Two Classic Old Fashioned Bourbon Whiskey Recipes

Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

The Old Fashioned is my favorite cocktail. If you have never had an Old Fashioned, the best way to describe it is like a sweet Manhattan. It's mainly whiskey.

Here is my personal recipe for an Old Fashioned.

Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe Rating

5 stars from 2 ratings of Old Fashioned Cocktail
  • Maker's Mark bourbon (or other whiskey or scotch)
  • 2 slices orange, 1/4 inch thick, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • soda water (optional)
  • 3 maraschino cherries
  • ice cubes
  1. In the bottom of an "Old Fashioned" glass (a short, broad glass), put the sugar, bitters, one orange slice and two cherries. Muddle (that is, smash) the fruit, sugar and bitters together, getting some juice out of the fruit and encouraging the sugar to dissolve.
  2. Place two or three ice cubes in the glass, add a splash of soda water if you want, plop in the third cherry and an orange slice, and add two shots of the liquor, or enough to pretty much fill the glass. Stir and enjoy.


This recipe makes a sweet, but very strong Old Fashioned. While many recipes call for one or two ounces of bourbon, making your Old Fashioned this way is likely to use three ounces or more.


A Truly Old-Fashioned Recipe For an Old Fashioned

References to an "Old Fashioned" cocktail begin in the late 1800s. It was called "old fashioned" because it followed a recipe from the early 1800s, minus various liqueurs (like Curacao and absinthe) that had been added in the mid-1800s. Fruit ingredients like cherries, orange, and lemon began appearing after the late 1800s.

The Original Old Fashioned Recipe

  • 2 ounces of bourbon (two shots)
  • 1 cube of sugar
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Ice

Place the sugar and bitters in a glass. Add the water, and muddle to dissolve the sugar. Add the bourbon and ice. Stir and serve.

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Comments 12 comments

jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 8 years ago from Scotland

sounds great, now where can I find 3 cherries at this time of night lol? nearly 1 am here in scotland.....jimmy

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

Old Fashioneds have been known to put people to sleep. No cherries. No problem. There's room for more whiskey.

gredmondson profile image

gredmondson 8 years ago from San Francisco, California

My grandfather, who was born in France in 1871, and was a bartender for a short while in Bakersfield before Prohibition, said to stay away from sweet, mixed drinks. You would not realize how much alcohol you had ingested. Bt, you are right, Paul, these are good -- and strong!

NYLady profile image

NYLady 8 years ago from White Plains, NY

Fun -- old fashioneds bring me back to when my parents used to have cocktail parties and everyone drank them.

desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

My fav old fashioned cocktail is called the Side Car. A family tradition at Thanksgiving in my about sweet, but a tangy sweet...with good ol' American Bourbon and gredmondson says, I was taught to stay away from sweet drinks...but the family always had a tray of Side Cars in lovely glasses at Thanksgiving. No cherries though in Side Cars, and I used to love maraschino cherries!

Wine Making Kits profile image

Wine Making Kits 8 years ago from Asia Zone

I love to cook and thank for sharing your recipe. I will do it :)

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Oh please don't ruin a perfectly awesome old fashioned with soda water. I haven't had one of these in a while. I think I'll plan a party for tonight for my pups and I. (my three dogs can have the water, I'll have the rest). I'll look forward to it. Thanks for sharing your recipe

regards Zsuzsy

Tim 5 years ago

Skip the fruit. That was something added by bartenders to mask the taste of cheap hooch. A peel of lemon or orange if you must garnish, but only the peel.

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 5 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

I like the fruit. The sweetness is one of my favorites parts of the cocktail.

Bear 5 years ago

From experience:

1 Sugar Cube

3 dashes of bitters

- Muddle real well and spin glass as you do (hint: a few drops of water helps to completely dissolve the sugar)

3 oz Makers Mark 46

3 Large Ice Cubes

1 thinly sliced orange peel (squeezed or very gently muddled, just enough to extract the oils.) Hint: use a potato peeler for this, you don't want the white biter stuff. Finally, stir gently as to cover the ice cubes with the drink.


shin_rocka04 profile image

shin_rocka04 3 years ago from Maryland

Definitely a great and classic cocktail.

rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 21 months ago from Tampa Bay

I was looking on your profile page to see if you had a hub about how to smoke a turkey and found this wonderful hub. I had one of these a few weeks ago and wondered how it was made. Thanks, I'll pass it on. This one looks perfect.

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