Old-Fashioned Recipe

Bourbon Or Rye Whiskey, Angostura Bitters, Sugar Cube, Orange Peel
Photo for Jay Hung

The Old-Fashioned cocktail dates back to the turn of the nineteenth century—the very dawn of the word “cocktail” itself—and is often regarded as the most essential of the classic cocktails, if not the best-known whiskey drink of all time.

The Old-Fashioned cocktail is a simple drink, consisting of bourbon whiskey or rye whiskey, sugar or simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and an orange twist. While cocktail aficionados have long argued about the "proper" recipe for an Old-Fashioned, there's really no such thing. That said, this version is very close to what people would have been drinking back when it was first invented in the 1800s.

This recipe calls for building your Old-Fashioned in the glass, but an alternate method involves stirring the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass before straining them into the serving glass.

This cocktail may also be known as

Bourbon Old-Fashioned, Rye Old-Fashioned


Old-Fashioned Ingredients

2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube or 0.25 oz simple syrup
Orange twist for garnish

How to make an Old-Fashioned

  1. Add sugar cube, Angostura bitters, and a few drops of warm water to the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass and muddle until sugar is dissolved (or, just add simple syrup and bitters).
  2. Add whiskey.
  3. Add one large ice cube and stir gently.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.