Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by My Back Kitchen
The Old Fashioned is a true icon among cocktails, known for its simplicity and timeless appeal. This classic drink has stood the test of time, capturing the hearts of cocktail enthusiasts with its perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness, and the smoothness of bourbon. While the traditional Old Fashioned is typically made with rye whiskey, using bourbon as the base spirit adds a delightful twist, imparting a rich and velvety character. In this blog post, we will explore the art of crafting the best Bourbon Old Fashioned, from selecting the right bourbon to mastering the perfect blend of flavors, resulting in a cocktail experience that is both nostalgic and refined.
The Richness of Bourbon:
Bourbon, a type of American whiskey, is known for its smoothness, caramel notes, and distinct flavor profile. It brings a unique depth and complexity to the Old Fashioned, complementing the sweetness of the sugar and the bitterness of the bitters. The rich and velvety nature of bourbon creates a cocktail that is full-bodied and satisfying.
Choosing the Right Bourbon:
When selecting a bourbon for your Old Fashioned, consider the following factors:
- Mash Bill: Bourbon must contain a minimum of 51% corn in its mash bill. However, different bourbons may have varying proportions of corn, rye, and barley, leading to different flavor profiles. Experiment with different bourbons to find the one that suits your taste preferences.
- Age: Bourbon is often aged in charred oak barrels, which imparts distinct flavors over time. Some bourbons are aged for as little as two years, while others age for much longer. Older bourbons may offer more complex flavors, but younger ones can provide a fresh and vibrant taste.
- Flavor Profile: Bourbon can exhibit a wide range of flavors, including notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, spice, and fruit. Consider the flavor profile you enjoy and look for a bourbon that showcases those characteristics.
We’ve included a few of our go-to Bourbons for making Old Fashioned’s, but don’t be afraid to use what you have or explore our full guide to Bourbons for inspiration.
The Perfect Blend of Flavors:
To create the best Bourbon Old Fashioned, we pay attention to the following elements:
- Sugar: Traditional Old Fashioned recipes call for a sugar cube, but simple syrup is more commonly used today for easier dissolving. Adjust the amount of sweetness based on your preference.
- Bitters: Angostura bitters are a classic choice, adding depth and complexity to the cocktail. Experiment with other bitters, such as orange or aromatic, to personalize your drink.
- Orange Zest: Express the oils from an orange twist over the glass to release its citrusy aroma. Rub the zest along the rim of the glass and drop it into the cocktail for an added burst of flavor.
- Ice: Use a large ice cube or a sphere to minimize dilution while chilling the cocktail. This helps maintain the flavors and integrity of the bourbon.
The Bourbon Old Fashioned breathes new life into the classic cocktail, offering a velvety and refined twist on the timeless favorite. By selecting the right bourbon, balancing the flavors, and paying attention to the details of the serve, you can create a drink that exemplifies sophistication and pleasure. So, gather your favorite bourbon, take your mixing spoon in hand, and embark on a journey of flavor with the best Bourbon Old Fashioned. Cheers to indulging in a cocktail that embraces tradition while embracing your own personal touch. Wanting to switch it up and try something different? Give our Sicilian Manhattan or Chai Old Fashioned a try. Enjoy!
Best Bourbon Old Fashioned
- 2 oz. Bourbon Our favorites are Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey 101, or Booker's
- 1 Luxardo cherry
- 1 slice fresh orange peel
- 1 Pure Cane Brown Sugar Cube La Perruche brand recommended
- 2-6 dashes Angostura bitters to taste
- Water just a splash
- 1 Ice Cube Large sphere or cube preferred
- In a low ball glass, place your sugar cube. Add the dashes of bitters and splash of water (1/4 tsp.) on top of the sugar. Muddle until dissolved. Add bourbon. Take your fresh orange peel, torch lightly on the peel side, and squeeze over the drink expressing the oils into the cup before adding in. Place your ice cube and stir to chill. Add the cherry and enjoy!