Classic Old Fashioned Recipe

Posted April 19, 2012 by Stephanie

Confession: I’m not a big drinker. It’s not that I don’t enjoy alcohol or its effects – I do! It’s just that alcohol usually renders me pretty much useless. I turn a tomato-shade of red and then promptly pass out. There’s a very small window in which I am happily intoxicated, but the window is so very, very small. I’m slightly envious of all the happy people I see enjoying cocktails, so for me, the next best thing to drinking them is making them.

Luckily, Mike loves cocktails. He’s super-helpful whenever I play at being a mixologist. I’ve come up with some crazy concoctions, but the classics are classics for a reason. One of Mike’s favourite drinks is the simplest to make: the old fashioned.

There are lots of rules when it comes to the classic old fashioned. Contrary to what you may have seen, old fashioneds don’t have an orange slice or cherry, they’re not topped off with soda, and they’re never shaken. Simply, old fashioneds are bourbon, simple syrup and bitters, stirred, ice optional.

i am old, i am fashionable: i am old fashioned!

Classic Old Fashioned Recipe
makes 1 drink

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters
  • ice (optional)

Add a little splash of simple syrup to your glass. Add one or more dashes of bitters. Add 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir. Add ice if using.


  1. Becca says:

    Amazing photography in this one! I’m totally with you on the drinking thing – enjoy it but I’m hopelessly useful at it – I seem to get happier and happier the more I drink, until the only thing better than laughing and smiling is, well, my bed.

  2. Eileen says:

    I must say I enjoy an old fashioned even with the cherry and orange. However! Bitters & bourbon, together at last–yes please.

  3. Jenn says:

    Call me “Old Fashion” but this has to be one of my favorite drinks… can’t wait to try your recipe!

  4. MomCat says:

    I make mine with Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters and I use a brand of blonde sugar cubes from South Africa to muddle with my cherry and orange – yes, my drink has fruit in it – I make them strictly one at a time hand-crafted and use only fresh seltzer water. These are so delicious that I give them away at Christimas time or for birthdays in fruit juice jars or old Stonewall Kitchen jars, tied up pretty with a ribbon.
    The whiskey I use is Evan William’s cherry bourbon or Maker’s Mark. The latter has a touch of honey in its flavor.

  5. I’ve never had an old fashioned! Well, not the drink anyway LOL.

    Must try this one day, thanks for the recipe and amazing photography, that alone makes one want to drink this cocktail.

  6. Guin says:

    Old Fashioneds are my most favorite. I do like mine with a piece of lemon peel, muddled at the bottom with the sugar, but not the whole piece of fruit. That said, I’ve been having a hard time finding bitters in Vancouver. Where do you find yours?

    1. steph says:

      Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village has a pretty big selection of bitters! If you’re looking for Angostura Bitters, Save-On Foods carries it.

      1. Guin says:

        Thank you! I found them at IGA Marketplace as well. I was thrilled to find them!

  7. Amy says:

    Stumbled upon your sleekly designed blog and just as my mouth was watering over the food and slick photographs, I see this recipe. I think I am home. Anxiously anticipate following your recipes! I myself cook to soothe my soul and appetite.

  8. Don says:

    Must have a cherry in mine, not a muddled one though. You should always have something to eat when you drink! Regan’s Orange bitters are an excellent choice here and wherever bitters are used.

  9. Ava says:

    I know it’s not traditional, but I enjoy an old fashioned with some peychaud’s bitters. It’s a delicious variant.

  10. Mike says:

    Add a dash of orange bitters to it

  11. mitzi says:

    “It’s” means one thing and one thing only: “it is”. It never, ever, ever, ever, never, never, ever, never, never, EVER means or stands for anything else other than “IT IS”.
    “It’s” never, ever, ever, never, ever, EVER can be a possessive noun; if it should serve as such then it always, always, always, ALWAYS should be “its”. no exceptions or nothing.
    So if the sentence reads “I don’t enjoy alcohol or it’s effects”, it should be read as: “I don’t enjoy alcohol or it is effects”.

    Your blog truly is great, but hon, it’s = it is and never anything else.

    1. Martin says:

      He wrote it correctly. Get a life.

  12. mitzi says:

    apologies, i meant possessive pronoun. my grammar bad.

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