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Old Fashioned

The one drink every person should know

Today we’re taking things back to the old school…I mean, Old Fashioned. This classic combination of a strong spirit, bitters, sugar, and water is the oldest documented “cocktail” in existence, dating back to the early 1800s. This particular recipe from Greg gives the Old Fashioned a classic treatment, dissolving sugar with a few dashes of aromatic Angostura bitters and club soda. Spicy rye whiskey (which was more popular than bourbon back in the day) is added, stirred over ice, and served with an orange peel and cherry garnish. Greg deems this to be the “best cocktail ever.” We might just have to agree.


Greg Mays

Classic Cocktail Enthusiast, Teacher, and Writer

Greg Mays from Simple Cocktails

I see food and drink being deeply connected to our joy and they should be regularly enjoyed with our communities of friends and neighbors. In the company of others, food tastes better, cocktails are more delicious, and people are happier.

Greg is the classic cocktail aficionado and recipe developer at Simple Cocktails, his “place for the intimidated home bartender to shed some fear.” Through classic cocktail recipes, spirit reviews, and his own creative concoctions, Greg helps us understand that not every brand of spirit is created equal. Every spirit has its own unique flavor profile and should be used in different ways to appreciate its nuances. He breaks down the wonderful (and sometimes complicated) world of cocktails in a fun, approachable, and educational way so that all of us can become a talented mixologist from the comfort of our own home.

Head over to Simple Cocktails and say hello to Greg on Twitter and Facebook.


What’s in a name?: The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is the oldest documented cocktail, dating back to the early 1800s and is a combination of spirits, sugar, water, and bitter.

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  • Jud Porter

    Ah the old fashioned, aka The Cocktail. One of my favorites. For best results, use a big honking ice cube and bonded rye. And beware of any old fashioned that looks like a mush of fruit salad in a glass. This is a drink that highlights the liquor, not the garnish.

    On a related note, I ran across this interesting overview on rye recently. The biggest surprise for me was the discussion of Midwest Grain Products, which distills a surprising number of major brands of american rye.