Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned origin dates back to the early 1800s. At that time, the cocktail was relatively easy to make and not as complicated as today; it primarily included spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. 

But with the flow of time, cocktails began to evolve, and bartenders tried many ingredients and presentation styles. The term “cocktail” is now expanded with a broader range of mixed drinks, more delicate than the original version. 

Following the changing of the cocktail world, the Old Fashioned cocktail emerged. It is called a “whiskey cocktail” or “whiskey punch” for the first time. In the late 19th century, the name “Old Fashioned” distinguished this simple, classic cocktail from the newer, more complex ones.

The Old Fashioned taste highlights the whiskey’s quality; it allows you to savor the balance of sweetness and bitterness. When you enjoy an Old Fashioned, the whiskey will be the prominent flavor at the first sip. Bourbon or Rye is the common whiskey used; the choice will give a distinguished taste. While Bourbon is sweeter and smoother, Rye whiskey is spicier and has a more robust flavor. 

Old Fashioned Recipe

Old Fashioned Recipe

Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned cocktail - one of the oldest cocktails in the world- is known for the way it allows the whiskey flavor to shine. The classic and straightforward flavor has stood the test of time from the early 19th to now.  This classic Old Fashioned is delightful but effortless; we will show you how to make this beloved cocktail yourself!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 drink


  • Highball glass
  • Jigger for measuring
  • Bar spoon
  • Ice cubes


  • 2 oz 60ml of Bourbon or Rye whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar or 1 cube
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • A few dashes of water
  • Ice
  • A twist of citrus peel usually orange
  • A maraschino cherry optional


  • Place a sugar cube in the glass. But for the syrup, skip this step.
    1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Drip two dashes of Angostura bitters onto the sugar cube to mellow the sweetness.
    2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • If you have a sugar cube, add a few dashes of plain water to the glass to dissolve the sugar. Crush the sugar with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Next, stir the sugar cube to dissolve it into the water and bitters. For the syrup, skip this step.
    A few dashes of water
  • Fill the glass with ice.
  • Pour 2 oz (60 ml) of whiskey into the glass. Then, stir the cocktail thoroughly to mix the ingredients.
    2 oz 60ml of Bourbon or Rye whiskey
  • Hold a twist of citrus peel (orange or lemon) over the drink over the glass to release the citrus aroma. Or you can use the peel to run around the rim of the glass to increase the fresh aroma.
    A twist of citrus peel
  • Garnish your cocktail with a maraschino cherry for a more visually appealing taste.
    A maraschino cherry
  • Serve and enjoy your Old-fashioned cocktail!



Pro Tips for Success:

  • Choose the whiskey you would enjoy because the whiskey's flavor is the star of the show.
  • Balancing sweetness to your taste. Add a small amount of sugar first and increase if needed, careful not to make it too sweet.
  • Muddle the sugar cube gently with bitters and a few dashes of water. Do not over-muddle into a paste.
  • Consider the bitter flavor; while the Angostura bitters are traditional, you can try different bitters. But be careful with their potency; some bitter flavors can be stronger than others.
  • Twist the citrus peel to express the oils over the drink, but do not overdo it because too much bitterness can run the drink's flavor. 

How does Old Fashioned taste?

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail perfect to appreciate the nuanced flavor of high-quality whiskey. In addition, it is the harmonious balance of the rich, warm whiskey flavor, the sweetness from sugar, and the bitterness from Angostura bitters. 

What’s the difference between a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned? 

While the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned both are whiskey-based cocktails, there are some differences in the flavor profiles and preparations. Look at the table below to make it clear:

CriteriaManhattanOld Fashioned
Primary ingredientWhiskey (Rye is traditional)Whiskey (Bourbon or Rye is common)
Additional IngredientsSweet vermouth, aromatic bitters, orange twist and

maraschino cherry (optional)

Sugar, Angostura bitters, orange or lemon twist and maraschino cherry (optional)
TextureSlightly richer due to sweet vermouthBalanced and lighter
Flavor profileComplex with a combination of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bittersFocus on the whiskey’s character with a subtle balance of sweetness and bitters

Now it’s time to enjoy your delightful homemade old-fashioned; feel free to adjust the ingredient ratios based on your taste preferences. This versatile cocktail is ideal for various occasions and preferences.