These are the Only Ingredients That Should Be in An Old Fashioned


Trash.Trash. TRASH. That’s all I kept thinking as I took a sip of the monstrosity that they were calling an old fashioned. I wanted to yell at the bartender, I’m sorry, I ordered the Old Fashioned, you gave me a New Fashioned and I don’t want it.

I was out for a liquor brand event. I won’t name the brand because I respect their liquid and this mistake firmly belonged to the establishment. Although I think brands should ensure that the bars actually know what they’re doing when they book them for events, but I can’t blame for thinking that a place that calls itself a bar would be skilled enough not to completely make a mockery of the old fashioned.

It’s the classic of all classics and while I’ll allow some alterations (regular sugar or simple syrup instead of a sugar cube, rye or bourbon, etc) there are some things that just aren’t acceptable. They shouldn’t even be thought of when creating this cocktail. In general, I’m all for experimenting and creating riffs on classics, but if someone orders an old fashioned, it’s not a time to get fancy. Spirit, bitters, sugar and water. That’s it. Please don’t waste your time muddling cherries (especially those shitty bright red ones drenched in sugar syrup and some other chemicals). Actually, there’s no muddling required. If you’d like to spend time doing something, dedicate it to stirring. There isn’t anything more beautiful than watching these humble ingredients come together with deft strokes of a bar spoon.

I didn’t need craftsmanship level stirring in this scenario. I understand that’s a bar with an event. What pained me though was walking past someone with a plastic cup filled with a bright red concoction that they were probably too drunk to decipher if it was any good. I became even sadder as I saw these bright red messes littered on high top tables, ready to overflow from the melted ice because the consumer was smart enough to abandon the glass after one sip.

All I could do was hope that this wasn’t the first old fashioned that someone would taste. It would be a pity to turn off a new generation from one of the greatest cocktails of all time. This experience would be forever implanted in their mind when they thought about what this cocktail could be and they might forever avoid drinking them.


Old Fashioned

2 oz. whiskey (I choose Bulleit Bourbon)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
3 dashes angostura bitters
Orange peel
Large ice cube

1. In an old fashioned glass add the simple syrup, then bitters. Stir for 10 seconds.
2. Add whiskey and stir gently for a few more seconds.
3. Add large ice cube and stir for 30 seconds.
4. Express orange peel over cocktail to release oils, then drop in glass.