The History of the Old Fashioned

  • 21st September 2021

This post is written in collaboration with LNW Asia

If you think of yourself as a cocktail aficionado, you have probably heard about an Old Fashioned. If not, this popular whiskey-based cocktail is a firm favourite of those who appreciate a rich yet silky touch of elegance, no matter where they are in the world. This classic drink features at most cocktail bars and restaurants, from the United States to Europe, Asia, and Australia.

It is easy to forget that cocktails as popular as the Old Fashioned did not always exist to excite the palate. The origins of our favourite concoctions are often much more complex than we assume, and the Old Fashioned is no exception. In this blog, we take a closer look at the history of the cocktail and include an easy recipe so that you can whip up this unique cocktail for yourself and your friends.

Old-Fashioned Origins

While the emergence of the Old Fashioned is unclear, the cocktail seems to have made its first appearance in 1806. It was apparently around the time that Harry Croswell wrote to a newspaper and described a ‘cocktail’ as a mixture of any type of spirit, water, sugar, and bitters. His formulation did not specify that whiskey should be the liquor of choice, but his proposal seems incredibly close to the exact formulation of an Old Fashioned in its modern form.

While the name remained elusive until decades later, the Old Fashioned was certainly enjoyed by the early 19th Century, probably before. It wasn’t until later that the drink cemented itself as a 19th century cocktail of choice, though. George Kappeler wrote Modern American Drinks in 1895, outlining the official recipe for an Old Fashioned deep in this historic publication.

How to Make Your Own Old Fashioned

Believe it or not, the Old Fashioned was originally a morning drink–something bitter to enjoy before work or daily chores. While it is now a much more popular drink for evening pastimes, the Old Fashioned is still incredibly popular. Why not honour its long and fascinating history by trying one yourself?

While you won’t be able to enjoy an Old Fashioned at 918kiss, it’s a favourite at many casinos, bars, and restaurants. However, this cocktail is surprisingly simple to mix at home. All you need are the right ingredients, including sugar, water, bitters, ice, lemon peel, and whiskey.

Here’s the Old Fashioned recipe:

  • Mix sugar with water in a glass.
  • Add bitters, ice, a lemon peel, and a shot of whiskey.

That’s all there is, and this original recipe surpasses any variations that have followed it over the centuries. Many of today’s establishments offer ingredient variations and play with the ratios for a unique twist, but it remains a classic success.

Make Enough to Go Around

The Old Fashioned is a smooth and refreshing cocktail with a rich past, so why not invite your friends over to appreciate its timeless decadence? Make it at home or order it at your favourite cocktail bar, but be sure there is enough to go around.

This post was written by ....

Make Me A Cocktail
Make me a cocktail is the world's best online cocktail resource - or so we like to think (I mean, we did build it). Started in 2010 and still going strong, we're passionate about bringing you the best cocktails in the best ways possible.


Comments are currently closed. We are working on a new system which should be with you shortly.

Recent posts