Elijah Craig 12 Year Old 47% Abv
One of the best things about this bourbon is the price. Its modest, but still has the flavour of something really, very premium. The oak ageing is instantly recognisable and adds a wealthy punch to the flavour. The price benefits the cocktail because not only does it mean that it isnt essential to only use it for the cocktail, it also means that youll feel better about mixing it!
Even with the savoury and spicy tastes, though, it still manages to be smooth on your taste-buds. Yes, one of the best things about bourbons is the warmth it has when it goes down which makes you exhale in delight, but this still manages to have this and yet keeps its elegant smoothness.
This smoothness will benefit any cocktail, but especially the old fashioned as the bourbon is the most important part.
Knob Creek Straight Bourbon
Knob Creek Bourbon is another bottle from Beam Suntory and is a top-shelf whiskey with 50% ABV. The high alcohol content serves as the moderator between the sweet and the spicy flavors. To the nose, it will appear spicy with an evident sweet smell.
Knob Creek offers a full peppery taste to the palate with rye and caramel with bold and spicy overtones. It has a delectable warm smoky char finish perfect for an Old Fashioned drink. Each 750 ml bottle is around $55.
Classic Old Fashioned Recipe
The Old Fashioned is one of the earliest whiskey cocktails in modern record, thought to be developed in the early 1800s. Though countless modern variations have popped up in the centuries since, the classic Old Fashioned is understood as a simple combination of whiskey , sugar and bitters.
Its hard to nail down exact historical proportions, as the strength and quality of distilled spirits, or even which spirits were used, have varied over time. In Jerry Thomass Bar-Tenders Guide , the first cocktail book published in the United States in 1862, liquid volumes are often measured in wineglasses, which has been taken to mean around two ounces of spirit. Early iterations of what would become this whiskey-based drink instead used Holland gin, and many modern purists claim bourbon is the only option, despite rye having been an early favorite.
Regardless of complicated backstories and historical bartender peacocking, the Old Fashioned itself remains one of the easiest to make, three-ingredient drinks in the modern cocktail canon.
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How To Make A Bourbon Old Fashioned
The first thing you want to do is make the simple syrup and allow it to cool. We use Sugar in the Raw to make our simple syrup.
Simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. Add the 1:1 ratio and simmer on medium-low heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
In a mixing glass add bourbon, bitters, and simple syrup. Give it a good stir.
Meanwhile, in an Old Fashioned glass add 1 large ice cube and a Luxardo cherry.
Next, take an orange peel and twist it in the glass and rub the peel around the rim of the glass.
Now add about 3/4 full of ice to the mixing glass. Stir until the outside of the mixing glass is chilled. You should have condensation on the outside of the mixing glass.
Now strain into the Old Fashioned glass.
Stir the Old Fashioned cocktail to incorporate the cherry flavor and chill the glass.
It is ready to drink/serve when the glass is chilled.
Choosing The Best Bourbon For Your Old Fashioned
One of the things that can make or break your Old Fashioned is the bourbon that you choose to use. There are so many bourbons that are available on the market today that you might find yourself becoming overwhelmed at the thought of picking the best bourbon for an Old Fashioned.
Thankfully we took the guesswork out of this for you. We went through and tasted different bourbons both on their own and as they had been mixed with the ingredients to form an Old Fashioned.
That being said, my personal favorite bourbon to use for an Old Fashioned is Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon. This is now how I order the drink when I am out at a bar or how I make the drink when I am sitting at home and using bourbon instead of rye.
Some people are not fans of bourbon. But for a bourbon lover, I simply cannot understand why someone would not enjoy a delicious Old Fashioned using Americas Spirit bourbon.
Stay Gold & Drink Up.
About Todd Smidt
Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, High West, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world, drinking whiskey, and writing about it.
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The Best Old Fashioned Recipe Ever
The world’s best Old Fashioned recipe is a light, refreshing tasting, yet complex combination of Bulleit Bourbon, sugar and bitters.
The delicious Old Fashioned recipe is also one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.
The beauty of the Old Fashioned recipe is that nearly any spirit can be used as the core as long as the other ingredients support and accent that spirit.
The best bourbon for a perfect Old Fashioned recipe is a highly personal decision.
Start by using good bourbon, the rule being that if you wouldnt sip it by itself it has no place at the helm of a Old Fashioned recipe.
From there, the cocktail-minded seem to break into two camps: simple syrup or muddled sugar.
While a barspoon of syrup can cut your prep time in half, it robs the drink of some of the weight and texture that makes it so appealing.
Servings: 1 People
Skill Level: Easy
The best Old Fashioned recipe is one of six root cocktails upon which all mixology is built, according to the Cocktail Codex, a book from the legendary Death & Co bar team.
If you put ice in your tasty Old Fashioned recipe, you have a finite amount of time to slurp it down before it becomes a watery mess. The time you have depends on the quality of your ice and the proof of your spirit.
Omitting ice means you can nurse the drink all day, should you wish to. The Old Fashioned recipe without ice is a more contemplative Old Fashioned.
Best Canned Rtd Old Fashioned: Dashfire
Courtesy of Total Wine
Heading out on a camping trip? Stock up on a few cans of this ready-to-drink Old Fashioned to sip around the bonfire. And we do mean sip. With its woodsy, piney notes and spice-laden flavor, it packs some heat and should be savored. Its as delicious as it is portable, made with four different bitters, bourbon, and natural sugar cane juice.
While you can, of course, pour it into a glass over ice with a cherry and an orange twist, its also perfectly acceptable to drink straight from the can. So, keep some in the fridge and upgrade your next al fresco happy hour.
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Ice For An Old Fashioned
Ice serves a basic purpose a way to make a cold drink. But it also has the ability to elevate a drink to bar-style quality. You have a few options with your ice, but we have a preferred one for an Old Fashioned. Heres what we tested:
- Use your standard ice cube to make the drink/fill the glass
- Use small square cubes
- Use large square cubes
- Our favorite: Use clear square cubes
A quick note on clear ice cubes. They melt slower and keep your drink cooler. Making clear ice cubes isnt as easy as it sounds. Some of it comes down to the purity of the water, but the real trick to making clear ice at home is slowly chilling the water.
We tested multiple makers to do this at home and by far our favorite was the True Cubes ice mold.
Kings County Barrel Strength 63% Abv
The alcohol content is easily what helps this bourbon improve any mix of drinks. Of course, its never recommended to have the bourbon with cola, but if youve decided on making yourself an old fashioned this bourbon will easily help emphasise the flavours of the other ingredients.
Even neat, this bourbon will taste like a dream in your mouth. It goes down warmly and smoothly, with dark toffee and cherry notes really hitting the spot. In an old fashioned, though, these flavours simply mix the drink into something even more impressive.
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How Bad Is Bourbon For You
When consumed in excess, any alcohol is bad for you. But of all the alcoholic beverages, bourbon has some surprising health benefits.
When consumed in moderation, bourbon can assist with weight management, heart health, and even help prevent cancerous cells. Bourbon is fat-free and has been found to reduce the risk of Alzheimers, blood clots, and reduce stress. It is also safe for people with diabetes.
The Best Ice Cube For An Old Fashioned
Elevate your home cocktail to bar-style quality by using a single large ice cube. You might be wondering the reason for the larger cube. It’s because a larger cube will melt slower, which slows down the dilution of the drink. When it comes to the ice cube, go big or go home.
You don’t have to be at Churchill Downs to enjoy the taste of a proper cocktail. Shake up your home bar
options for the big day, with this classic recipe and tips for your Kentucky Derby Party.
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History Of The Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a classic American cocktail that dates back to the 19th century. While Louisville claims the drink as its own, the exact origin is as fuzzy as multiple Old Fashioned cocktails make us feel. Some historians link the drink to the days of the American Civil War though others go back further.
While numerous cocktails have come and gone over the past two centuries, the Old Fashioned has retained its relevance over the years. A Hollywood favorite, the drink hit its pop cultural apex as Don Drapers preferred cocktail in the TV show Mad Men.
Our history with the Old Fashioned may have started while watching Mad Men but it solidified when we toured the Buffalo Trace distillery during our 2016 US road trip. That visit validated our appreciation for the premium Kentucky bourbon and motivated us to buy a bottle once we moved to Lisbon.
Before long, we were experimenting with Buffalo Trace recipes and crafting drinks at home with the Kentucky distilled liquor.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon is another Brown-Forman product with 57.5% ABV. It received the gold award for non-vintage bourbon for 2022 at the World Whiskies Awards.
It is one of the best bourbon bottles that has a balanced flavor. It boasts a full flavor of chocolate, cherries, and caramel.
You will also taste nutty malt and green peppercorn with a long and smoky toasted marshmallow finish. This bottle fits well in an Old Fashioned recipe. A 750 ml bottle is around $62.
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Whats The Best Bourbon For An Old Fashioned Drumroll Please
In my opinion, Four Roses Small Batch.
This exceptional bottle of bourbon retails for around $35 for 750ml and is one of the smoothest and most mellow bourbons youll find.
I gave it a platinum medal in my review, and its one of my top recommendations for an affordable, crowd-pleasing bourbon.
Note: this post contains affiliate links meaning we get a small commission for purchases at no cost to you.
A Few Of Js Tips For Making This Classic Cocktail:
- Always store your old fashioned glasses in the freezer. Take one out when you need a drink and it helps keep it cool.
- We use ice spheres in our cocktails. Here are the molds we like.
- Get the best bourbon or rye whiskey you can. Our favorites include Bulleit, Angels Envy , Knobb Creek, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace to name a few.
- The cherries make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. We only use Luxardo cherries. Theyre worth the price tag. We actually bought a huge container for our wedding if youre looking for an event!
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Having Fun With The Ice
Since weve gotten into making Old Fashioned cocktails at home, Adam dorked out a little and looked into the how and why of clear, large ice cubes. None of this is required for your cocktail, but since we used two of his ice balls in our photo and considering weve already bonded over our love of the Old Fashioned, I thought Id take a shot at explaining what weve learned.
Im sure youve seen various large ice cube molds like this sphere mold . The problem is that if you just add water and freeze, you will be left with cloudy ice. Worse still, if you use the sphere mold, the water freezes in such a way that when you add the sphere to your drink, it has a very high chance of breaking into pieces.
This all matters because cloudier ice cubes are less dense so they melt much quicker and break apart easier than clearer ice cubes. In other words, the clearer ice cubes are, the less dilution your cocktail will need to endure. And bonus, clear ice looks cooler.
So how do you make clear ice cubes? There are quite a few gadgets you can buy online. We went the more DIY, budget-friendly route. After some research, we found this tutorial for making clear ice balls using an insulated mug.
We use our tap water since we have found it freeze quite clear using this method. The tap water in the last home we had did not produce clear cubes so we found that it was best to use filtered or boiled water.
Here are the steps for doing it :
Bourbon Old Fashioned Recipe
A Bourbon Old Fashioned is one of the most classic of classic cocktails. Follow our easy recipe to craft an Old Fashioned at home in just five minutes.
Some cocktails like Cuban Daiquiris hail from exotic destinations while others feature eclectic ingredients like cachaça in Brazilian Caipirinhas. The Old Fashioned doesnt fit into either of these categories.
Living up to its name, this classic cocktail is the opposite of new and trendy. Despite its stodginess, the Old Fashioned ranks as one of the most popular cocktail at bars and lounges in the USA and beyond.
This iconic status cant be overstated when you consider that most bartenders serve the Old Fashioned in an old fashioned glass Yes, the Old Fashioned is both a cocktail and cocktail barware.
Buy a pair of Riedel old fashioned glasses on Amazon.
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Best Budget: Hella Cocktail Co
Courtesy of Amazon
What started as a weekend hobby of brewing bitters has grown into a successful cocktail company with placements everywhere from Whole Foods to Delta Airlines. Now, Hella crafts a range of products from bitters to canned drinks to mixes, including a vibrant Old Fashioned mix.
The instructions on the mix calls for additional bitters, but they arent completely necessary. Without adding bitters, a cocktail made with this mix smells like Christmas with notes of clove-studded oranges. Its bright and citrusyperfect for those who like an orange muddled in their Old Fashioned. The addition of bitters helps balance out that citrus fruit, adding weight and depth. Try it with the standard whiskey or mix it up with rum or aged tequila.
Elijah Craig Small Batch 47% Abv
Much like FEW American Bourbon, this a drink for the frontiersman due to its origins. Elijah Craig was a pioneer himself, using oak barrels to help age his bourbon. The result, a warm, wooden, taste that brought his drinks to the next level.
Again, giving you that sweet vanilla taste that is perfect to mix into any old fashioned, the fresh mint and fruity notes will also bring your old fashioned up a notch.
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Best Bourbon For Old Fashioned
bySeptember 22, 2021, 1:56 pm1.3k Views
An Old Fashioned, the perfect cocktail that exudes the elegance of a bygone era using the best bourbons of the day.
Voted as the number one best-selling cocktail of 2020 by Drinks International, the Old Fashioned is a timeless classic that can be drunk before or after a meal.
Originally made with rye whiskey, we much prefer our Old Fashioned with a good American bourbon.
The classic recipe for an Old Fashioned is half a teaspoon of sugar, a dash of Angostura bitters, some ice, an orange peel, and of course a slug of good bourbon.
The contemporary liquor market offers a wide range of commercial and handcrafted bourbons for your Old Fashioned.
We dont believe that you need the most expensive bourbon on the market to make a good Old Fashioned. Quality bourbons can still be found at affordable prices.
Weve narrowed your choices and compiled the best bourbon selection for you as the star Old Fashioned ingredient. Well also give you our favorites at the end of our review.
The Best Whiskey For An Old Fashioned
The best whiskey for an Old Fashioned is … the whiskey you like! Many reputable mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts have opined on whether you should use rye or bourbon, but honestly, you can use either. Which do you prefer? There that’s your whiskey for an Old Fashioned!
I like this drink with bourbon. I used Buffalo Trace most recently, but other mid-tier bourbons like Maker’s Mark, Bulleit, or Knob Creek would all be excellent choices.
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