Cocktail Recipes

Two Icons in One: The ANGOSTURA Old Fashioned Cocktail

April 10, 2020

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Old Fashioned cocktail recipe

The House of ANGOSTURA® has donated $50,000 to the United States Bartender Guild (USBG) Bartender Emergency Assistance Program to help support bartenders nationally who are currently out of work from COVID-19. To learn more about how you can support members of the hospitality industry through USBG, visit usbg.org/help/covid-19-resources.

Today, I’m breaking in my home bar by making a timeless cocktail, the Old Fashioned. I wanted to share a recipe that’s classic, delicious and made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand, perfect for home cocktailing. Did you know that the Old Fashioned dates back to the early 1800s? The cocktail was first created in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been made with ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters since inception.

SEE ALSO: How To Make A Mojito

The traditional Old Fashioned is built in a rocks glass and combines bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, ice, ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters, and a citrus peel, but there are countless delicious twists on the timeless recipe, Using an array of spirits, liqueurs, and garnishes, you can achieve a variety of flavor profiles., No matter how you drink your Old Fashioned, one thing remains consistent – it’s not an Old Fashioned without ANGOSTURA bitters! This essential ingredient provides balance and complexity to the iconic Old Fashioned, layering flavors for a deliciously smooth drink.

I’ve featured ANGOSTURA bitters several times on the blog (Queen’s Park Swizzle, Winter Baked Oatmeal, and Mini Rose Apple Pies) – its famous for its role in a number of cocktails, from classic to contemporary to tiki drinks, but it’s perhaps best known as a staple in the classic Old Fashioned. Simply put, an Old Fashioned cannot exist without ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters.

You can purchase ANGOSTURA® aromatic and orange bitters at your local grocery stores and liquor retailers nationwide, as well as online. Check out ANGOSTURAbitters.com, for more simple recipes to upgrade your next at-home happy hour.


Old Fashioned cocktail
Yield: one cocktail

Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • ¼ oz Demerara syrup*
  • Splash of water
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash ANGOSTURA orange bitters


  1. Build in a rocks glass, stir with a large ice cube to incorporate ingredients.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Garnish with orange peel.

Old Fashioned ingredients

This version of the Old Fashioned adds ANGOSTURA orange bitters and opts for Demerara simple syrup in place of the standard sugar cube.


  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • ¼ oz Demerara syrup*
  • Splash of water
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash ANGOSTURA orange bitters

To make Demerara syrup: 1 part Demerara sugar, 1 part hot water. Stir to dissolve.



Old fashioned cocktail pouring bourbon


Let’s start with a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Whiskey, scotch and other straight liquors over ice are always served in a rocks glass.

Pick your favorite bourbon and measure out 2 oz in a cocktail jigger. Pour over the ice cube.


Demerara syrup

STEP TWO: Add Demerara syrup

Add ¼ oz of Demerara simple syrup. You can make your own by combining 1 part Demerara sugar and 1 part hot water, and then stirring to dissolve (follow same steps for alternate classic simple syrup referenced above).

Most cocktails call for simple syrup, and this was my first time learning about Demerara simple syrup. Demerara syrup is a rich, flavored syrup that stands up better to strong spirits like bourbon and goes great in tiki cocktails. This golden-hued syrup also adds a slight caramel flavor to cocktails that perfectly complements a classic Old Fashioned.


Angostura aromatic bitters

STEP THREE: ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters

Add two dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters.

ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters has a reddish-brown hue with an aromatic bouquet of herbs, fruits and spices on the nose, stemming from the bitters’ powerful mix of botanicals.


Angostura orange bitters

STEP FOUR: ANGOSTURA orange bitters

Add one dash of ANGOSTURA orange bitters.

ANGOSTURA orange bitters is a complex blend of tropical citrus oils and spices that adds flavor to vodka, gin, vermouth, whiskey and rum. It adds a slightly spicy, tangy note to the Old Fashioned!


stirring old fashioned


Add just a splash of cold water, then stir with a bar spoon and a large ice cube to incorporate ingredients.


squeeze orange peel


Bartender’s trick: Take the orange peel and fold in half over the cocktail to express the orange oils into the cocktail. Then, wipe the rim of the glass with the orange peel and add it to the glass.

Alternatively, you could make it an orange twist.


Old Fashioned cocktail

This is just one of many ways to make an Old Fashioned. You can combine a couple of dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters and a sugar cube, and muddle until a paste forms, but that requires straining into a rocks glass. Some recipes even call for a splash of club soda. In its most basic form, a cocktail is an Old Fashioned if it contains a spirit (rum, whiskey, gin, you name it), water (ice, regular water, club soda or some combination), sugar (cube or syrup of any kind) and ANGOSTURA bitters.

So ,if you’re low on bourbon or simply prefer a different spirit, you can mix and match variations of these elements and get playful with garnishes to create a personal spin on the Old Fashioned.

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RELATED: ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge North American Finals


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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