Eight Tips for an Old Fashioned

A detailed highball glass containing a transparent light brown whisky and a curled slice of orange peel.

By Matt Boyle & Jeff Van Horne, The Clever Barkeep

  1. Stick with an aged spirit to build on the flavours created from the charred oak barrel. Try making an Old Fashioned with aged rum, tequila or Cognac.
  2. Old Fashioned cocktails should be diluted with about 15-20 per cent of its total volume with water. You get this by stirring your cocktail with ice.
  3. Remember, fresh ice is best! Store your ice in freezer-lock bags so that they keep any odours from your freezer out of the ice.
  4. Using simple syrup as opposed to a sugar cube will give you a more consistent cocktail.
  5. Experiment with other types of sugar, like Demerara or golden to add depth of flavour.
  6.  Liqueurs can also be used to replace simple syrup, such as Chartreuse, Disaronno, St. Germain Elderflower, Cointreau, Drambuie or Tia Maria.
  7.  Use a proper dash of bitters. Tip the bottle completely upside down and vigorously dash with downward force. Remember, a dash is not a drop!
  8. Your orange zest garnish should contain as little of the white pith as possible. Peel the zest off the orange using a vegetable peeler and hold with the skin-side facing the glass. Express the oils from the zest over the glass by pinching the zest between your thumb and index finger. These oils will provide a sweet and citrusy aroma in your cocktail.