Old Fashioned Recipes

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Here follows a list of Historical recipes for an Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail.


"Modern American Drinks" by George J. Kappeler (1895)

The Old-Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail:

"Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece ice, a piece lemon-peel, one jigger whiskey. Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass."

"Drinks as they are Mixed" by Paul E. Lowe (1904)

Cocktail, Old Fashioned.

Use old-fashioned cocktail glass.

  • Sugar, 1 lump.
  • Seltzer, 1 dash, and crush sugar with muddler.
  • Ice, one square piece.
  • Orange bitters, 1 dash.
  • Angostura bitters, 1 dash.
  • Lemon peel, 1 piece.
  • Whiskey, 1 jigger.

Stir gently and serve with spoon.

Cocktail, Whiskey.

Use bar glass.

  • Ice, 1 lump.
  • Sugar, 1 lump, dissolved.
  • Angostura bitters, 2 dashes.
  • Lemon juice, 1 dash.
  • Whiskey, 1 jigger.

Stir and serve.

"Jacks Manual" by Jack. A. Grohusko (1908)


  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Curacao
  • Piece of cut loaf sugar
  • Dissolve in two spoonfuls of water
  • 100% liquor as desired
  • 1 piece ice in glass.

Stir well and twist a piece of lemon peel on top and serve


  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of orange Curacao
  • 100% whiskey

Fill glass with ice. Stir, strain and serve.

"Drinks" by Jacques Straub (1914)

Old Fashioned Cocktail

  • 1 dash Angostura bitters.
  • 2 dashes orange bitters.
  • Piece of cut loaf sugar.
  • Dissolve in two spoonfuls of water.
  • 1 jigger liqueur as desired.

Serve in old fashioned glass.

Whiskey Cocktail

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters.
  • 1 small lump of sugar.
  • 1 jigger bourbon.
  • Piece of lemon peel.

"The Ideal Bartender" by Tom Bullock (1917)

Old-Fashion Cocktail

Use a Toddy glass

  • 1 lump of ice
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 lump of Sugar and dissolve in Water
  • 1 1/2 jiggers of Bourbon Whiskey

Twist piece of Lemon Skin over the drink and drop it in. Stir well and serve.

Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo R. Ensslin (of New York's Wallick Hotel) (1916-1917)

Old-Fashioned Cocktail (Gin)

Use Old Fashioned Cocktail glass.

  • 1/2 piece Domino Sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 drink El Bart gin
  • 1 slice Orange Peel
  • 1 slice Lemon Peel
  • 1 slice Pineapple

Muddle sugar and bitters, add cube of ice and the Gin, decorate with fruit.

Old Fashioned Cocktail (Whiskey)

Made same as above, using Whiskey instead of Gin and 2 dashes Curacao.

"The Reminder: Up-to-date Bartenders' vest pocket guide" by J. A. Didier (1917)


Use old-fashioned cocktail glass.

  • 1 lump of loaf sugar.
  • 1 dash of syphon water.
  • 1 dash of Aromatic bitters
  • Crush sugar with muddler.
  • 1 slice of lemon of peel.
  • 1 or 2 pieces of ice.
  • 1 drink of whiskey

Serve with small bar spoon in glass.

"Cocktails: How to Mix Them" by Robert Vermiere (1922)

Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Put a piece of sugar in a tumbler with a strong bottom and soak with Angostura Bitters. Reduce it with a muddler or spoon, add ¾ gill of Rye Whisky and a lump of ice. Stir up and drop a little lemon-peel squeezed in the glass. Serve a glass of iced water (a chaser) at the same time, to drink afterwards.

It should be noted that the old-fashioned cocktail is prepared and served in the same glass.

"ABC of Mixing Cocktails" by Harry McElhone (1922)

Old-Fashioned Whisky Cocktail

Take a small tumbler and put into it 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters, 1 lump of ice, 1 glass Canadian Club Whisky, 1 tablespoonful Castor Sugar. Stir well until Sugar is dissolved, then squeeze Lemon Peel on top and serve in same glass as mixed.

"The Cocktail Book : A Sideboard Manual For Gentlemen" (1925 New Revised Edition, original edition published in 1900)

Issued for The St. Botolph Society

By L. C. Page & Company Publishers

Whiskey Cocktail.

Use Mixing Glass.

Two dashes gum syrup; two dashes Angostura bitters; one portion rye whiskey. Fill with ice, mix, and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a twist of lemon peel.

Whiskey Cocktail -- Fancy.

Use Mixing Glass.

Two dashes maraschino; two dashes Boker's bitters; one dash orange bitters; one portion rye whiskey. Fill with ice and mix till very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass, the rim of which has been moistened with lemon juice and dipped into powdered sugar.

Whiskey Cocktail -- Old-fashioned.

Put a lump of sugar in a whiskey glass; add enough hot water to cover the sugar. Crush the sugar; add a lump of ice, two dashes Boker's bitters, one portion whiskey, small piece lemon peel. Mix with small spoon and serve with spoon in glass.

"The Home Bartender's Guide and Song Book" by Charlie Roe and Jim Schwenck (1930)


A recipe direct from the famous Manhattan Club of New York. If you don't know this one, you just "ain't edjicated."

  • One lump sugar dissolved in one-fourth glass water
  • Two dashes Angostura Bitters
  • One jigger Rye
  • One piece of ice
  • One piece of Lemon Peel

Stir -- serve

"The Savoy Cocktail Book" by Harry Craddock (1930)


  • 1 Lump Sugar.
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
  • 1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky.

Crush sugar and bitters together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium size glass, and stir well. This Cocktail can be made with Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc. instead of Rye Whisky.


  • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
  • 4 Dashes Syrup.
  • 1 Glass Canadian Club Whisky.

St ir well and strain in cocktail glass. Add a cherry.

"Shake 'Em Up" by Virginia Elliott & Phil D. Stong (1930)


These should be made in heavy-bottomed glasses manufactured for the purpose. Into each glass put one lump of sugar, dash a little Angostura Bitters onto the sugar, then crush. Drop one cube of ice into the glass, fill with whiskey (rye or Scotch). Garnish with half a ring of orange, or a twist of lemon peel. Do not stir, but serve with a cocktail or coffee spoon.

"Old Waldorf Bar Days" by Albert Stevens Crockett (1931)


"This was brought to the old Waldorf in the days of its "sit-down" Bar, and introduced by, or in honor of, Col. James E. Pepper, of Kentucky, proprietor of a celebrated whiskey of the period. The Old-fashioned Whiskey cocktail was said to have been the invention of a bartender at the famous Pendennis Club in Louisville, of which Col. Pepper was a member."

  • One-quarter lump Sugar
  • Two spoons Water
  • One jigger Whiskey
  • One piece Lemon Peel
  • One lump Ice

Serve with small spoon


  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • One dash Gin
  • One jigger of Whiskey

Stir; strain

WHISKEY (Old Style)

  • One-quarter lump Sugar
  • One-half pony of Water
  • One dash Angostura Bitters
  • One lump Ice
  • One jigger Whiskey
  • One piece Lemon Peel


"The Art of Mixing" by Wiley and Griffith (1932)


Grab a good sized heavy bottomed glass and put into it 4 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 cube of ice, 1 shot Rye Whiskey, 1 teaspoonful sugar. Stir well until sugar is dissolved, and squeeze lemon peel on top. Drop in a piece of fresh pineapple, a slice of an orange, and offer.


1 teaspoonful of sugar syrup, 3 dashes of Angostura, 1 whiskey glass of Scotch or Rye Whiskey. Forget the ice, this is a hot one.

"What'll You Have?" by Julien J. Proskauer (1933)

The Old-Fashioned Cocktail

  • 1 lump sugar
  • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 lump ice
  • 1 glass Rye Whiskey
  • 1 slice orange
  • 1 cherry

Stir well until Sugar is dissolved, then squeeze lemon peel on top and serve in same glass used for mixing.

"The Mixologist : For Correct Drinks" by A. J. Bailey (1934)

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Use old fashioned cocktail glass.

  • One piece loaf sugar.
  • Two dashes peychaud bitters.
  • One dash seltzer.
  • Crush sugar with muddler.
  • One cube of ice.
  • Twist of lemon peel.
  • One jigger bourbon whiskey.

Stir well and serve with small barspoon.

(Whatever liquor desired may be substituted for bourbon.)

Whiskey Cocktail

Use mixing glass half full cracked ice.

  • Twist of lemon peel.
  • Two dashes peychaud bitters.
  • Two dashes gum syrup.
  • One jigger whiskey.

Stir well, strain into cocktail glass and serve with cherry.

"Irvin S. Cobb's Own Recipe Book" by Irvin S. Cobb (1934)


One-half piece Sugar, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, 11/2 jiggers Paul Jones or Four Roses Whiskey, 1 slice Orange, 1 slice Lemon, 1 slice Pineapple, 2 dashes Curacao. Muddle sugar and bitters with pestle. Add cube of ice, whiskey and Curacao and decorate with fruit. This cocktail was created at the Pendennis Club in Louisville in honor of a famous old-fashioned Kentucky Colnel. I claim it was worthy of him.

"100 Famous Cocktails" by Oscar Michel Tschirsky (1934)


  • One lump sugar
  • One dash Abbott's Bitters
  • One jigger Rye Whiskey
  • One-half slice orange, one cherry
  • Stick Pineapple

Dash of siphon, lump of ice, Serve in old fashioned glass

"Old Mr. Bostons Deluxe Official Bartenders Guide" by Leo Cotton (1935)


  • 1/2 Lump of Sugar
  • 2 Dashes Bitters
  • 1 Jigger Water

Muddle well, then add Jigger Old Mr. Boston Whiskey and large cube of ice. Stir very well and decorate with slice of Orange, twist of Lemon Peel and a Cherry. Serve in Old Fashioned Cocktail glass.

"The Art of Mixing Drinks" by Ginrum Alpha Company (1935)

Old Fashioned Cocktail

  • 1 Lump of sugar
  • 1 Teaspoonful of Carbonated water
  • 2 Dashes bitters
  • 1 Jigger whisky

In a thick-bottomed old fashioned glass, crush the sugar in the water and bitters, add the whisky and a cube of ice, stir and dress with a cherry, slice of orange and a twist of lemon peel.

Whisky Cocktail

  • 2 or 3 dashes gum syrup
  • 1 or 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 or 2 dashes Curacoa
  • 1 Jigger whisky

Twist a piece of lemon peel on top and serve

"Burke's Complete Cocktail and Tastybite Recipes" by Harman Burney Burke (1936)


Whiskey, 1 Glass

  • Sugar, 1 Lump
  • Angostura Bitters, 2 Dashes
  • Curacao or Absinthe, 2 Dashes

Add one Slice of Orange, one Slice of Lemon Peel, mull with the Bitters and Sugar, then add the Whiskey and serve in the same glass.

"Cocktail Fashions of 1936" by Adrian (1936)


A dash Angostura bitters on a lump of sugar in old fashioned glass. Add small piece of lemon peel and crush together. Add slice of orange, piece of pineapple, and two cubes of ice. Fill with rye whiskey.

"Just Cocktails" by W. C. Whitfield (1939)


  • 1/2 LUMP SUGAR





The Official Mixer's Manual by Patrick Gavin Duffy (1940)

Old Fashioned Cocktail (Whiskey)

  • 1/2 piece Domino Sugar
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Drink Whiskey
  • 1 Slice Orange Peel
  • 1 Slice Lemon Peel
  • 1 Slice Pineapple
  • 2 Dashes Curacao

Muddle sugar and bitters, add cube of ice and the Whiskey and decorate with fruit. Use glass number 13

"The How and When" by Marco (1938)

Old Fashioned Cocktail

  • 1/4 lump of Sugar
  • 2 spoons water
  • 1 dash Angostura

Muddle mixture in Old Fashioned Glass

  • Add 1 jigger Whiskey
  • 1 lump ice -- stir

Dress with Fruits

"Here's How" by W. C. Whitfield (1941)


  • 1/2 LUMP SUGAR


"Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion" by Crosby Gaige (1941)

Old Fashioned

  • 1 lump Sugar
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 jigger Rye or Bourbon
  • Splash of Seltzer or 1 tablespoon of Water

Place the lump of sugar in an Old Fashioned glass and saturate it with Angostura Bitters. Add the seltzer or water and muddle. Add the ice, a cherry, and a twist of lemon peel. Then pour in the liquor, stir and serve. Serious-minded persons omit fruit salad from "Old Fashioneds," while the frivolous window-dres the brew with slices of orange, sticks of pineapple, and a couple of turnips.

In the same manner is made the Scotch or the Rum or the Irish Whiskey "Old Fashioned." Even Gin or Brandy is occasionally used.

"The Standard Cocktail Guide" by Crosby Gaige (1944)


Muddle 1 lump of Sugar with 4 dashes Angostura Bitters. Add a splash of Soda Water, 2 ice cubes, a Cherry and a twist of Lemon Peel. Pour over 1 jigger of Rye and serve with stir rod. This drink may be garnished with a stick of Pineapple and 1/2 an Orange slice, or better still, served with no fruit except a slice of lemon peel.

NOTE: Old Fashioned Cocktails may be made with Bourbon, Scotch or Brandy, Rum and Applejack as well as with Rye.

"Bartenders Guide" by Trader Vic (1947)


  • 1/2 cube sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes curaçao
  • 1 1/2 oz. Bourbon
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 1 strip lemon peel

Muddle sugar and bitters, add cube of ice, curaçao, and whisky; stir and decorate with a slice of pinapple.


  • 1/2 cube sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 squirt seltzer
  • 1 1/2 oz. rye or bourbon
  • 1 large piece ice

Muddle sugar and bitters; add ice and whisky; stir and decorate with cherry and slice of orange on toothpick.

"The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks" by David Embury (1948)


If properly made, this is a truly magnificent cocktail. The principal reason that it does not enjoy an even greater popularity than it now claims is that what is usually served as an Old-Fashioned is actually a short Highball rather than a cocktail. Water, either plain or charged has no more place in an Old-fashioned than it has in a Manhattan or a Martini. The water is usually added ostensibly for the purpose of dissolving the sugar. You can make perfect Old-Fashioneds only by using sugar syrup. However, if you do not have sugar syrup available you can make a fairly passable cocktail by using loaf sugar as follows:

Put one medium-sized lump of sugar in the Old-Fashioned glass and add enough lukewarm water to cover it completely. Watch carefully until the sugar starts to dissolve and then pour off all the water. Add three dashes of Angostura, crush the sugar with a muddler, and blend sugar and bitters thoroughly. Add a small quantity of whisky and stir with a small spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved and blended with the liquor. Then, and then only, complete the cocktail. It takes about twenty minutes to make a satisfactory Old-Fashioned starting with dry sugar; it takes about two minutes starting with sugar syrup. Also, the sugar syrup makes a smoother, better drink. Therefore, let's make our Old-Fashiones this way, using medium-sized Old-Fashioned glasses (about 5 to 7 ounces):

OLD-FASHIONED DE LUXE Pour into each glass 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls simple syrup and add 1 to 3 dashes Angostura. Stir with a spoon to blend the bitters with the syrup. Add about 1 oz. whisky and stir again. Add 2 large cubes of ice, cracked but not crushed (see page 100). Fill glass to within about 3/8" of top with whisky and stir again. Add a twist of lemon and drop peel in the glass. Decorate with a maraschino cherry on a spear. Serve with short stir rod or Old-Fashioned spoon.

I have been intentionally somewhat indefinite about the quantity of sugar and bitters for two reasons. First, you should experiment and determine for yourself just how sweet you like the drink and just how much of the bitters flavor suits you best. Second, I have stated the recipe in terms of filling your Old-Fashioned glasses to within about 3/8" of the top and I do not know the exact size of your glasses. Tastes vary somewhat, of course, but I have found that most people like about 1 teaspoonful of sugar and 1 to 2 dashes of Angostura to each 2 ounces of whisky.

Also, please note that I have suggested only a cherry and a bit of lemon peel for decorations. You will frequently find Old-Fashioneds served with lemon, orange, cherry, and pineapple. The bartenders' manuals of the Gay Nineties were replete with illustrations of cocktails, Sours, Crustas, Smashes, Cobblers, and other drinks decorated with all the above fruits together with strawberries, grapes, raspberries, etc., according to the available supply and the fancy of the writer. At the other extreme stand those who contemptuously refer to any cocktail decoration as "the garbage." My own opinion is that fruit flavors and liquors blend exquisitely and that, for a midafternoon or an evening drink, and Old-Fashioned is greatly improved in its over-all appeal by the judicious addition of a few fruits. Fruits, however, properly belong at the end of a dinner rather than at the beginning. Accordingly, when serving Old-Fashioneds as an aperitif, I recommend using only the lemon peel with no fruit at all, or at the most, a cherry or a slice of orange.

Note that in the Old-Fashioned the only modifying agents used are the bitters and sugar. The reaction time of this cocktail is slower than that of a Martini both because of its sugar content and because the whisky is slower than gin. Don't be deceived by this. It is not a lighter drink than the Martini; it is stronger. Its action is merely delayed.

As an occasional variation in you Old-Fashioned try adding a teaspoonful of the juice from your bottle of maraschino cherries or a dash of curaçao, Cointreau, Chartreuse, or Liqueur Strega.

Old-Fashioneds are also frequently made with liquors other than rye or bourbon. SOUTHERN COMFORT makes and excellent OLD-FASHIONED but is a bit on the sweet side. This can be offset by using less sugar. There are also GIN OLD-FASHIONEDS, SCOTCH OLD-FASHIONEDS, BRANDY OLD-FASHIONEDS, RUM OLD-FASHIONEDS, APPLEJACK OLD-FASHIONEDS, etc. All are made exactly the same as the Whisky Old-Fashioned except for the liquor used. With Gin and Rum Old-Fashioneds, orange bitters may be substituted for or used in combination with Angostura.

"Esquire's Handbook For Hosts" by Esquire Inc (1949)


In a squatty, robust-bottomed tumbler of the type designed for and dedicated to this drink, place a lump of sugar. Wet this down with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters. (Some use 2 teaspoons of water, as well. Many prefer only 1 or 2 dashes bitters.) Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler, preferably one which has never been washed nor used for any less worthy purpose. Rotate glass so that sugar grains and bitters give it a lining, then add a crystal-clear lump of ice. Now pour in 1 1/2 oz. bourbon or rye. Twist a bit of lemon peel over the top.

A Maraschino cherry, a slice of orange and a chunk of fresh or canned pineapple may be added; the drink may be given a final stir . . . but in both cases fall back for criticism from Old-Fashioned addicts.

Variation: add a dash of Curacao. Try reducing sugar to 1/4 lump. Equal amount of granulated sugar may be used, but be sure to muddle.


  • 1 complete lemon peel squeezed into glass
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Curaçao
  • 2 ounces whiskey

Shake well but do not strain and serve in glass garnished with slices of pineapple, orange and cherries.

"The Bartenders Book" by Jack Townsend & Tome Moore McBride (1951)


  • 1 1/2 oz. rye
  • 1 lump sugar
  • dash of soda
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Use an Old-Fashioned glass. Muddle sugar in a little soda until dissolved. Add two dashes Angostura bitters and a good-sized ice cube. Pour in whisky. Stir. Decorate with fruit or twist of lemon peel. Serve with stirring rod.

"The American Drink Book" by S. S. Field (1953)


Muddle 1/2 lump of sugar in a dash of bitters and a splash of soda or water. Add 1 jigger of Whiskey, 2 ice cubes and a slice of orange. Top with a twist of lemon peel. A dash of Curacao gives this old standby an elusive touch. Also, try a twist of grapefruit peel for a change.

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