Old Fashioned: Recipe and Ingredients | Giovanni Ceccarelli

How to make the Old Fashioned

Cocktail Engineering old fashioned giovanni ceccarelli

In this article, you will learn how to make the Old fashioned, whiskey cocktail.

Old fashioned is a cocktail in the true sense of the word, because it follows the proper recipe structure of this drink family: sugar, bitters, spirit and ice dilution.

Let’s see together the Old Fashioned recipe and the best way to prepare it.


  • 1 sugar cube
  • angostura bitters
  • american whiskey
  • ice
  • orange peel


  • tumbler 35cl
  • muddler
  • barspoon
  • peeler


Preparing a great Old fashioned is pretty simple, you just need to have some little attention.


First, take a short tumbler, with a volume of about 35cl, and cover it with a bar napkin. Put the sugar cube on the napkin and soak it with Angostura bitters. Obviously, the amount of Angostura is absolutely subjective but my advice is to completely soak the cube. When the latter is saturated, excess Angostura will be absorbed by the napkin.

cocktail engineering old fashioned giovanni ceccarelli 2 cocktail engineering old fashioned giovanni ceccarelli 2

Put the cube in your glass, pour 2cl of sparkling or natural water, and with a muddler break the cube and dissolve it completely. Remember that sugar does not dissolve in alcohol, that’s why you use a little water! I noticed that using soda or sparkling water the sugar dissolves faster. Some bartenders advise not to use sparkling water because it is sour.

cocktail enginnering giovanni ceccarelli old fashionedDo not worry!

This is because CO2, when dissolved in water, becomes carbonic acid, but once you dissolve the sugar, the carbon dioxide will completely leak out of the soda.

If you work in a very busy place and don’t have time to prepare this drink in the traditional way, replace the sugar cube and the water directly with sugar syrup. It is much faster because it doesn’t need to be dissolved. I use 1cl. You just need to find the right amount of Angostura to use since you no longer have the sugar cube to be soaked.



cocktail engineering giovanni ceccarelli old fashionedAt this point pour 6cl of your favourite American whiskey, mix and add ice. Stir with the barspoon until you reach the customer’s preferred dilution: for those who prefer less cold and less diluted, stir briefly or use a sphere or a single piece of ice, while for those who prefer a more diluted cocktail, stir longer. If want to discover more about the shape of ice, click here.

Before serving the Old fashioned, twist a peel of orange or lemon (or another citrus) on the surface.

Happy mixing,

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