The perfect drink to curl up with on a cold, dreary night (like tonight!)...
A sugar cube soaked in bitters, a shot of whiskey, and an orange peel; creating an old-fashioned cocktail from scratch really is that easy.
In fact, it was the combination of these very ingredients that started it all. In 1806 when a reader of The Balance and Columbian Repository asked the Editor for a definition of the word ‘cocktail,’ it was described as ‘spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters’ – all the ingredients of an Old-Fashioned (then known as a ‘bittered sling.’) It was that particular (and rather unremarkable) recipe that appeared alongside the first-ever printed use of the word “cocktail”.
As for how and why the bittered sling was rebranded to an old fashioned came 80 years later. The name supposedly came from the way people ordered their drinks at the bar. Yes, even the old-timers of the 1880s considered it to be an old-school drink.
All of which is to say, the Old Fashioned is a cocktail that's been around for a while, and for good reason. The sweetness makes it smoother than a lot of other whiskey-based drinks, though it remains a strong, spirit-forward option. Fortunately, with few ingredients, it's also an easy cocktail to master at home for virtual happy hour.
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But to really perfect your Old Fashioned making skills, we reached out to the experts over at Bushmills who have shared this super simple Old Fashioned recipe with us.
So, grab a blanket, curl up, and start drinking. You’re not going anywhere in that storm.
classic old fashioned cocktail recipe:
50ml Black Bush
1 teaspoon of demerara sugar syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1. Pour 50ml Black Bush into a mixing glass.
- Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and 1 teaspoon of demerara sugar syrup*.
- Slowly stir Black Bush, sugar syrup and Angostura Bitters over ice until chilled.
- Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass and garnish with orange peel.
- To make the sugar syrup, simmer 1 cup of unrefined demerara sugar with 1 cup of water until the sugar is fully dissolved. Allow to cool and decant into a glass bottle.
Main image by Marc Babin