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A guide to help the average man... look less average

The Old Fashioned

Mark Kwak

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

I would argue that right now is the heyday of craft cocktails. As a result, there are always new and innovative drinks being made across the nation. Despite this, it turns out that my favorite drink (both to drink and make) is actually one of the oldest and most classic of them all, the Old Fashioned. 

Here’s my take on the Old Fashioned. I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but I will say that since I’ve been making this drink on my own, I’ve found very little reason to go out and pay $14 for it anymore. Test it yourself and let me know what you think:

Source: Trolleyd

Source: Trolleyd

First, here are the ingredients:

1. Bourbon

2. Demerara (turbinado works too) sugar ß don’t worry, you can find this at a whole foods near you.

3. Angostura bitters

4. Orange

5. Ice

If you don’t have bourbon, you can substitute with rye, but I personally like bourbon in my Old Fashioned’s. Here are three brands I personally like, from least expensive to most expensive.

1. Buffalo Trace

2. Four Roses Small Batch

3. Basil Hayden’s

Source: Busted Wallet

Source: Busted Wallet


First, make some simple syrup. Equal parts demerara sugar, equal parts water. Mix while bringing it to a boil, then take it off heat and get it to cool down.

Second, pour all the ingredients into a stirring glass (or any cup if you don’t have a stirring glass). Here are the portions:

2 oz Bourbon

½ oz Simple Syrup

3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Add some ice to the glass, then start stirring. Stir for a good 15-20 seconds, as diluted water helps enhance this drink more than you’d think.

Get out a whiskey tumbler or old fashioned glass and pour some ice in there. I usually like to use a huge block of ice using these types of molds: cube, sphere, but you can use smaller cubes as well. Outside of aesthetics, the advantage to a huge block is that it’s slower in melting.

Source: Fiveandspice

Source: Fiveandspice

Pour the drink (straining the ice from the stirring glass) into your tumbler. Then peel a 3 inch orange peel (try not to peel too hard, if there’s a ton of white on the bottom of your peel, it is a bit more bitter) and twist the peel over your glass. The oils from this peel actually make a difference.

Wipe the peel around the edge of the glass, and then plop it into the drink. Voila, you have yourself an excellent (and I mean excellent) Old Fashioned.

Now, all you need to do is relax. And maybe pour yourself one, two, or three more as the night goes along. Enjoy fellas.