Call Me Old Fashioned

So you like alcohol. Or maybe you’re a young bartender looking to put a few recipes under your belt. Either way, I can’t say I blame you. Knowing how to make a cocktail can prove useful in many different circumstances, most of them happening after dark. So, what better place to start than with the original cocktail – the Old Fashioned.


  • Whiskey – Any whiskey will do, but Scotch is probably the most common whiskey used in mixed drinks
  • A sugar cube – Brown sugar cubes work best, but any sugar will do. You could even substitute the cube for a half measure of simple syrup
  • Bitters – If you’re not familiar with bitters, it’s the third component of a lemon lime and bitters. Angostura bitters is the most common brand and can be found behind the counter at the bottle shop.
  • Soda water


  1. Put the sugar cube in a rocks glass (or whatever you have handy, this isn’t Friday night at a VIP lounge). Cover the sugar with 3-4 dashes of bitters and muddle it.
    • Muddling is the technical term for putting a blunt object into your glass and mashing it up. You don’t wanna mash it into a frothy paste, just until the sugar and bitters are combined.
  2. Add 60ml (or 2 fluid ounces if you’re using an imperial measure, which is roughly two shots) of whiskey to the glass, followed by the soda water.
  3. Add ice and stir until you can feel the outside of the glass getting cold. This indicates that the drink is sufficiently diluted and cold, which makes it easier to drink.

There are, like with all drinks, a variety of ways to dress up this drink and change the taste. One of the most common additions is an orange peel, which is usually muddled with the sugar and bitters and left in as a garnish. This drink has a special place in the history of alcohol, and in pop culture. The Old Fashioned was the drink of choice for Mad Men character Don Draper and remains one of the staples of the bartending community decades after it’s inception.


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