5 Ingredients or Fewer

Old Fashioned

December 14, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Makes 1
Author Notes

Still crazy good after all these years. Simple to make and goes down easy. —Erika Kotite

Test Kitchen Notes

One sip of this classic old fashioned cocktail may transport you back in time. It's considered a classic for a reason, and it's a good cocktail to keep in mind as the temperatures fall and the holidays roll around. Nothing warms you up after a long day like a whiskey drink. According to Liquor.com, the origin of this drink dates to over 200 years old, so you know it's gotta be good if it's lasted for this long! If you haven't tried one before, you're out of excuses now. Instead of having to go through the process of making simple syrup, this recipe calls for a sugar cube, which delightfully sweetens the drink. Crushing it with the orange peel really brings out a lot of flavor, even though it's a very easy, quick step.

It's also important to take your time with this recipe—you really want a good dilution, and one of the commenters suggested stirring for at least 5 minutes in order to have the best old fashioned you've ever had. The New York Times reports that the original name was "whiskey cocktail, which became old-fashioned whiskey cocktail, and then just old-fashioned." It's one of the best ways you can let a really nice rye whiskey take center stage, and after one sip, it'll definitely warm the cockles. Like we mentioned before, you can't go wrong with a classic. You could use bourbon instead of the whiskey, but be sure to use the highest-quality liquor you can find. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Old Fashioned
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 orange peel, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • Ice
  1. Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add the bitters and a splash of water.
  2. Crush the sugar thoroughly with a wooden muddler or strong spoon, then muddle with the orange peel to release some of its oils.
  3. Pour in the whiskey, place a few ice cubes in the glass, and stir until well chilled.
  4. Garnish with fresh orange peel, if using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ron Richards
    Ron Richards
  • Frank
  • Daniel Laurita
    Daniel Laurita
  • Mark Kidman
    Mark Kidman
  • TasteofOregon
I spend about an equal amount of time behind the laptop and behind the stove. In between preparing and writing about food, I love to hang out with my husband, three children, big shaggy dog and two cats. History is also my thing, especially the Regency period, U.S. Westward expansion and World War II. Favorite drinks: good pinot noirs and classic martinis. Favorite book: Pride & Prejudice. Favorite obsessions: Laura Ingalls Wilder and South Dakota

11 Reviews

Ron R. February 19, 2020
I make similar at home. Though no sugar. Instead of use a 1/2 shot of Monin cinnamon syrup. And sometimes Aztec or Mole bitters. So smooth. Then Burn a little flame under the orange peel to release oils for the twist.
Frank September 21, 2014
The trick to this drink is the proper dilution of the ice in the drink and…wait for it…IT TAKES TIME. You should pour the Rye or Bourbon in X3 steps and add ice as you go while stirring all the time. The whole thing should take at least 5mins and you can drag it to 10mins with using really big cubes of ice. (if the outside of the glass does not become a bit frosty, you are doing it to fast. The favours need time to blend together so it's not just a Rye on the rocks! I can't stress this enough. This drink was first done in New Orleans in the late 1800's and people had the time to do the important things right then. Do you your self a favour and take the time to stir this drink to perfection and it will reward you with one of the best concoction there is. It hasn't become a classic for nothing. Trust history!…and Don Draper if you have to…
essbee September 27, 2014
Thank you!
murphzilla February 2, 2014
I agree with Daniel, muddle the fruit!
Daniel L. April 6, 2013
you must mull the fruit in the classic recipe not just garnish with it
Jeremy S. May 14, 2013
You could not be more wrong.
KatieF February 11, 2014
Agreed! No cherries or orange slices please, makes it way too sweet! Although, I do like muddling the orange (or lemon) peel a bit to better bring out the citrus.
Mark K. March 7, 2013
I tried it with a premium rum and it was also fantastic (Ron Zacapa 23). It was equally horrible with Single Malt Scotch (Ardbeg 10). Going to give vodka a try - apparently allows the bitters to really shine, maybe add Angostura Orange Bitters as well?
Nick R. April 12, 2013
Yes Ardbeg would not work at all given it's heavy , heavy smoke. Ardbeg is perfect for floating on top of a Penicillin though.
Mark K. April 12, 2013
Thanks Nick R. Looked up the Penicillin and it looks like I'm going to buy some more ginger!
TasteofOregon February 21, 2013
Everybody likes an old fashioned girl!