The classic Old Fashioned is whiskey with a bit of sugar, aromatic bitters, and dilution in some form, from a splash of either water or club soda. The earliest mention of an Old Fashioned–style drink is from 1806: Drinks writer Robert Simonson, author of The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, calls this “the primordial cocktail,” older than either the martini or the Manhattan Drink.

What to buy: Finely milled superfine sugar dissolves rapidly, avoiding any risk of graininess in the finished drink.

Master all the classic cocktail recipes for your home bar with our whiskey sour recipe.

  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: Under 5 mins 
  • Active: Under 5 mins

Ingredients (6)

  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1 barspoon (1 teaspoon) club soda or water
  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
  • Ice, preferably a single large cube
  • Orange twist, for garnish


  1. Measure the sugar into a chilled Old Fashioned glass and add the bitters. Splash in the club soda or water.
  2. Add the whiskey and ice. With a barspoon, stir until chilled, about 30 seconds.
  3. Rub the orange twist around the rim of the glass, drop it into the cocktail, and serve.