The Ultimate Old Fashioned

Demera Sugar cubes are the base to sweeten this cocktail

The Ultimate Old Fashioned

  • For the cocktail
  • 2-3 Demera sugar cubes

  • Peychaud’s or Scrappy’s Bitters

  • Good Bourbon- We like Old Forester- 1910

  • Several Orange peels

  • Water

  • Flathead Valley Rainer cherries

  • For the Orange infused ice cubes
  • distilled water

  • orange peel slivers

Smart, bitter and sweet- the Ultimate Cocktail

In researching the Old Fashioned, I reached out to my newly minted son-in -law, Michael and of course, Hunky Hubbie- both big fans of Bourbon.

They confirmed a truly delicious Old Fashioned (which I have come to learn is very personal) should have a slightly sweet, bourbon forward flavor with a hint of orange. So I created a recipe with crystal clear ice so as to not interfere with the taste of the bourbon. I then added in either the classic Peychaud’s bitters from New Orleans or Scrappy’s from Seattle, Washington. Using a demera sugar cubes with a dash of bitters sweetens the cocktail. Demera is the perfect sugar because it adds caramel notes and not just a bland sugary sweetness. It gives the cocktail another layer of complexity.

*See notes after recipe…


  • Add a few dashes of bitters to the sugar cubes
  • Muddle 2 sugar cubes with 1 ounce of water. Twist orange peel to release the oils and add to the muddled sugar cubes. Stir in 2 ounces of bourbon. Add in two dashes of bitters. Mix well. Remove the muddled peel.
  • In an double old fashioned glass, add one large ice ball or two to three ice cubes, pour over muddled bourbon mixture. Garnish with a fresh orange peel and Rainer cherry.
  • To make ice: boil water to remove impurities or use distilled water. Pour into an ice tray with thin slivers of orange peel. Place in ice box until frozen through.
Orange peel ice cubes for Old Fashioned
Ice cubes made with thinly sliced orange peel create the perfectway to chill an Old Fashioned.

We used Old Forester Bourbon because of its “cherry and burnt caramel notes” as described by Breaking

Some other recipes call for topping the cocktail with soda water, but I think this waters down the bourbon too much. If you do this, perhaps try a less expensive bourbon.

To garnish top with orange peel along with a fresh Rainer cherry.

We used fresh Rainers from local orchards in the Flathead Valley.

Either way, this classic cocktail is perfect for an elegant summer dinner, or enjoy it while curled up with a good book or a long movie. Cheers!

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