Craft Bartending – The Old Fashioned

There are three key components to craft bartending:

  1. Quality ingredients
  2. Precise measuring
  3. Perfect technique

This Old Fashioned recipe highlights all three spectacularly.

The Old Fashion is a fantastic cocktail but unfortunately it tends to be mangled more than it’s made right. As much as I praise Mad Men for helping to reinvigorate craft cocktails, Don Draper does not make a hell of a cocktail (spoiler: this video horrifies me).

A few notes on what an Old Fashioned isn’t:

  • It is not a fruit salad
  • It is not a slushy
  • It is not a whiskey and orange juice

A stickler could successfully argue that an Old Fashioned is actually just a bittered sling, citrus optional … and there’s ample historic evidence to support that. But your average consumer has a vision of an Old Fashioned with orange and cherry and I tend toward making what my customer expects rather than something historically accurate.

The Old Fashioned lends to some very nice variations. For example, restricting the fruit element to just the bitters and the expressed orange oil makes for an excellent cocktail that’s more bourbon-forward. Check out this video for this variation (and notice how different it is from the Don Draper version!).

Here’s my recipe and video for the Ultimate Old Fashioned with Spiced Maraschino Cherries:

Old Fashioned Video Preview