The old-fashioned is one of the oldest mixed drinks in the cocktail canon. (Original name: whiskey cocktail, which became old-fashioned whiskey cocktail, and then just old-fashioned.) It is a stirred drink, usually built in the glass in which it is served. Both rye and bourbon are suitable base spirits. For the sweetener, purists muddle up a sugar cube with water and a couple dashes of bitters, but simple syrup works as well. Twists can be orange, lemon or both (known as “rabbit ears”). A fruited version of the drink came into vogue after Prohibition and involves the muddling of a cherry and orange slice along with the sugar. That version remains widespread, but we advocate the more elemental rendition that took hold in the late 1800s, one that allows the flavors of the whiskey to shine.
- Serves: 1 person
- 1sugar cube (or 1 bar spoon simple syrup)
- 2dashes Angostura bitter
- 2ounces rye or bourbon
- Orange twist
Step 1Muddle the sugar cube and bitters with one bar spoon of water at the bottom of a chilled rocks glass. (If using simple syrup, combine bitters and one bar spoon of syrup.) Add rye or bourbon. Stir.
Step 2Add one large ice cube, or three or four smaller cubes. Stir until chilled and properly diluted, about 30 seconds. Slip orange twist on the side of the cube.