The classic Old Fashioned is whiskey with a bit of sugar, aromatic bitters, and dilution in some form, from a splash of either water or club soda. The earliest mention of an Old Fashioned–style drink is from 1806: Drinks writer Robert Simonson, author of The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, calls this “the primordial cocktail,” older than either the martini or the Manhattan.
What to buy: Finely milled superfine sugar dissolves rapidly, avoiding any risk of graininess in the finished drink.
- 1Measure the sugar into a chilled Old Fashioned glass and add the bitters. Splash in the club soda or water.
- 2Add the whiskey and ice. With a barspoon, stir until chilled, about 30 seconds.
- 3Rub the orange twist around the rim of the glass, drop it into the cocktail, and serve.