There are countless recipes out there claiming to be the “Best This” and the “Best That” and that is all well and good. The best recipes are easy to do and call for really great ingredients. You can make an old fashioned cocktail in these 3 easy steps, but real key is starting with top notch ingredients. That’s why I like to use Gentleman Jack whiskey.
And for the record, the higher powers over at Jack Daniels are not sponsoring this post. So pick your favorite whiskey. I just really like Gentleman Jack. Then if you can lay your hands on a blood orange and a jar of Luxardo maraschino cherries…
Then you’ve found your way toward a Gentleman Jack Old Fashioned Cocktail which could be the best Old Fashioned cocktail you’ve ever had.
How to Make an Old Fashion Cocktail in 3 Easy Steps
- Put a sugar cube, 2 or 3 dashes of bitters and a splash of water in your glass and muddle until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Fill your glass with large ice cubes and 2 oz. good whiskey
- Garnish with a cherry and orange peel
Most Old Fashioned recipes call for a dash of water to help muddle the sugar, orange and cherry. I use club soda because I like the bubbles. There aren’t many bubbles by the time you add the whiskey, and that’s okay. Makes it fun to make though.
Do’s and Don’ts when you make an old fashioned cocktail
#1 Do: Pick a Good Quality Whiskey
Since the whiskey makes up the lion’s share of this cocktail, it’s important to give it some attention. It doesn’t have to break your bank account, but you definitely shouldn’t be reaching for Mad Dog 20/20. Is that even still around?
#2 Don’t: Dump in a Packet of Sugar
Ok, honestly it probably won’t effect the taste of your cocktail, it’s just sacrilege! If a sugar cube is simply not available, create a distraction (catching the kitchen on fire has worked for me in the past) and do what you must. Just don’t tell me about it.
#3 Do: Use a Fabulous Cherry
Stay away from the bright red maraschinos. They’re full of chemicals and dye. Opt for the Luxardo’s deep black/red variety. They’re intensely dark and sticky full of dark flavor. So good!
#4 Don’t: Get Carried Away with the Bitters
Seriously, 2 OR 3 dashes. No more than that. Too much bitters can completely change the flavor profile of an old fashioned. So go easy.
#5 Don’t: Use Small Ice Cubes
Back in the 1800’s when this cocktail was conceived, ice was cut by hand in 2 inch blocks. It was a luxury. Keep a few silicone large ice trays handy when you make an old fashioned as a nod to it’s glorious past. I use the ones below:
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Make an Old Fashioned Variation
If you’re feeling bold, throw tradition to the wind and get crazy! Why not? Heck! We’re adults, right? You better be, because underage drinking… so not cool.
For kicks and giggles play with some of these ideas:
- Muddle an orange slice and cherry with the sugar cube, then top it with an additional cherry and orange slice or peel
- Try an orange flavored bitters
- Take the above #5 Don’t and throw it out the window. Crush the heck out of your ice and make adult snow cones.
- Switch out the whiskey for your favorite bourbon
This cocktail is great to sip on in the late winter when you can find blood oranges or in the early fall. Either way, when you make an old fashioned, the oranges are a promise of warm weather to come or reminiscent of summer days not long past. If you happen to find a fireplace too, stoke up the flames, make yourself an old fashioned cocktail, and put your feet up. Cheers!
Black Old Fashion
This is a regular Old Fashion, but with a twist! Instead of a regular orange and a regular bright red cherry, I'm using a blood orange and a black Luxendo maraschino cherry. Sooooo GOOD!!! If you have any brandy cherries on hand I think that would be a great choice too.
- 2 Luxendo maraschino cherries
- 1 blood orange 4 wheels
- 2 sugar cubes cube = 1 teaspoon
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters per drink
- 4 ounces whiskey Gentleman Jack
- splash water
- 2 glasses
- 1 knife and cutting board
- 1 muddler*
Put 1 cube, 2 or 3 dashes of the bitters, and a splash of water. Use the muddler to mash them gently but thoroughly in the bottom of the glass until the sugar is dissolved.
Fill the glasses with ice. Pour 2 ounces of bourbon into each glass.
Garnish with a cherry and fresh orange peel.
*If you don't have a muddler (I don't), use a blunt object that you can safely mash things in the bottom of your glass. I use the end of my french rolling pin. If you don't have a muddler, get creative but be safe!
- garnish with orange wheel
- use soda water instead of regular water
- use orange bitters