Old Fashioned cocktail on a bar

How to make a world class old fashioned cocktail

The Old Fashioned cocktail has been around for over a century and is a must-have for any home bar. The Old Fashioned is a simple yet complex drink that is ideal for sipping on a cold evening or impressing dinner party guests. Here's how to make a world-class Old Fashioned cocktail step by step:


What you will need:



60ml Good Quality bourbon (Woodford reserve is my favourite)

1 large orange (be picky get a nice juice one)

1 - 1.5 bar spoons of Demerara Sugar

(Or 5 -15ml Bristol Demerara sugar syrup)

Angostura bitters

Orange Bitters



Large mixing glass

A fancy bar spoon

Double rocks glass


Bar Knife


Step 1

Usually, you would use powdered brown sugar, 1 - 2.5 bar spoons depending on how sweet/dry you want it. You can adjust this, 2 bar spoons is usually a good shout for a perfectly balanced drink. 


Expert Tip

Bristol Syrups sell a Demerara sugar syrup which is exceptional & when used in an Old Fashioned you can guarantee 100% dilution.


Step 2

Add your bitters, usually 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and 1-2 dashes of orange bitters. This will give the drink an excellent balance of flavours.


Step 3

Slice two petals of orange peel, avoiding the pith just the rind. Squeeze these into the glass and throw them in with the sugar and bitters. This will give the drink a nice citrusy aroma.


Step 4

Add half a shot of bourbon and stir everything to mix together. You can use any type of bourbon you prefer, but a high-quality bourbon will give the best results.


Step 5

Add ice and stir for a few seconds. This will help to dilute the drink and bring out the flavours.


Step 6

Add 25ml of bourbon and stir for around 25-30 seconds. This will help to distribute the ingredients evenly and create a smooth, well-balanced drink.


Step 7

Add another 25ml of bourbon and stir for around 25-30 seconds.


Step 8

Taste a drop of the drink by dabbing a bit on the back of your hand. This will give you an idea of how the drink is coming together and if you need to make any adjustments.


Step 9

If it tastes too strong, carry on stirring until it's right.


Step 10

Cut yourself a large orange peel and tidy the sides by cutting them to make a straight peel. This will make for a impressive presentation and release the oils and aroma when you twist it over the glass.


Step 11

Get a frozen rocks glass out of the freezer and add ice to the top. This will help to keep the drink chilled and enhance the flavours.


Step 12

Use your tulip strainer to strain your drink from the mixing glass into your iced glass.


Step 13

Twist your orange peel over the glass to release all the oils and aroma, and wipe on the rim of the glass before placing in the drink.


And there you have it, a world-class Old Fashioned cocktail that's sure to impress your friends and family. Remember to always drink responsibly and enjoy!

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