Originating in the late 1800s in the heart of bourbon country, Louisville, Kentucky, the old-fashioned is one of America’s most iconic cocktails.
A classic old-fashioned is made by wetting a sugar cube with bitters in a heavy-bottomed glass, then muddling it with a strip of lemon peel and an orange slice. Add some ice and bourbon, give it a stir, add a splash of club soda (optional), garnish with a cherry, and you’re done.
That original recipe has evolved over the years, and these days, using blended or rye whiskey instead of bourbon has become quite commonplace.
Other variations include adding a little Cointreau or orange curaçao (orange liqueur) for added flavor, or substituting Canadian whisky and adding maple syrup instead of sugar or simple syrup (see links below).
About Our Holiday Old Fashioned
For our version of this classic drink, we stuck with the original bourbon but updated the classic preparation by using a fruity spiced orange simple syrup flavored with orange zest and holiday spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
The syrup makes mixing easy (no undissolved sugar) and the warm, holiday-inspired spices pair really nicely with the smokiness of the bourbon.
Holiday Old Fashioned
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce spiced orange simple syrup
- 3 dashes bitters
- 1 cherry
- Orange slice
- Fill an Old Fashioned glass 2/3 full with ice.
- Add the bourbon and spiced orange syrup, stir gently, then add the bitters.
- Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.