Although a Bourbon Old-Fashioned isn’t the perfect drink for a day in the sun, it may be the perfect choice for sipping around the campfire in the evening.
An Old-Fashioned Old-Fashioned
An Old-Fashioned is truly an old drink. It was already an old drink by 1882 when it appeared in Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual (page 242).
It has evolved over time, but in 1882, the recipe was as follows:
- Take a whiskey tumbler, and put into it:
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of sugar;
- 2 small lumps of ice;
- 2 or 3 dashes of bitters (Boker’s genuine only);
- 1 or 2 dashes of curacoa or absinthe if required;
- 1 wine glass of whiskey;
- Stir up well with a spoon until the ingredients are well mixed, squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top, and serve, in the same glass.
Our recipe is quite different than the way it was traditionally made in 1882, but so are most recipes.
In fact, there are many variations even now as to how an Old-Fashioned should be made, and every one of them is the only proper way to make it.
Explore more drinks for sipping at your campsite.
We’ve chosen to add more citrus than most and have added the option of a splash of club soda. We choose to make ours this way due to sipping it around the campsite in the evening after a long day camping and hiking. After a day in the sun, a little extra citrus and water hits the spot.
The true key to an excellent Old-Fashioned is to use good bourbon. If you wouldn’t sip it neat, then it shouldn’t be in an Old-Fashioned. Cheap, poorly crafted bourbon will taste just like that, cheap and poorly crafted.
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 strip lemon zest
- 1 orange slice
- 1 maraschino cherry
- 2 1/2 ounces bourbon
- 2-3 ounces club soda - optional
- In the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, saturate the sugar cube with the bitters. Add the lemon zest, orange slice, and cherry.
- Muddle together the sugar, bitters, and fruit.
- Fill the glass with ice, add the bourbon, and stir well.
- (optional) Top with club soda, if desired.