Make New Friends with Old Fashioneds

Make New Friends with Old Fashioneds

Who doesn’t love a good Old Fashioned? We certainly enjoy them regularly at our house and it is our go-to cocktail at a good bar where you know they can make one that’s up to snuff. As we were enjoying our Old Fashioneds in the new and amazing cocktail glasses we received from McKay’s mom and step-dad (pictured), I felt a need to know more about this wondrous concoction. So I did some research. And unfortunately, it’s not terrible interesting.

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According to WikipediaTraditionally, the first use of the name “Old Fashioned” for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail was said to have been, anachronistically, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.

A bit boring, hey? Anyways…back to drinking. We’ve found some great Old Fashioneds around Sydney. Some of our favourites have been enjoyed at:

  • Bentley Bar – they do great cocktailks in general. An awesome Manhattan also. They hand chip the large blocks of ice right at the bar sometimes!
  • Gardel’s Bar at Porteno – they do a Banana flavoured variation which McKay doesn’t love, but I think is amazing.
  • Cherry Bar in the Star – a bit of a surprise, but they make a great one here with giant spherical ice cubes
  • Sticky Bar – they use small ice cubes, but we’ll forgive them because it’s still super tasty.

If you’re more of a do-it-your-self type, our incredibly simple no-frills recipe is below for you to make at home!


Old Fashioned Recipe:

  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • 3-4 drops of Bitters
  • 1 splash of Club Soda (or tap water works fine also)
  • Ice (we like to use big square ice cubes like this)
  • 50ml/2oz Bourbon (some people prefer Rye Whiskey, we like to use Makers Mark)
  • 1 cherry
  • 1 piece of orange peel

Instructions: Place the sugar cube in a glass. Wet the sugar cube with 3 or 4 drops of Bitters and a quick splash of club soda or water. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler or whatever you have on hand that will achieve the muddling. Rotate the glass so that the sugar/bitter mixture lines the bottom evenly. Add a large ice cube and 1/2 of the Bourbon.  Give it a good stir. Like for 20 seconds+. Add the rest of the Bourbon, the cherry and the orange peel and stir a bit more. Viola!

Where have you had your best Old Fashioned?