Cocktail of the Month

Old Fashioned


When I was the ripe old age of seven, I had the unfortunate--or fortunate, depending on your morals and ethics towards childhood drinking--experience of tasting rye whisky. It was nobody’s fault but mine; as a curious child I found myself sticking my nose and fingers into a variety of foods and beverages, few of which were actually mine to violate. Nonetheless, this amber, seemingly innocent-looking drink sat in a glass on our living room table, and in my state of know-it-all childhood, it was clear that this drink was meant for me.

No reservations, time to chug. juice!

No, not apple juice. Not even close.

When my dad heard my cries of pain and disgust from the rather large swig of rye I’d just taken, he came into the room, laughed, and proceeded to drain the rest of the drink. From that moment, I made a rule that I would never touch the stuff again.

Old Fashioned image via Shutterstock
I’ve always been a firm believer that rules were meant to be broken.

Fast forward 14 years: I’m at a bar in Manhattan, partaking in its ever-growing cocktail renaissance. I sidled up to the bar and asked for something with whiskey, with a hint of sweet but kind of spicy as well. Without a thought, the bartender walked away and came back a few minutes later with an Old Fashioned. The thought of drinking rye, a spirit I hadn’t “indulged” in since my fiasco over a decade ago, was daunting. But after a sip, I was hooked. It was sweet and smooth, with a hint of spice from the rye (Rittenhouse, to be exact).

I’ve chosen the Old Fashioned as the Cocktail of the Month not only because it’s a warming drink, perfect for these chilly months, but because it’s also the best example of achieving perfection through simplicity. The Old Fashioned has just four ingredients, and each one stands out in its own special way in this concoction. Mix one up at home tonight, and let the flavors mesmerize you.

Below is a great recipe for an Old Fashioned from cocktail aficionado Dave Wondrich. We hope you enjoy this drink as much as we do! Cheers, and always remember to take a whiff of a liquid before you drink it.

Love this recipe for an Old Fashioned? Let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.

Old Fashioned

Recipe from Dave Wondrich,


1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
club soda
2 oz Rye Whisky (We recommend Rittenhouse)


Place the sugar cube in an old fashioned glass. Wet it with a dash of Angostura bitters and a splash of club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler, and swirl the glass around so the sugary liquid coats the inside. Add a large ice cube, and pour in the rye. Serve with a stirring rod.

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  • Totally forgot the fruit . A true old Fashion has muddled cherry and orange

    Jan 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

  • Snooth User: markmark1
    1181370 8

    I disagree, Fred. Muddling orange and cherries leaves nothing but a pulpy mess at the bottom of the glass. I take a nice orange peel and twist it over the top of the drink to extract the oil, and then garnish it with the orange peel and the cherries.

    Jan 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

  • Snooth User: drinkboy
    1181398 8

    Mark is absolutely correct. The "muddling" that is unfortunately common in many old fashioneds these days is not only not part of the traditional recipe, but it also makes for a worse drink. I'll also say that the use of soda water is also not appropriate, if you must use a sugar cube or granulated sugar, then just add a teaspoon of regular water. But better yet is to use simple syrup instead so you don't end up with any grit from the undissolved sugar.

    Jan 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

  • Snooth User: Liselle
    389425 29

    Ah, Rittenhouse Rye. I haven't been able to find it anywhere lately. :-( I cannot stand the taste of peat and smoke that overwhelms in scotch, so I gave up on whisky drinks, but then was re-introduced to rye. I bought a 'high rye' bourbon last time and it was acceptable, but I always keep my eyes open for Rittenhouse. It was the drink of choice for our founding fathers after all.

    Jan 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM

  • Snooth User: JLPH
    737039 1

    A true old fashion is made with Bourbon! And yes I do muddle the cherry and orange, with a cub of sugar and a dash of orange bitters, plus, of course, two jiggers of Makers Mark.

    Jan 25, 2013 at 4:21 PM

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