in a rock glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist and a brandied cherry.
Buy Now Ralph Lauren Home Greenwich Double Old-Fashioneds, Set of 2, $95
1 brown sugar candied orange wedge
2 dashes angostura bitters
Lightly muddle brown sugar candied orange wedge, luxardo cheery, dashes angostura bitters. Add Old Monk Rum. Add ice. Stir. Serve on the rocks in old fashioned glass.
1.75 oz. Wild Turkey bourbon
.5 oz. Wild Turkey American Honey
In an old fashioned glass, muddle orange and cherry with sugar and bitters. Mount with ice and add both Knob Creek and Southern Comfort. Finish with a splash of club soda.
1 oz Evan Williams Black bourbon
Bar spoon demerara syrup (1:1 parts sugar in the raw to water)
Stir ingredients together, and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon and orange twist.
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Mix ingredients together and garnish with orange and lemon twists.
Created by Master Blender Lorena Vásquez and Mixologist Julio Cabrera of Miami's Regent Cocktail Club
Dark Chocolate (to grate on top)
Combine rum, simple syrup, Angostura bitters and chocolate bitters into a double old fashioned glass and fill with ice. Stir gently. Express grapefruit peel over drink and discard. Grate dark chocolate over top.
The Other Modern Classic Cocktails
Invented in the 1990s by Dick Bradsell, the godfather of the London cocktail revival, the Wibble is a mixture of gin, sloe gin, grapefruit and lemon juices, simple syrup and crème de mûre. In London, it’s considered by many to be a modern classic. Yet it’s rarely consumed outside of Great Britain. Certainly, it’s not nearly as well-known as the Espresso Martini or Bramble, two other Bradsell creations that belong unequivocally to the canon of modern classic cocktails.
So, what is the Wibble then? Neither a global phenomenon nor an obscurity, the cocktail is not without a certain stature. Perhaps it deserves a category of its own where it and other semifamous drinks can gather—the minor classic cocktails.
Every field of artistic endeavor has its minor, or cult, classics. For instance, Harold and Maude, director Hal Ashby’s 1971 counterculture tale of a May-December romance between a morbid young man from a wealthy family and an elderly free spirit, is beloved by numerous film fans. But it will never make the British Film Institute’s annual list of the 100 greatest films of all time. Similarly, Call It Sleep, Henry Roth’s 1934 novel about a Jewish boy growing up on the Lower East Side, has a dedicated following, despite having bombed upon release and fallen out of print for 30 years. Still, the book’s never going to compete with Moby-Dick and The Great Gatsby for the title of Great American Novel.
The cocktail world is no different. It has its Ashbys and Roths, too. As with their cinematic and literary counterparts, certain drinks, while popular, remain under the radar. Among reasons for this: the limits of regionality. Just as countries have writers and filmmakers who are celebrated but largely unknown beyond national borders, some drinks remain provincial phenomena.
The Beuser & Angus Special (Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, lime juice, sugar and egg white) and the Ranglum (Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, lime juice, falernum) were both invented by bartender Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro in Berlin in the aughts. They’ve since become known entities at craft cocktail bars across Germany, and if you order one, you’ll be adjudged a knowledgeable connoisseur. Ask for one in Paris or London, however, and you’ll get a blank stare.
A Chicago-born, Malört-laced sour.
A mixture of gin, Barolo chinato and Peychaud’s bitters.
Don Lee's heavily-bittered gin sour.
Other “famous” cocktails are even more confined geographically. The Darkside, a mixture of gin, Barolo chinato and Peychaud’s bitters, enjoys a reputation in Washington, D.C., where bartender Adam Bernbach created it in 2008. But step outside the Beltway and it has little traction at all. The Hard Sell, meanwhile, is an easy sell in Chicago, where it was born in 2009. And Chicago largely remains its audience, probably owing to the fact that bartender Brad Bolt loaded the gin drink with three-quarters of an ounce of the treasured local poison, Malört.
Other times, a successful bartender spinning out hits can hinder the chances of a deserving cocktail becoming a breakout. Take Sam Ross, for example. The Australian-born bartender based in the United States has two modern classic cocktails to his name, the Penicillin and Paper Plane. Perhaps because of this, other well-ordered drinks of his—such as the Left Hand (a Boulevardier with chocolate bitters)—that might otherwise rise to “classic” standing are relegated to lesser-known status. Bradsell, too, falls into this category. His Wibble and Russian Spring Punch might be better known had his Bramble and Espresso Martini not become such worldwide sensations.
Every now and then, a cocktail is catapulted to marginal fame—but no higher—when it is taken up as a pet cause by an influential booster. Don Lee’s heavily bittered drink the Sawyer, which he invented in 2010 at New York’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar, didn’t get much attention until writer Brad Thomas Parsons included it in his best-selling book Bitters in 2011. Parsons has talked it up ever since, often making the cocktail at events. And while the Sawyer will never rank with Lee’s vaunted Benton’s Old-Fashioned, it’s no longer a nobody.
Sometimes the booster in question is the monolithic press. And, yet, cheerleading still doesn’t quite do the trick to flip a drink from coach to first class. In New York, the Brancolada, Jeremy Oertel’s twist on the Piña Colada using Branca Menta, became the breakout drink at Donna when the Brooklyn bar opened in 2012. Media went crazy for the drink. Google “Brancolada” and you’ll still get several pages of relevant results. Though Donna sold tons of them nightly, the cocktail stubbornly did not travel beyond the borough. (Donna closed in late 2020, robbing the world of the one sure place to enjoy a Brancolada.)
This state of affairs is probably as it should be. Not every cocktail can be a mainstream hit—you need your cult classics, your Freaks and Geeks, if you will—but every now and then the campaigning of an influential few, or fate, elevates a minor classic to major deal. The Cosmo, after all, was once a local drink enjoyed by New Yorkers alone.
Learn about the most important Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition Era, and Modern Classic cocktails from around the world. Each drink has its own history, ingredient formulation, and service style, along with a field of variations that allow you to adjust it to your personal palate.
Origin Of The Old Fashioned
The recipe for an Old Fashioned is technically the same as what should constitute a cocktail. By that, we mean the first documented use of the word cocktail appeared in the May 13, 1806 issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, New York. The editor at the time wrote that a cocktail was a &ldquopotent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.&rdquo That very recipe morphed into the Old Fashioned.
Despite the majority of Old Fashioned cocktails being made with a whiskey base, the original definition left the base spirit open to interpretation. Still, in the 1800s, gin, rum and brandy-based Old Fashioneds could be found in New York City bars. If you&rsquore someone who enjoys both brandy and whisky, you may want to try making an Old Fashioned using Martell Blue Swift.
Orange Creamsicle Old Fashioned (Broken Shaker, New York City)
Fewer things evoke hot childhood summer days more than a creamsicle. So leave it to Evan Hawkins, the head bartender at super-hot rooftop spot Broken Shaker at the Freehand hotel, to turn it in to a cocktail. Stirring together Old Forester bourbon, Suntory Toki Japanese whisky, an orange whey cordial (comprising orange juice, whey liquid, sugar, vanilla extract and makrut lime leaf) and a vial of Tiki bitters, he pours it all over a big cube in a rocks glass. It took him a bit of R&D, but using leftover oranges and whey from ricotta cheese the kitchen made, he created this clarified milk water for that perfect creamy essence.
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounces fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce crème de cassis
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into double old fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.
Drink: Bourbon Renewal
Bartender: Jeffrey Morgenthaler
"It’s been a staple of mine for nearly fifteen years, and was one of the first drinks I ever created. There isn’t much to say about it, other than the fact that it’s merely a Whiskey Sour with the sweet component split between simple syrup and crème de cassis. I love cassis because it’s deeper, drier, and earthier than most berry liqueurs," explains Clyde Common bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
Photo by Fortune Cookie Fortune
The Old Fashioned Recipe
Favorite Restaurant Cocktail Recipe
Preparation time:ਂ minutes. Serves 1.
- 1 small sugar lump
- 1 ounce whiskey
- Very little water (just enough to dissolve the sugar)
- 2 Dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 small piece of ice
- 1 piece of lemon peel
- Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass (rocks glass)
- Add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece of ice, a piece of lemon-peel, one jigger whiskey
- Mix with small bar-spoon and serve
That is the correct way to make an Old Fashioned. Notice that there is no club soda and no Maraschino cherry. It doesn't hurt anything if you want to garnish your drink with a cherry but you really shouldn't plop it into the bottom of the glass. A better garnish would be a half slice of orange or a curled lemon peel.
The way an Old Fashioned is "built" will determine the quality of the drink.
Now compare the original Old Fashioned restaurant recipe to the way most bars serve it today.
"Modern" Old Fashioned Cocktail
Preparation Time:ਂ minutes. Serves 1
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon or blended whiskey
- 3/4-1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 or 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 ounce club soda
- Orange slice, Maraschino cherry and lemon twist for garnish
- Muddle sugar, soda and bitters in rocks glass
- Pour whiskey into glass and stir
- Garnish and serve
The two main differences are the muddling and the use of club soda. These are enough to result in a really different drink.
You decide for yourself. Try one each way. -)
Enjoy your Old Fashioned recipe and the company of those you share it with!
More about the Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned gets its name because it started as literally the cocktail. The first cocktail in existence! It was first documented in the early 1800’s by a New York paper. Once more cocktails started coming along in the 1806’s, they needed a name for that original whiskey cocktail. The “Old Fashioned” was born.
The Old Fashioned is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the drink, which is:
- Bourbon or rye whiskey
- Sugar cube
- Angostura bitters
- Orange peel and cocktail cherry garnish
The smoked Old Fashioned came along because bartenders started cold smoking drinks to infuse a smoky flavor. It’s a modern spin on the classic that’s absolutely worth a try.
Want another spin on the Old Fashioned? Try the Wisconsin Old Fashioned, made with brandy and topped off with lemon lime soda.
Newly Fashioned Brother Recipe
The Newly Fashioned Brother is similar to the New Old Fashioned, with a riff on some simple ingredients.
- 2 oz New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- ½ oz demerara simple syrup
- 2 dashes aromatic Angostura Bitters
- 1 orange wedge
- 1 luxardo cherry
- Brown sugar to candy the orange
To candy the orange wedges, start by boiling them for roughly 2 minutes. Transfer the slices to an ice bath, discard the water and chill the oranges. Add your demerara simple syrup to a saucepan on medium-low heat, then add the chilled orange slices to simmer for one hour. Stir every 15 minutes to coat them evenly in the syrup. Remove oranges from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack. Coat them in brown sugar before completely drying and serving.