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Two Classic Old Fashioned Bourbon Whiskey Recipes


The Old Fashioned is my favorite cocktail. If you have never had an Old Fashioned, the best way to describe it is like a sweet Manhattan. It's mainly whiskey.

References to an "Old Fashioned" cocktail begin in the late 1800s. It was called "old fashioned" because it followed a recipe from the early 1800s, minus various liqueurs (like Curacao and absinthe) that had been added in the mid-1800s. Fruit ingredients like cherries, orange, and lemon began appearing after the late 1800s.

Recipes in This Article

  1. Original Old Fashioned Recipe
  2. My Favorite Old Fashioned Recipe

Original Old Fashioned Recipe


  • 2 ounces bourbon (two shots)
  • 1 cube sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Ice


  1. Place the sugar and bitters in a glass.
  2. Add the water, and muddle (mash) to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add the bourbon and ice. Stir and serve.

My Favorite Old Fashioned Recipe


  • Maker's Mark bourbon (or other whiskey or scotch)
  • 2 slices orange, 1/4 inch thick, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Soda water (optional)
  • 3 maraschino cherries
  • Ice cubes


  1. In the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass (a short, broad glass), add the sugar, bitters, one orange slice, and two cherries. Muddle (that is, smash) the fruit, sugar, and bitters together, getting some juice out of the fruit and encouraging the sugar to dissolve.
  2. Place two or three ice cubes in the glass, add a splash of soda water if you want, plop in the third cherry and an orange slice, and add two shots of the liquor, or enough to pretty much fill the glass. Stir and enjoy.

Warning: This recipe makes a sweet but very strong Old Fashioned. While many recipes call for one or two ounces of bourbon, making your Old Fashioned this way is likely to use three ounces or more.

Read More About the Old Fashioned