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A well-made Old Fashioned cocktail is a timeless drink that never fails to wow. The lack of its complexity has surely been essential in its longevity and popularity with only three basic ingredients. Let’s take a little look at the history before we get into the recipe. When the term “Old Fashioned” was initially used in the early 1800s, it didn’t refer to a particular spirit, rather, it was a type of drink in which you might use Whiskey, Gin, or even Mezcal as your base spirit. Thus, despite their seeming modernity, none of the “riffs” you see today on the old fashioned, are actually that old. This, in our opinion, also places the Old Fashioned in the perspective that bartenders typically have of it today, as a simple recipe that’s easily customizable for countless delectable drinks!

Classic Old Fashioned Style

Although the exact origin of the Old Fashioned cocktail is unknown, the general consensus is that it was first served in the early 1800s. However, the name was created in the mid 1800s in opposition to increasingly complex cocktails that were fashionable at the time, such as those that included liqueurs like Chartreuse, Absinthe, Curacao, or others. A few aficionados began requesting “classic old fashioned style” cocktails made with spirit, sugar, water, and bitters. 

Influence of Prohibition

Then came prohibition, when spirits were produced illegally and, as a result, were most often of worse quality. This is when fruit began entering the picture, by rounding out the sharp edges of the homemade hooch. This included the addition of muddled orange and cherries which still frequently appear in old-fashioned drinks today. The quality of the alcohol improved significantly after it became legal to create spirits once more, and the Old Fashioned resumed its original purpose of presenting a superior Bourbon or Rye. 

Typical Recipe

In the world of cocktails, the Old Fashioned is the keystone. Possibly the most well-known and tried-and-true cocktail in history. Let’s examine the most typical Old Fashioned expression of this popular staple. For the absolute best rendition, start with two ounces of Branch & Barrel Flagship Bourbon, Wheated Bourbon or 4-Grain, one teaspoon of sugar (a sugar cube works well, but a spoonful of sugar or even simple syrup will do just as well) and three to six dashes of aromatic bitters. If using a sugar cube, muddle it to start dissolving after soaking it in bitters, and then add the whiskey. If not, fill your glass with all the ingredients and whisk to mix. Next, fill the glass with a few small or one large ice cube preferably. Gently stir to cool, add an orange twist as a garnish and a cherry if desired, and savor!

Our Old Fashioned Menu

Our standard Old Fashioned is made using our Flagship Bourbon, Old Fashioned Bitters, Simple Syrup, Orange Peel, and a Traverse City Cherry. You can step it up a notch and order our Premium Old Fashioned! It has a higher proof point courtesy of our Flagship Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon, the addition of two bitters, House Made Walnut Bitters and Barrel Aged Old Fashioned Bitters, Demerara Syrup, Flamed Orange Peel, and Traverse City Cherries, it’s simply amazing!

Another of our menu options allows you to build your own Old Fashioned. For this version, you can choose your Spirit, Sweetener, Bitters and Garnish. You may also choose multiple from each category and explore OVER 400,000 FLAVOR COMBINATIONS! Simply ask your bartender for a “Build Your Own Old Fashioned Menu” to get started. Feeling like you want to leave your cocktail experience to the will of the whiskey gods? Leave your Old Fashioned up to fate and roll our dice to decide how we make your drink! This selection allows for possible free upgrades and one of a kind concoctions! Ask your bartender for the dice and rolling tray to get started.

Come Explore Our Portfolio

Whether you’re new to bourbon and whiskey or a seasoned connoisseur, Branch & Barrel has something you’re sure to enjoy! Come relax and enjoy classic and creative seasonal cocktails, innovative new creations or neat pours of award winning whiskeys in our rustic but comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Besides our core portfolio of spirits, you’ll be able to enjoy our limited releases, experimental creations and our new Infinity Barrel as well! From Hand-Selected single barrel Bourbon, single barrel 4-Grains to bourbon infused with orange blossom honey and more! Come see your friends at Branch and Barrel soon, there’s a truly unique and tasty experience awaiting you!

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