How to Make an Old Fashioned

Photo by Jeff Wilcox

Photo by Jeff Wilcox

The Old Fashioned has the distinction of being "one of the manliest drinks you can order and something your Grandmother drank." 

How can you argue with that? (A strong case can be made if you hated your Grandmother.) 

The best Old Fashioned I ever had was at Employees Only, a little restaurant in New York's West Village. Having stuck to my guns as a straight up alcohol kinda guy, I decided to give theirs a try after our waiter recommended it. 

Testing several recipes on my own I settled on this old classic via Dushan Zaric. He happens to be the co-owner of Employees Only. Perfect.

When it comes to an Old Fashioned, I have a few preferences.

Never muddle fruit in the glass. In fact, I do away with recipes with orange slices as a garnish. I hate pulp in my orange juice. I hate it in my alcohol. I do like two maraschino cherries as a garnish though. Eat one half way through the drink, save the last one for your final sip.

My bourbon of choice is Kings County Distillery Bourbon Whiskey. Feel free to use what you like. 

The Recipe:

In a mixing glass combine

  • One brown sugar cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 dashes of Angoustor bitters
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Splash of water (about 1/4 oz)
  • 2 oz Bourbon whiskey

Muddle the sugars, then stir until completely dissolved. Very important not to rush this step. You don't want floating chunks of sugar.

Add ice, stir to chill drink.

Transfer drink to a chilled Old Fashioned (rocks) glass with a large ice cube in it. (Putting the glass in the freezer is the fastest way to chill it.)

I recommend using these great large silicone ice trays from Tovolo to make easy large ice cubes. 

Garnish with an orange and lemon twist (remembering to squeeze the peel over the drink to release the oils). Finish with 2 maraschino cherries, skewered on a cocktail pick.