How to Make an Old Fashioned




Introduction: How to Make an Old Fashioned

In our instructions below, we explain how to make your fruit garnish and your own simple syrup in addition to an Old Fashioned.

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Step 1: History of an Old Fashioned

An Old Fashioned is a cocktail that can be made with either brandy or whiskey depending on your preference or the situation. We preferred to make our cocktail with brandy. If you prefer a slightly sweeter drink, we would recommend you use brandy. If you are an avid whiskey drinker, an Old Fashioned is a great change of pace from the standard whiskey seven or on the rocks.

The Old Fashioned cocktail was originated in Louisville, Kentucky at a gentleman’s club and quickly adapted by the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

In our instructions below, we explain how to make your fruit garnish and your own simple syrup in addition to an Old Fashioned.

Step 2: You Will Need...

You Will Need…
-Whiskey Tumbler or Old Fashioned Glass
-Ice Cubes
-2 C. Sugar
-1 C. Water
- Bitters (ex: we used Angostura Aromatic)
-Brandy of your choice (ex. We used E&J)
-Sprite (You may also substitute for seven-up, club soda or tonic water)
-Maraschino Cherries
-An Orange
-A Lemon or lime (optional garnish)
-A Muddler or a Spoon
-A Pot
-A Stovetop
-A Knife and Cutting board
(This recipe includes instructions on how to make your own simple syrup. Purchased simple syrup can be substituted for the following necessities: a pot, stovetop, water and sugar.)

Step 3: How to Make a Fruit Garnish

How to make a fruit garnish

For our fruit garnish, the preferred fruit for an Old Fashioned is an orange. Although, in some cases, we have also seen lemons or limes added, in addition to the orange wedge. Note, we have also seen candied oranges replace the fruit orange garnish.

Place an orange on a cutting board
Cut the orange in half
Then cut the top and bottom off of each half of the orange (see picture for reference)
Cut a line through the middle of the orange along the white pulp separating the two half’s. Do not let the cut go all the way through the orange and slice it! This cut is so the orange will easily rest on the glass as a garnish.
Flip the orange half with the cut and pulp side down so the pulp side is flat against the cutting board and the round rind is facing up. Slice the orange into wedges by slicing horizontally (in relation to the initial and inside cut). Wedges should be approximately a quarter inch thick.

The above steps may easily be repeated if you choose to add a lemon and/or a lime wedge as a garnish as well.

Step 4: How to Make Your Simple Syrup

How to make your simple syrup
NOTE: For this recipe for an Old Fashioned, each drink only requires 2tsp of simple syrup. Because this recipe makes 3 cups of simple syrup, you will be able to make roughly 70 drinks with this batch of simple syrup.

Light the stove to medium-low heat.
Let a sauce pot (or a pot of equivalent size or larger) heat up on the stove.
Add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to the heating pot on the stove.

-HINT: If you are making this recipe for a larger amount of people than the serving size suggested for this recipe, you will be combine sugar and water using the ratio 2:1
(Example: 2 Cups of Sugar and 1 Cup of water)

Stir the sugar/water mixture gently until all sugar is dissolved
Once all of the sugar is dissolved you will
Remove Simple Syrup in pot from heat. The consistency should be slightly thicker than water but will look very similar.
Let Simple Syrup cool in the pot on the stovetop.
One the simple syrup has cooled to the touch, pour into a clear plastic bottle (for example, an old syrup bottle or a plastic water bottle, something you can easily pour it out of later).
HINT: The simple syrup will be very sticky and messy. It is our suggestion that when you are pouring the simple syrup into a bottle, you do so over the sink.)
Place bottle of simple syrup in the refrigerator until it is cold (this should take about 25 minutes) 
(HINT: If you are in a hurry, the simple syrup will be fine cooling in the freezer to save time. This only takes about 10-15 minutes. )

Step 5: How to Make an Old Fashioned

How to make your Old Fashioned
Note: This recipe will make one Old Fashioned cocktail.

-Take a clean Old Fashioned glass or Whiskey Tumblr and set aside
-Take a clean cocktail shaker and remove the filter and lid
-Take a single orange slice (one you previously cut up for garnish will do) and place at the bottom of the cocktail shaker.
-Take one maraschino cherry and place at the bottom of the cocktail shaker with the orange wedge.
-Take 3 large dashes of Bitters and place at the bottom of the cocktail shaker.
-Muddle (roughly mash) all ingredients that are in the bottom of the cocktail shaker by taking a muddler or a spoon and pressing all the ingredients together at the bottom. This is to get as much juice out of the fruit as possible and mixing with the bitters
-Once ingredients are muddled together pour one ounce of Bourbon or Brandy into your cocktail shaker with the muddled ingredients.
-Add two teaspoons of the simple syrup to the cocktail shaker.
-Mix gently with spoon or muddler
-Add ice cubes to the cocktail shaker
-Place the shaker filter and lid back on the shaker
-Gently shake the cocktail shaker until all ingredients are mixed well.
-Careful to not over shake.
-Add a few ice cubes to your Old Fashioned glass or whiskey tumblr
-Pour the liquid contents of the cocktail shaker over the ice cubes and into the glass
-Do not add the muddled cherry, orange and ice cubes.  These can be discarded or left in the shaker for flavor if you are making more than one
-Contents will take up roughly 3/4ths of the glass
-Top off glass with club soda or sprite or 7up
-Gently stir the ingredients
-Add a cherry to the drink
-Garnish with your orange wedge by placing the wedge on the glass (the initial slice through the center will fit nicely over the rim of the glass)

Your drink is now ready to be served! Enjoy!

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    One of the great things about the Old Fashioned is that it can be made in so many different ways, depending on your tastes or style preferences.  For me, I like my Old Fashioned to be as simple as possible. The goal is to enhance the flavor of the whiskey or rye, not to mask it, and thus I avoid muddled fruit, carbonated beverages, and shakers

    In a highball glass:

    * 1-2 sugar cubes, depending on how sweet you like your Old Fashioned. Note that this is not intended to be a particularly sweet drink
    * 4-8 dashes of Angostura bitters to taste.  

    Use your muddler or the back of a spoon to mix the bitters and sugar into a loose paste.  Add just enough filtered water to dissolve the sugar and bitters mixture. Add one shot (1.5oz) of whiskey or rye, not brandy. Stir briefly to combine, add ice cubes to fill the glass, and garnish with an unmuddled maraschino cherry or citrus rind.  Just toss it on top, no need to be fancy

    Not only is this version much closer to the original drink, but it also avoids dirtying any extra glasses as everything is done within a single highball glass.  The version presented in the instructable is more like what you get if you order an Old Fashioned at a night club.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, I meant to say do all that in a lowball glass, not highball. This is a small drink, and should fit in a short glass.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This has been a drink I've grown up with at my grandparent's house. (No, I did not have this as a child). The way my aunt always makes it is with approximately two teaspoons of sugar, two or so dashes of bitters, a finger or two of Kessler bourbon, the rest of the glass filled with ginger ale, and a half slice of orange. All done in that exact order and with the orange sliced in the exact same way as the lemon in this 'ible!
    One of my favorite drinks by far! It is always slightly different no matter where you go!