Valentine’s Day Whiskey Cocktail: The Old Fashioned

February 14, 2012 § 8 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

What better way to celebrate than with THE original cocktail?  … and yes, it’s whisky based! Ladies, if you really want to impress your man (or yourself!), get your cocktail-creating hands ready and look no further.  Men, if you have a whiskey-loving lady, then you my friends have a keeper.  If not – have no fear!  You can still enjoy this classic pre- during- or post- your chocolate & roses filled evening.  Have no doubt, I’ll be sipping on one of these all night.

Photo courtesy of Esquire


The earliest known definition was first published in the Baltimore newspaper called, “The Balance and Columbian Repository” on May 6, 1806.  Whereby the reporter wrote about a mixture of sugar, water, bitters & alcohol which perfectly describes what we know of today as the Old Fashioned.  I prefer mine done the “clean” way – others prefer theirs with the fruit & sugar muddled together.  Below is an easy to follow how-to video of another Whisky Woman, Rachel Maddow, showing just how to make this simple, delicious, classic Old Fashioned… the “clean” way.  CHEERS!


1 Glass, Muddle, Ice (see my previous post on ice HERE), Sugar Cube (1), Bitters*, Sparkling or flat water (1 tsp), Bourbon or Rye (2 oz), and an Orange or Lemon (1 wide piece of the peel).

* Angostura Bitters is the standard and works perfectly here.  However, there are a ton of great new bitters emerging on the market.  I particularly LOVE using the Fee Brothers limited-edition Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters in my Old Fashion for a little something extra 🙂


Place the sugar cube in the glass and douse with 3 dashes of Bitters (*).  Add 1 tsp of sparkling or flat water and muddle together to make a syrup.  Add about 2 oz of your favorite bourbon or rye, your favorite big ice cube (like the Muji ice ball!) and just 1 piece of peel (not the bitter white part of the rind) of either a lemon or orange, squeezed over the drink, drop into the drink and enjoy.

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§ 8 Responses to Valentine’s Day Whiskey Cocktail: The Old Fashioned

  • G-LO says:

    Yo WW!

    I’ve only tried to make an Old Fashioned once or twice. I have most of the ingredients. Must try it again.


    • Definitely! It’s a lovely cocktail. Realizing 1/2 way through the day I only had 2 sugar cubes left, I ran out to pick up some more just in case any neighbors stopped by (which is often the case!). Alas, now I have so many I’m sure I could really perfect my mixology skills … or recreate my 2nd grade igloo … 🙂 More bitters, please!

      • G-LO says:

        I don’t use bitters often enough. I have a bottle of Angostura. A bottle of Angostura Orange Bitters. And a bottle of the Master of Malt Christmas Bitters. Perhaps some experimentation is in order! Trouble is, I usually just wind up trying my whisky neat or just having a beer. Soooooo many more of those (beers and whiskies I mean) to try. Mixed drinks are more a special occasion thing with me, or when I’m at a really nice bar or restaurant. We should all have these kinds of problems right? 😉

  • G-LO says:

    FYI, I am currently drinking an Old Fashioned (my first attempt) made with Orange Bitters and The Balvenie Single Barrel 15. Superb! The only thing missing… one of those big ice cubes!

    • YES!!! That sounds PERFECT (& amazingly delicious) … clearly you chose beautiful ingredients, but what did you go for in terms of the sugar and water? (i.e.did you use sparkling or flat water, loose or cubed sugar?).

      So fun – thanks for reporting back to this post!

      • G-LO says:

        You’re very welcome! I referred back to your post because I couldn’t remember the exact recipe.

        When the idea to have an Old Fashioned popped into my head last night (after 10:30PM!), I considered using the remains of a Glenfarclas 12 that I am trying to finish (tough work, but someone has to do it!). Then I was going to try it with the Knob Creek Rye, but thought that would be too common (relatively speaking of course). I eventually settled on The Balvenie Single Barrel because it is the most “Bourbon like” of the Single Malts that I had on hand. Personally, I think it went rather swimmingly! Dee-lish! Here’s a link to the finished product:

        As far as the sugar and water goes, I used one sugar cube (I bought a box when I first read this, but didn’t open it till last night. One cube down, about a thousand to go!), and a teaspoon of tap water, i.e. sans Le Fizz. My only complaint would be the rapidly melting ice. While it did mellow the drink at the end, I would have preferred that it stayed a bit more bracing for a longer period of time. What I need are those HUGE crystal clear ice cubes that they use at The Royalton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Pretty to look at and oh so effective at cooling, but not watering down your cocktail.

        As always, thanks for the great idea!

        • Ok, I think it’s time! Why not get yourself some of these:

          (as suggested in the comments section of my Ice Matters post by Chuck of the Words Have Teeth blog) Beautiful photo but I’d agree those are some wimpy ice cubes! 🙂

          Re: box of sugar cubes, you just made me truly laugh out loud (ok, perhaps it was more like a snort but who really wants to admit those kind of things!?).

          Love the exploration of whisky choice for your base! I’m all out of anything Balvenie right now (sad) but need to pick up some b/c I’m hosting one of the Balvenie guys at my place in about 2 weeks … any particular reason you chose Single over their Double barrel?

          • G-LO says:

            Whoa! I just walked past a place in Philly that had something very similar hanging in the window. I shall explore further. Will also re-read Ice Matters when the time comes.

            A spontaneous snort is always welcome! I try to keep the humor (and booze!) flowing so that no one figures out that I have no clue what I’m talking about most of the time. 😉

            Double Barrel? Don’t you mean the DoubleWood? I picked the Single Barrel cause that is all I had on hand from them. I’m sure the DoubleWood would work as well.

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