Sharkbait’s Cocktail of the Week – The Old Fashioned

Welcome to the first installment in a new off-season series highlighting everyone’s favorite pastime: drinking!

This week’s cocktail is a true classic: The Old Fashioned.

The Old Fashioned has been around in one form or another since the early 1800s. Cocktails, by their earliest definition, only contained 4 ingredients: base spirit, sugar, water and bitters. Over time, various establishments started adding other ingredients to the drink. Patrons who wanted the original recipe started asking for it the old fashioned way, or the old fashioned whiskey cocktail. After a time, the name stuck.

Nowadays, there are rum old fashionds, brandy old fashionds, moonshine old fashionds etc. This week, we’re going to focus on the classic. bourbon or rye base, bitters, sugar and a garnish. That’s it. We need to pause here for a minute. There has been a disturbance in the cocktail universe. Somebody, somewhere decided that an old fashioned needed soda water. Now, I’m not talking about a splash to muddle the sugar in. No no, they top off the drink with a 3 second burst from the soda gun. I even get weird looks when I tell them to hold the water. If I’m paying for a whiskey drink, I want to taste the whiskey I ordered.  This is a crime against libations and it needs to stop immediately.

With that rant out of the way, let’s get mixing. This adaptation comes from The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book:

1 Orange slice

1 Brandied cherry

1 Sugar cube

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 Dash Orange Bitters

21/2 oz bourbon or rye

Add orange slice and brandied cherry to an old fashioned glass. Add sugar cube and bitters, then muddle to dissolve the sugar. Add whiskey and stir., making sure the sugar is dissolved. Add a large ice cube and stir briefly to integrate. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry.

That’s it. Easy and delicious. With a few variations of the bitters, The Waldorf Old Fashioned is my go to recipe


Sharkbait has not actually been bitten by a shark, but has told people in bars that he was for free drinks. Lives in Boston, married to a Giants fan, he enjoys whisk(e)y, cooking, the Rangers, and the Patriots.
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Sharkbait’s Cocktail of the Week: We’re Smoking Now – [DOOR FLIES OPEN]

[…] I’m aware the very first column I wrote for this endeavor was a classic Old Fashioned. However, I don’t count this as a […]


Love this!

At my local shop, they sell orange flavored Angostura bitters. Would that be worth using in this drink?


Time to snuggle up with this and my favorite toy. Apparently snowmageddon has reached the PNW.
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Don T

I had one just like the recipe. It was wonderful. Loved this post.


Now that the great blood orange war has ended, I have been using those to make my old-fashioneds. I’m also not a fan of mixing up simple syrup or adding sugar; I just make a point of being generous with the syrup when I add the cherry.


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They are lying, there is no better way.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Agreed, quality liquor, strong portions….THE DRINK HAS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS! LET IT SPEAK FOR ITSELF.

Game Time Decision

This is great and all, but how many different knots can you make with the stem?


The AVN post was on Wednesday.


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