In the Kitchen
I can’t think of a more perfect cocktail than an Old Fashioned. It’s a delicious combination of bourbon and fruit. The bourbon warms you up, while the fruit reminds you of warmer days. It’s sweet, and it’s bitter, just like life.
The Old Fashioned is a great basic cocktail for any level of home mixologist. The ingredients are simple staples of any bar, and you can never get bored practicing refining this drink. If you are looking for a challenge, check out this CRAFT video to learn how to make a batch of homemade brandied cherries. I would say that most bartenders rely on a sugar cube for sweetness, but I don’t love grains of sugar in the bottom of my glass. During a recent discussion with a true cocktail geek, Josh Perez, I learned that simple syrup is a perfectly cromulent substitution. I hope you enjoy making this drink as much as I enjoy consuming it.
For a PDF of this recipe, visit the recipe page on Make: Projects.



Low ball glass
Simple syrup or a sugar cube
Angostura bitters

*My favorites include Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, and Maker’s Mark. In this case, I’m using a bottle that was infused with a vanilla bean and orange peel. It was a gift from my friend Nik.


Step 1: Slice an orange and put half the slice into the glass along with a cherry.
Step 2: Pour 1/4 oz of simple syrup into the glass, or if you prefer, add a sugar cube.
Step 3: Pour a dash of Angostura bitters in.
Step 4: Muddle the fruit and sugar together in the bottom of the glass. Use a wooden muddler to avoid damaging the glassware.
Step 5: Add ice to the glass. The giant cubes are perfect because they are so slow to melt.
Step 6: Top with 2 oz of your preferred bourbon. Cheers!

  • Barbara

    So sad that this is not a Manhattan cocktail. Anyone can search the web and find the correct recipe. A Manhattan has preferably rye (if you can’t find rye than bourbon) and sweet vermouth as well as the bitters.

  • VQueen

    I love old fashioneds and made a great discovery the other day. I had a 2 liter bottle of cherry Dr. Pepper that had gone flat. I cooked it down to a syrup and mixed that with some nice yummy bourbon. A slice of orange and it was the best (and easiest) old fashioned I’d ever made.

  • Allison

    I started drinking these when we started watching “Madmen”. Now I feel just like Don Draper, minus the loose morals and ennui.

  • Maureen

    LOVE making these at home….my boyfriend and I like to buy dried cherries from Trader Joes and soak them (reconstitute) them with a mid-grade red wine. They are yummy in the Old Fashioned, as well as Manhattans instead of using store bought maraschino cherries.