A popular cocktail.
- 2 Ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
- Splash of simple syrup or 1 cube sugar and just enough water to dissolve it
- 2 dashes bitters
Place sugar (or syrup), bitters, and water in old-fashioned glass. Crush sugar if needed and coat glass. Add 2-3 cubes ice and whiskey. Garnish with a twist
Most modern recipes top off an Old Fashioned cocktail with soda water, thus making it a highball. Purists decry this practice, and insist that soda water is never permitted in a true Old Fashioned cocktail.
Many bartenders add fruit, typically an orange slice, and muddle it with the sugar before adding the whiskey. This practice likely began during Prohibition as a means of covering the taste of poor alcohol. As such it is now unnecessary and produces a vastly different beverage worthy of a different name.
An 1895 recipe specifies the following:
Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece ice, a piece lemon peel, one jigger whiskey. Mix with small bar spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass.
[Renewing an Old Fashion] discusses the history of this cocktail in detail, specifically focusing on the issue of whether to add soda water to the cocktail or not.
See also: List of cocktails