Master The Classics: Old Fashioned

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The first documented use of the word “cocktail” comes from the May 13th 1806 edition of The Balance And Columbian Repository which printed it’s definition like this: ” A potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.”

The story of the modern Old Fashioned goes something like this: A guy walk into the Pendennis Club sometime in the mid 1880’s and sidles up to the bar. He asks the bartender for a drink in the Old Fashioned way. The Bartender, knowing that this guy doesn’t want an improved whiskey cocktail (the drink which emerged in the wake of slings) makes this guy a bittered sling, but where this drink deviates is that he puts it on ice, which by now was available widely, and garnishes with a twist of orange, adding the essential oils of the fruit. The Old fashioned was born!

There are many ways to make an Old Fashioned and this video is just one of those ways. And of course it’s my favorite. I will though from now on be posting various other recipes for an old fashioned . Some from important cocktail bars and others from bartenders and some from you guys. So comment below and let us know your favorite Old Fashioned build!

I want to state now that I got a date wrong. The Pendennis Club was opened in 1881 not 1861 as I previously thought. It’s a small mistake and not worth a reshoot. That puts the modern old fashioned creation in the mid 1880’s. So don’t get all crazy about the mistake, I am a creature of accuracy so i am correcting myself here.

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Here’s The Specs:

2oz Rye Whiskey
1 Sugar Cube
4 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Dash Soda Water
Orange and Lemon Twist
Luxardo Cherry Garnish

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21 Responses

  1. Barrett says:

    Awesome old fashioned, and I'm with you on the grainy. I hate OFs that use simple syrup. Just means lazy (or overworked) bartenders.

    My wife makes me an amazing OF.
    It's very close to yours.

    2oz Rye Whiskey
    or High-Rye Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101 works very well, as does Old GrandDad 114)
    1 demerara Sugar Cube, muddled

    2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

    2 Dashes Orange Bitters
    Orange Twist

    3x Luxardo Cherry Garnish, on a nice cocktail toothpick

  2. James Smith says:

    This is a dope old fashioned!

  3. Adam Davis says:

    I'm a big history guy, so I really enjoy when you show the origins of the cocktails you make. So keep up the history lessons please. And thanks.

  4. Kingman Brewski says:

    Great video. The short and sweet cocktail histories are what set you apart from other similar channels, it's fantastic! I've been home for a bit and have been making OFs for my parents based off of your old video and I happened to be using the rye you used in this video. The fiery punch definitely comes through nice and strong at the beginning.

  5. Big D says:

    Please do the old fashioned series! They are my favorite drinks and I'm always looking for new ways to make them.

  6. Russell Johnson says:

    The old fashioned is what brought me to making my own cocktails at home.

  7. Chic Knave says:

    I've never used Rittenhouse before. Looks like I'll have to grab a bottle.

    However, I do have and enjoy my Bulleit rye. I've found that it has almost a smokiness to it that reminds me very briefly of Scotch.

    Is Rittenhouse your favorite rye?

  8. Guilherme Hauser says:


  9. Zane Moriarty says:

    I want to take this time to formally thank the bartender who shook my old fashioned and got mad when I refused the drink and didn’t tip him, after getting uppity about how I was too young and an amateur (I’m 20.) You suck.

  10. Dan Bodine says:

    I like to do two dashes fee's cherry bitters and two dashes angostura. The reason is I really like fee's cherry bitters.

  11. Nick L says:

    For my old fashioned, I do a glass wash of Luxardo marschino liquor, and St.Germaine. I use 2 dashes of Chocolate bitters, 2 dashes of orange bitters, and 2 dashes of ango bitters. I also use agave syrup, cause I think it’s richer than simple, and like you, 2oz of high proof rye.

  12. ChalywongDan says:


  13. Richard Luong says:

    I love the history input in these videos

  14. Wilde Wilde says:

    Is it just me or does this gentlemen have a name that belongs in some romance novel or a soap opera lol very cool vedio, I'd love a vedio series about the old fashioned cocktail

  15. Paul says:

    Another vote for the Old Fashioned series. There are dozens of variations and it would be really nifty to see some different perspectives compared.

  16. pbkayakyer says:

    That grainy sugary pop is what makes or breaks it for me. All the good old fashioneds have had it. All the crappy ones did not.

  17. Elizabeth George says:

    YES PLEASE! More Old Fashioned recipes. Also, I like your addition of lemon. Presentation looks beautiful!

  18. triflic says:

    Is it necessary to use club soda to help dissolve the sugar cube or can you just use water? The end drink isn't supposed to be carbonated is it?

  19. Sandra Weeden says:

    I would LOOOVE to see an Old Fashioned series! And it's such a good idea to bring in bar tenders from different bars. The old fashioned is my new favorite cocktail and it would be so cool and interesting to learn other peoples' preferred recipes. And never skimp on the history lesson if you can! : )

  20. Arno Band says:

    Love this old fashion variation! Simple yet complex. My self like to do half orange and angostura bitters. Great work keep this videos coming and I’ll keep drinking them, cheers!

  21. Frankie Cerniglia says:

    Leandro, the Old Fashioned is my HANDS DOWN favorite whiskey cocktail. It is a default setting for me when I want a whiskey cocktail.

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