Maple-Cardamom Old Fashioned

October 20, 2014
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

This loose interpretation of an old fashioned came out of an improvisation when I ran out of maraschino cherries, but it definitely holds its own against the original. The flavors are especially suited to fall and winter, but I enjoy them year-round!

While you can use store-bought bitters, I highly recommend using the recipe below. I think the addition of a little cinnamon adds warmth that works really well with this drink. —Julie

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Julie has been a member of the Food52 community for the past year.
WHAT: An old fashioned redux with homemade bitters.
HOW: For a drink worthy of Don Draper, combine cardamom bitters with bourbon and maple syrup in a rocks glass, then add ice and garnish with an orange twist.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This updated old fashioned is smoother and slightly sweeter than its predecessor, using maple syrup instead of the classic sugar cube. The homemade bitters bump this recipe up another notch, enriching the whiskey with a warm, spicy-sweet kick. If you need us, you'll find us curled up with a glass by the fireplace. —The Editors

  • Makes 1 drink
  • For the old fashioned:
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 scant teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 dash cardamom bitters (see recipe below, or use store-bought)
  • Ice, to serve
  • 1 twist orange peel, for garnish
  • For the cardamom bitters:
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cardamom pods, crushed slightly
  • one 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup 100 proof vodka
In This Recipe
  1. For the old fashioned:
  2. In a rocks glass, stir together the bourbon and maple syrup.
  3. Top with bitters and ice and stir once or twice more.
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
  1. For the cardamom bitters:
  2. In a mason jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, cover cardamom pods and cinnamon stick with vodka. Secure lid and let sit at room temperature for 5 to 7 days.
  3. Strain and discard cardamom and cinnamon. Store bitters at room temperature.
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