How To Make a Classic Old Fashioned


An old fashioned is little more than a bit of bourbon mixed with sugar and bitters. But this recipe for the classic cocktail is complex, smooth, and heavily spirited—and the flavors come together in less than five minutes. The secret is to use the best old fashioned ingredients, starting with good quality bourbon (or rye, if you prefer stronger, edgier flavor). Unlike a Manhattan which typically gets its sweetness from vermouth, a classic old fashioned is sweetened by muddling a sugar cube with water and bitters. You can also use simple syrup.

Old-fashioned-cocktail recipe
Old Fashioned whisky cocktail shot in flat art deco style on graphic red and orange background. Photo: Getty Images
Hands On Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
1 cocktail


  • 1 sugar cube

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

  • 2 ounces Bourbon or Rye whiskey

  • Orange twist, for garnish


  1. Combine the sugar cube, 1 teaspoon water, and bitters in a cocktail glass and stir vigorously until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Fill the glass with ice cubes, add Bourbon or Rye, and stir gently to combine. Add orange twist for garnish.

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