Old Fashioned


I would like to reintroduce an old favorite, the Old Fashioned. Although touted to be the original cocktail, through time and many different versions it has morphed into a drink that is watered down, muted, and simply put, similar in taste to swamp water, which explains the decline of a cocktail once so popular that a glass was named after it. Here at Jackson’s we like to do things the old-fashioned way, so let me guide you through the process of mastering the oldest of concoctions. First, a little history. The drink was originally called a “whiskey cocktail, old fashioned,” meaning a drink made with whiskey using the old-fashioned method of mixing it with sugar, bitters, lemon, and water. The name was eventually shortened to Old Fashioned. First introduced in the late 1800s, it is debated exactly when, where, and who created it. Some say a bartender at the Pendennis Club, a gentleman’s club in Louisville, Kentucky, was the inventor, but historical research finds evidence that the term “Old Fashioned” was used for a bourbon whiskey cocktail a year before the Pendennis Club opened, although the original recipe was never recorded. During prohibition, different ingredients were added to the drink to mask the flavor of poor quality whiskey, such as lime, orange, maraschino cherries, and soda water. In today’s market there are so many high quality spirits that there is no need to smother their flavors. Enough history, let’s get drinkin’. Click here for our Old Fashioned recipe. Be sure to try one out next time you are in!


  • 1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon simple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 2 splashes of bitters
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces high quality bourbon whiskey. I recommend Woodford Reserve
  • 1 orange
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish


Place sugar cube or simple syrup in an Old Fashioned glass. I prefer simple sugar over a sugar cube to ensure that all the sugar is dissolved. Add two splashes of bitters and, if using a sugar cube, 1 teaspoon of water to dissolve the sugar. Add a few cubes of ice and stir it around a few times to start mixing the flavors. Now pour in the bourbon. Grab your orange and a vegetable peeler and peel off a 2- to 3-inch piece of the skin. Hold the orange over the glass while peeling to collect all the tiny oil droplets that are being released. That’s where all the flavor is. Once you have your orange peel cut, still holding it over the glass, gently bend the peel a few times to release more of its essence into the cocktail. Place the peel in the glass and add more ice, stir a bit more, top it off with the cherry, and head to the front porch to watch the world go by. Old Fashioned cocktail lovers will notice that the fruit was not muddled, which really does nothing more than mutilate the fruit and lets pieces get stuck in the straw. Try using this method and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Simple Syrup
Equal parts water and sugar

Boil water and add sugar. Boil until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Let cool completely.