7 Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipes

When it comes to classic nightcaps, nothing surpasses the old fashioned cocktail. “The old fashioned is a timeless cocktail because it enhances the complex flavors of whiskey with a very simple set of three additional ingredients: sugar, bitters, and water. That’s it,” explains Allan Roth, Glenfiddich Whisky ambassador.

There are many variations to this traditional cocktail, but the three base ingredients generally remain the same. “The water helps make the whiskey more expressive through dilution,” explains Roth. “The bitters enhance a whiskey’s complexity while the sugar enhances the sweetness to round out the balance. In the end, though, an old fashioned will only be as flavorful as the whiskey at its heart.” If you consider yourself a whiskey connoisseur, take your mixology skills to the next level and try your hand at one of these old fashioned recipes. Cheers!

Spiced Persimmon Old Fashioned Cocktail

Salt & Wind

This flavorful old fashioned cocktail recipe is bursting with sweetness, thanks to the persimmons and touch of maple syrup. Muddle slices of orange and persimmon before adding the ice, whiskey, and orange bitters. Top the beverage off with a cinnamon stick.

Crate and Barrel Hatch Rocks Glass
Crate and Barrel Hatch Rocks Glass $5

Bourbon Cherry Old Fashioned

Half Baked Harvest

This sweet cherry version of an old fashioned calls for cherries, lime, orange bitters, honey, bourbon, and mint. Make sure to muddle the cherries, lime, bitters, and honey to get the most out of the juicy ingredients. Pour the contents over ice, and then top with sparkling water before garnishing with extra cherries and mint leaves.

Cocktail Kingdom Yarai Mixing Glass Cocktail Set
Cocktail Kingdom Yarai Mixing Glass Cocktail Set $78

Winter Spiced Old Fashioned

Spoon Fork Bacon

Get your fix of winter spices by creating this play on a classic old fashioned. You’ll need sugar, water, cardamom pods, anise, cinnamon, bourbon, orange wedges, and cherries to make the drink. Simmer the fragrant ingredients over the stove, and then strain your simple syrup. Next, shake the chilled syrup, bourbon, and ice together. Finally, garnish with an orange wedge.

Crate and Barrel Islay Whiskey Set
Crate and Barrel Islay Whiskey Set $199

Thyme Old Fashioned

I Am a Food Blog

This crisp, summery take on an old fashioned starts with a thyme syrup made from water, sugar, and fresh thyme. Once the syrup has chilled, combine it with orange, grapefruit, bourbon, and bitters. Add sparkling water, and then pour over ice.

Kiel Mead Brass Coasters
Kiel Mead Brass Coasters $30

Apple Butter Old Fashioned

Half Baked Harvest

Don’t let the seemingly odd combination intimidate you—this apple butter old fashioned is worth a try. The recipe calls for apple cider, lemon, orange bitters, bourbon, ginger beer, and just a tablespoon of apple butter. Start by shaking up the cider, lemon juice, bitters, apple butter, and bourbon. Then, strain the contents and pour over ice. If it still feels like it needs a little something extra, pour just a splash of ginger beer on top.

Williams Sonoma Basic Bar Tools Set
Williams Sonoma Basic Bar Tools Set $100
I Am a Food Blog

For a more classic take on the cocktail, try this old fashioned recipe that calls for bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters. Combine the ingredients and add ice if the whiskey needs to be diluted.

Leif Glacier Drink Rocks Set
Leif Glacier Drink Rocks Set $20

Spiced Persimmon Bourbon Old Fashioned

Half Baked Harvest

For a delightful combination of flavors, mix up this spiced persimmon old fashioned. First, prepare a spiced maple persimmon purée with Fuyu persimmons, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Then, mix the bourbon, lemon juice, clementine juice, and bitters together. Purée the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain the concoction. Top with sparkling water for a flavorful drink.

Brad Thomas Parsons Amaro
Brad Thomas Parsons Amaro $26

No matter the occasion, a classic old fashioned cocktail seems to do the trick. Whip up one of these recipes next time you want to impress your dinner guests or top of an evening in.

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