This iconic old fashioned cocktail is sweetened with sugar, mixed with bourbon and angostura bitters, and garnished with an orange twist and a Luxardo cherry.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.

Old fashioned cocktail garnished with cherries and an orange twist.

About Old Fashioned Cocktail

With an iconic and classy vibe, this old fashioned cocktail is a delicious way to enjoy a sweetened bourbon drink with an orange twist and dark Luxardo cherries.

What tools will you need to make this cocktail?

While you can make a simple old fashioned cocktail without fancy tools, there are some inexpensive kitchen gadgets that’ll make things easier, such as:

  • Cocktail muddler – Used for combining the sugar and water, a muddler helps ensures you can do this without harming the glass or making a mess.
  • Large ice cubes – Not only do the large ice cubes help give this drink it’s iconic look, arge pieces of ice will melt slower, so they’ll cool your drink for longer without watering it down as much.
  • Whiskey tumbler – Technically this is just a short, stout glass, but whisky tumblers tend to have decorative patterns that help give cocktails like this their iconic look.
Side view of old fashioned cocktail with ingredients in background.

Which bourbon should you use?

I’m always hesitant to answer these questions because, for one, I know there are plenty of bourbons out there that I haven’t personally tried, so who’s to say if I really know the “best” one? And for two, what is considered good can be so different from person to person, whether it’s about taste or price point or just plain ‘ol loyalty to a brand you trust.

BUT, there are a few bourbons I can point you to so that you have somewhere to start. I know these bourbons both from experience and word-of-mouth, so you can trust that they’ll get the job done for a tasty drink.

Top down view of a prepared old fashioned cocktail.

How to measure this cocktail

This cocktail is written like a standard drink recipe, meaning that instead of an exact measurement (ex: 1 cup) the recipe will read “1 part.”

This can sometimes be a little confusing, but I’ve found the best way to think of it as this:

Recipes that measure in parts usually mean it’s written so that you can adjust the size of the drink to whatever you want and the measurements they give you (1 part, 1/2 part, etc) are so you can keep the ratio of the ingredients correct.

For example, let’s say you wanted to make one drink – this typically means you’re using 1 standard shot glass for measuring. So then when the recipe says “1 part” you would interpret that amount as “1 standard shot glass” full. If the recipe says “1/2 part” you’d fill the shot glass halfway so that it’s “1/2 standard shot glass.” OR, let’s say you wanted to make enough drinks for a few friends. When making the drink you could interpret “1 part” as “1 cup” (or “1/2 part” to “1/2 cup.”)

This way the drink will taste the same no matter what size you make it.

What are the exact measurements for one drink?

In a hurry and want simple measurements for just one drink? No problem! Just use this as a guide:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon agnostura bitters (roughly 2 dashes)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (2 ounces)
  • orange twist
  • 1 Luxardo cherry, plus more for garnish (optional)

You can also select “Metric” measurements in the recipe card below to see these numbers.

Holding a glass of old fashioned cocktail.

Notes & tips for old fashioned cocktails

  • This recipe calls for using one sugar cube, but you could substitute this for about one teaspoon simple syrup instead.

More delicious drink recipes

How to make an old fashioned cocktail

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a whiskey tumbler, muddle together the sugar cube and water.

Step 2 – Add the angostura bitters and bourbon, then toss in a large ice cube.

Step 3 – Squeeze the orange twist over the drink, then drop it and a Luxardo cherry into the glass.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Old fashioned cocktail garnished with cherries and an orange twist.
4.80 from 5 votes

Old Fashioned Cocktail

5 minutes prep
160 kcal
Yields: 1 drink
This iconic old fashioned cocktail is sweetened with sugar, mixed with bourbon and angostura bitters, and garnished with an orange twist and a Luxardo cherry.



  • In a whiskey tumbor or similiar glass, add the sugar cube and water. Muddle the sugar with the water until dissolved.
  • Add bourbon and angostura bitters to glass, then drop in a large ice cube.
  • Gently squeeze the orange twist over the drink, then drop the twist and a Luxardo cherry into the drink. If desired, garnish with more Luxardo cherries threaded on a toothpick or small skewer (optional).
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

Made this recipe?

Tag @homemadehooplah on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag it #homemadehooplah so I can see what you whipped up!

Explore more: 30 minutes or less, Boozy, Brunch, Cocktail Party, Drinks, Game Day, Movie Night, New Year's Eve, Orange, Recipes

Take recipes "to go"

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating

1 comment

    • Cassandra
    • 5 stars

    Finally a recipe for a real Old Fashioned! Thank you so much for sticking to the recipe for a perfect drink. So many people muddle cherries ,use ice cubes , omit orange peel ,etc.. This is perfect. Thank you again!