Thursday, May 5, 2011

Old-fashioned Cocktail - A Cocktail legend

Finally something that you regularly see at the bar that is older than Joan Rivers. It has been around bars for a pretty good couple hundreds of years (the cocktail, Miss Rivers might've been around back then too, and probably both were on the menu, but while the cocktail gained poise Mrs. Rivers gained experience). OK, The Old Fashioned is really old and that is what i counts.


  • 1 cube of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon full of sugar
  • 1 dash of Orange bitters
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of Seltzer or soda water
  • 2 oz Whiskey (Rye preferred over Bourbon)
  • Ice
  • 1 Lemon peel
  • Orange slice and 2 Cherries as garnish (the original version didn't call for them)

  • Mix sugar with bitters until everything looks wet
  • Use an Old-fashioned glass (that's why they received the name, you might as well follow tradition and use it appropriately). 
  • Crush sugar softly with muddler
  • Add a short splash of soda water. 
  • Rinse inside of the glass with the mix
  • Add ice (1 large piece of ice is what I recommend, but use as little or as much as you preferred)
  • Add whiskey (rye or bourbon)
  • Stir gently
  • Serve with a stirrer

The Old Fashioned was actually considered a sling, since it has bitters, but since it seems bartenders got use to call it a cocktail and the tradition stuck. Since it was served in a short whiskey glass, its popularity requested the presence of these type of glasses in any bar, making the glassware use for it to become the popular Old-Fashioned glass, named after the drink.

The first use of the specific name "Old Fashioned" was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, Louisville, Kentucky. It has been said that it was invented by a bartender at a local Gentleman's Club.
One of its members was a well-traveled bourbon distiller, who requested it at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in NYC where it gained fame and popularity.


The oldest way - 1895
  • Dissolve a small lump of sugar 
  • Add short splash of water
  • use whiskey glass
  • add two dashes of orange bitters
  • small piece of ice
  • lemon peel
  • 1.5oz of whiskey
  • mix with small bar spoon
  • leave spoon in the glass

The 1900's recipe
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Curacao
  • small loaf of sugar
  • Dissolve in two spoonfuls of water 
  • 1 piece ice in glass
  • Stir well 
  • twist a piece of lemon peel on top and serv