March 10, 2015

Old Fashioned


A cocktail recipe from Esquire’s Drink Like A Man.

The old fashioned (invented circa 1800, christened circa 1880) is the Fender Strat of cocktails: It embodies the classic American combination of offhand style, swagger, and micrometer engineering. And it’s simple enough that anyone can make it, yet sophisticated enough that you never get tired of it. It can be applied equally well to speed-rail bourbon and Cordon Bleu cognac, taming the one and coddling the other. It sips slow and easy when you need that, and goes down like a fireball when you don’t. The ingredients are cheap and readily available, and you can leave everything but the lemon on a shelf without worrying about spoilage (and the lemon is dispensable). In the fullness of time, some people have come to believe that the “old-fashioned” way of making an old fashioned includes mashing slices of fruit into it — or even, God forbid, maraschino cherries — and drowning the whole sticky mess with club soda. Those people might call such a thing an old fashioned, but that’s not an old fashioned. This is.


  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Angostura bitters
  • Water
  • Ice cubes
  • Rye or bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon or orange peel


Yield: Makes 1 drink

  1. Place ½ tsp sugar in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass.
  2. Add 2 or 3 healthy dashes Angostura bitters and 1 tsp water. Muddle to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add 3 ice cubes to the glass. Stir.
  4. Add 2 oz straight rye whiskey or bourbon whiskey. Stir again.
  5. Twist a swatch of thin-cut lemon or orange peel over the top, and drop it in. Let sit for 1 minute, then serve.

Courtesy of Esquire's Drink Like A Man