Classic Old Fashioned


The old fashioned is a classic cocktail that was invented in Louisville, KY. You can make it with bourbon, rye, or a blended whiskey. You can also substitute one sugar cube for the simple syrup.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

You don't have to be a mixologist to make a perfect old fashioned. This classic old fashioned recipe feels fancy, but it's incredibly easy to make.

What Is An Old Fashioned?

An old fashioned is a classic whiskey cocktail with bitters, simple syrup, and fruit. Experts believe the drink is called the "old fashioned" because it's one of the first widely known cocktails ever. The name comes from people ordering the drink the "old-fashioned way.

Manhattan vs. Old Fashioned

Manhattans and old fashioneds are popular whiskey-based cocktails. They have a lot in common, but there are a few key differences.

· An old fashioned is sweetened with sugar or simple syrup. The Manhattan's sweetness comes from vermouth.
· An old fashioned is garnished with an orange peel, while a Manhattan is garnished with a brandied cherry.
· An old fashioned is served in a lowball glass, but a Manhattan is served in a stemmed martini glass.

a low angle view of two classic old fashioned cocktails
Meredith Food Studio

How to Make An Old Fashioned

It's not hard to make a perfect old fashioned — you just need a good recipe! You'll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let's go over the basics:

Old Fashioned Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to make this top-rated old fashioned recipe:

· Simple syrup: Use store-bought simple syrup or make your own at home.
· Water: A teaspoon of water helps bring out the flavor of the bourbon.
· Bitters: Use store-bought bitters or make your own at home.
· Ice: Traditional old fashioned cocktails are served over ice.
· Bourbon: Of course, you'll need bourbon! You can use rye whiskey instead, if you like.
· Garnishes: Garnish your old fashioned with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Best Bourbon For An Old Fashioned

Choose a bourbon with a strong, bold, and balanced flavor. You don't have to spring for a top shelf bottle if you don't want to, but avoid using anything you wouldn't want to sip by itself.

How Do You Make An Old Fashioned?

Here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make a classic old fashioned:

Stir the simple syrup, water, and bitters in a glass. Add the ice cubes and bourbon. Garnish.

Classic Old Fashioned

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"My favorite," says Todd Marsh. "I always use a sugar cube and pour a little bitters and juice from the maraschino cherries jar over it before crushing it along the bottom of the glass."

"Amazing drink and my stand-by selection," according to Laura Turley Francis. "If Don Draper loves them, why can't you?"

"Excellent and classic," raves nannajoanna. "It really makes so much difference when it's made from scratch. My only substitution: I used rye whiskey instead of bourbon."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 2 dashes bitters

  • 1 cup ice cubes

  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger bourbon whiskey

  • 1 slice orange

  • 1 maraschino cherry


  1. Pour simple syrup, water, and bitters into a whiskey glass; stir to combine. Add ice cubes and pour in bourbon. Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry.

    a low angle view of two classic old fashioned cocktails
    Meredith Food Studio
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