Old Fashion Cocktail Story

The first reference to this drink as well as the first published definition of the word “cocktail” is found in the May 13, 1806 edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository newspaper. It was there that the newspaper’s editor mentioned the cocktail as a drink consisting of strong alcohol, bitter, water and sugar.

Old Fashion is one of the oldest cocktails, but after going through the years, this vintage classic changed name, being known previously as Whisky Cocktail, evolved in cooking techniques and ingredients influenced by the fashion bar community. The cocktail has 5 cooking techniques that can be used variably:

Bourbon or rye whiskey?

Jerry Thomas included Whiskey Cocktail in his 1862″s The Bar-Tenders Guide – the first cocktail book, and was referred to as a “whisky glass.” In those days, whisky was probably rye whereas bourbon gained popularity during the time of the Dry Law. As a consequence, some conservatives believe Old Fashion should be cooked on rye whisky. Despite this, the use of bourbon is not a mistake, and the choice of whiskey must be determined directly by the drinker’s taste preferences. Bourbon gives a juicy, sweet and rich flavour, while rye gives a spicy response.

Sugar cube or sugar syrup?

Older Old Fashion recipes mentioned a sugar cube.

It is placed on the bottom of the glass, wetted with a bitter and a little water, then ground and stirred until dissolved by the flat end of a bar spoon. But instead of spending time and effort on the above, you can simply pour in pre-cooked sugar syrup. As David A. Embury wrote in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks: “You can cook excellent Old Fashion using just sugar syrup.”

Pressure fruit?

In the United States, orange is divided into segments (and often added maraschino cherries), and then pressed at the bottom of the glass with the help of a madler. Such a practice appeared in the time of the Dry Law as a means of disguising from the tart smell of substandard alcohol and thank you that such a practice never concerned England. As Crosby Gaige wrote in 1944, “people of serious mind were not allowed to make a fruit salad out of Old Fashion.” However, a cocktail cannot be considered complete without orange zest, although this can in some way be considered an echo of the practice of making a “fruit salad”.

What bitter?

There is no doubt that Old Fashion has its excellent taste partly thanks to bitters and the only question is which to use. Initially, Brokers bitter was used by default, due to being virtually the only suitable. But it was replaced by Angostura Aromatic Bitters, which is now used universally and most frequently.


If you use a blending glass to prepare Old Fashion – the drink looks much more attractive and keeps the taste much better if you cool it with one big by a piece of ice. Otherwise use double freeze ice.

Like all classics, the true origin of this cocktail changed under the mysticism of time. So for the veracity of the information, I point out a quote from Robert Simonson, the autopa of a book with the long title Old-Fashioned: The Story of the Worlds First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore: “The Old-Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail (full name of the cocktail) is a drink dating back to the beginning of the days of the onset of the cocktail era. His classic formula was laid in 1806: a strong base, some sugar, water and bitter. This is rare among mixed drinks because for the next two centuries it never completely disappeared from view. However, the drink has indeed experienced a considerable amount of hardship on its way.”

In a few decades of life, the drink has gone its way from the simple name Whisky Cocktail to what we have now. Over its history, it has been served in different variations, ranging from serving without ice to the category of “morning” cocktail – the one we usually drink in the morning, opening our eyes. And by 1840 it had gained popularity as a favorite drink in a society of stylish and fashion-conscious young children of that time.

Beginning in the 1870s, bartenders began to apply new liquors that they felt could “perfect” Whisky Cocktail, adding the likes of Curacao, Maraschino, Chartreuse and other variants .

Over the years, different people and bars have claimed that they invented Old Fashion, the most jardly claim authorship in the Louisville Pendennis Club, which was founded in 1881. All these people were crowned in deception. Since Old Fashion began life as a “cocktail” in its most basic form, the authorship of the drink will probably never be established.

Having survived the Dry Law in 1933, Old Fashion again went through a succession of changes. The cocktail was then mostly prepared with fruit, usually with a slice of orange and maraschino cherries, although pineapple also had the place to be. Fruit was kneaded with a madler at the bottom of the glass. The reason for these modifications was the disguise of the taste of the liquor, which was added to the cocktail. One thing is certain: Each of the whimpering stream of cocktail books that appeared in the 1930s displayed an Old Fashion recipe urging the use of fruit. Bartenders, back in service after 13 years of inactivity, duly followed this formula.

By the 1970s, with the rise in popularity of vodka and disco drinks, Old Fashion began to give up positions and was unpopular. By the end of the 20th century, it had become a drink that was mostly associated with people of the older generation.

“ Old Fashioned” returned to its original 1880s form during the first decade of that century.

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