This is a special Doherty family recipe, perfected over time by my husband and me.
Lots of bourbon drinking, lots of faithful taste testing, lots of long nights of sipping and tweaking went into this, the most perfect of all old fashioned recipes.
It was hard work, let me tell you.
But I’m happy to present the ultimate drink. I seriously got hooked for a while, where I would travel to people’s houses with my ingredients because nothing else could possibly compare. (It says a lot about my family and friends that they didn’t see this as completely rude.)
Let’s take a look at the critical components:
1. Obscenely large ice cube
2. Demerara sugar simple syrup
3. Orange bitters
4. Cherry bitters (preferably Peychaud’s)
5. Four Roses bourbon
6. Old fashioned glass (so named for a reason; use it)
Now, if you want to start out slow, using whatever ice cubes, sugar, bitters and bourbon you’ve got on hand to appromixate this, go right on ahead. It’ll still be tasty, just not perfection. So when you’re ready to graduate to the next level, come back and buy these ingredients (see notes in the recipe below for details on where to get the goods) and make it again this way. And you’ll be in a whole ‘nother world of bourbon cocktail heaven.
Old fashioned cocktail
The very ultimate in old fashioned cocktails! A classic for a reason.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup demerara sugar
- Orange bitters
- Cherry bitters
- Four Roses Small Batch bourbon
- Large ice cube tray
- Old fashioned cocktail glasses
To make simple syrup:
- Bring 1/2 cup water (filtered, please) to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.
- Add 1/2 cup demerara sugar and stir to dissolve sugar. (I turn the heat off after the first 10-15 seconds of stirring, because the boiling water will melt the sugar the rest of the way.)
- Stir until completely dissolved, then remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
To make cocktail:
- Add about 1 tablespoon of simple syrup to an old-fashioned glass.
- Sprinkle in a couple of drops of cherry bitters and a couple of drops of orange bitters. (My husband does equal parts of the two. I do twice as much orange as cherry bitters. Find your favorite balance.)
- Add bourbon to your taste. (My husband adds a big splash more than I do; he likes it a bit stronger.) You may need to adjust your simple syrup or your bourbon to get it to your level of deliciousness.
- Plop in your large ice cube, swirl to mix everything up, then sit back and sip on the most fabulous old fashioned. Cheers!
- P.S. You can garnish with cherries or orange peels if you want/have. Makes it look fancy!
Recipe NotesHere are the details on where I get my ingredients:
Demerara sugar is available at my grocery store in the baking aisle. You could also try Amazon.
We buy our bitters online through Amazon but they also are often available in specialty grocery stores (Dean & Deluca, Fresh Market, etc.).
Large ice cube trays are available at Crate & Barrel and through Amazon.
Four Roses Small Batch is our bourbon of choice for this drink. We drink lots of bourbons and lots of varieties, but Four Roses is the best here. Find it at your local liquor store.
Our old fashioned crystal glasses were a gift, but they are also available at any store selling drinkware. It's a standard and you definitely need some.
Stock up and get your drink on!