The Old Fashioned

Bobby shares his new hobby: making craft cocktails. In this post we’re going to make a classic: The Old Fashioned.

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By Robert Ross on 4/21/2020

If you’re having a hard time enjoying the great indoors you might find solace in a great cocktail. It doesn’t take much effort, can be rewarding upon first sip, and you might even have a picture worthy of Instagram.

I’ve taken a big(ger) interest in craft cocktails in the last few weeks as we all do our best to flatten the curve and support the health workers battling the COVID-19 virus, so in this post we’re going to make a classic: The Old Fashioned.

Non-Alcoholic Versions

We totally acknowledge not everyone drinks, or simply wants an alternative sometimes. So we’ve collected some recipes from the web to make this classic without the alcohol. You’ll find them linked below.

TL;DR I just need ingredients


You’ll need:

  • 2oz Rye Whiskey

  • 1 sugar cube

  • Bitters (any, it’s fun to use different ones and taste the difference)

  • A skosh of water

  • Navel Orage (optional)


  • Whiskey glass

  • Whiskey ice cube (or stone, your prerogative)

  • Muddler

  • Stirring spoon (or whatever, a chopstick would work)

How To Make It

Depending on my mood I’ll either build an old fashioned in the glass I’m going to drink it from, or use a Yarai Mixing Glass. Most of the time, I’m building it in the glass, so we’re going to make it with that way.

In the Glass

First, take your sugar cube and put it in your glass. Next you’ll want to do 2-3 dashes of bitters into your sugar cube (just get it close). After that I add a skosh of water (less than a mouthful of water). I turn on my faucet and turn it off as fast as possible and that’s a perfect amount. An 8th note of water if you will.

With the sugar cube, bitters, and water, take your muddler and smash the sugar cube until there are no longer any large sugar pieces left. After you’re done, add a whiskey ice cube to the glass.

Once the ice is in the glass, pour 2 ozs of your Rye Whiskey into the glass. Take your stirring spoon and mix the whiskey and sugar + bitters together. You’re doing this to cool down the whiskey, dilute the whiskey a bit, and dissolve the sugar.

A Note On Stirring

Don’t treat your glass as a cauldron, you need to make sure the stirring spoon can spin in your hand. To accomplish this I put the spoon in-between my 2 middle fingers and create a circle with my index and thumb that it then goes in. This allows the spoon to stir freely as I press it along the side of the glass. If you can stir a cocktail well, you’ll impress your friends.

Once you’ve stirred the whiskey to the point where there’s no sugar visible, you’re ready to add a whiskey cube.

Orange Peel

If you have an orange, you’re ready to do the best part of the whole build: holding fire to fruit.

You’ll want to get a circular piece of orange peel, called a coin, to apply the match to. You can do this by putting an orange on its side and take a knife to a small sliver of it.

Once you have a coin (silver dollar sized), light a match and apply the flame to the orange for a few seconds while holding the coin peel in-between your thumb and index finger. At the end give the coin a little squeeze and you should see a flame spurt before you drop the coin in the drink. Extinguish your match, take a deep breath, and prepare for your Instagram post.


Congrats! You’ve just made one of the first ever documented cocktails. The old fashioned can be traced back as early as the 1850s. In fact, before it was “the old fashioned”, it was simply “a whiskey cocktail”. What’s more, you could order any spirit with the word “cocktail” and you’d basically get what you just made, but with that spirit instead. So a gin cocktail, vodka cocktail, etc.


Alcohol isn’t for everyone, and we know that here. So we wanted to provide alternatives as well.

Happy mixing!

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