My favorite way to make an old fashioned cocktail — good-quality bourbon and bitters, a hint of maple syrup, and a generous twist of orange peel. Plus maybe a Luxardo cherry on top.
A few years ago, Barclay and I abandoned the traditional teaspoon of sugar in our old fashioned cocktails and switched to mixing them up with a hint of maple syrup instead. And I’ve gotta say, we’ve never looked back.
Team Maple Syrup, all the way!
Especially when it comes to this classic cocktail. Since an old fashioned is made with bourbon — which is naturally a sweeter whiskey already — it doesn’t need to be loaded up with extra sugar. Instead, I love adding just a tiny hint of maple syrup. It’s flavor is much more interesting than sugar anyway, and it brings out those warm, rich, caramel-y flavors in the bourbon perfectly. Just add to that a few dashes of bitters, a nice bright squeeze of orange peel, plus maybe a Luxardo cherry on top — and you’ve got yourself a lovely, perfectly-balanced old fashioned to enjoy this fall.
Let’s make one. ♡
Old Fashioned Cocktail Ingredients:
To make a maple-sweetened old fashioned cocktail, you will need (affiliate links included):
Whiskey: Bourbon or rye are typically for this cocktail. We usually use either Bulleit or Buffalo Trace bourbon.
Fresh orange: Plus a vegetable peeler or knife, to slice off some of the peel.
(Optional) Maraschino cherries: We occasionally like to add Luxardo cherries to our old fashioned cocktails too, which are definitely a bit of a splurge. But trust me, they are a million times better than the cheap, red-dyed, artificially-flavored maraschino cherries in the fruit aisle at the grocery store. They come in a pretty thick syrup, which we tend to tap off so as not to overly sweeten the cocktail.
Ice: Any ice will do! We love making ours in these cubed trays.
You will also need:
Vegetable peeler (or a paring knife): I’ve found that using a Y-peeler works the best.
Cocktail spoon: Or you could just use a regular spoon.
Rocks glass: Or whatever small glasses you have on hand.
How To Make An Old Fashioned Cocktail:
To make this maple-sweetened old fashioned cocktail, simply:
Prep your orange peel. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to carefully cut a 2- to 3-inch-long piece of orange peel. Run the pulp-side of the peel around the rim of the cocktail glass. Then set aside.
Add bourbon, bitters, and maple syrup. And use a spoon to briefly stir to combine.
Add in the ice. And stir with the spoon again to mix and chill the drink.
Garnish and serve. Give the orange peel a good twist to release its oils, then tuck it into the drink. Add a maraschino cherry (if using) and serve immediately.