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13 Must-Try Old Fashioned Variations

The old fashioned, a timeless cocktail, has seen a resurgence in popularity. Its classic recipe, featuring a blend of spirits, sugar, and bitters, has inspired a myriad of variations. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or simply enjoy a well-crafted drink, exploring the world of old fashioned variations can be a delightful journey. With its rich history and adaptable nature, this cocktail appeals to those who appreciate the art of mixology and the pleasure of savoring a perfectly balanced libation. From smoky twists to fruity infusions, there’s a variation to suit every palate and occasion.

Anejo Old Fashioned

Anejo Old Fashioned Cocktail with Cherries and Orange Peel

Step into the world of sophistication with the Anejo Old Fashioned, a tribute to the rich history of aged spirits.  Substituting the typical bourbon or rye whiskey with añejo tequila, this variation adds a warm and smoky dimension to the drink. The result is a cocktail that exudes an air of refined elegance, perfect for sipping during intimate gatherings or upscale occasions. The anejo mingles well with the classic Angostura bitters and orange peel. Instead of a sugar cube, you can use agave nectar for this Old Fashioned recipe. The Anejo Old Fashioned pays homage to the craftsmanship of tequila aging while offering a novel take on a beloved classic.


Brandy Old Fashioned

a freshly made brandy old fashioned cocktail from wisconsin

Embrace the timeless charm of the Brandy Old Fashioned, a nod to a bygone era of elegance. With brandy as the protagonist, this variation introduces a delicate sweetness and smoothness that complements the bitters and muddled fruit. The drink is a testimony to the versatility of spirits, showcasing how the simple tweak of an ingredient can redefine a classic. The Brandy Old Fashioned is an ode to nostalgia, invoking memories of refined evenings in a world of sophistication. It’s a classic twist on the classic Old Fashioned! Garnish with orange peel and a cocktail cherry.


Rum Old Fashioned

Old fashioned cocktail 2 ounces of dark rum 1 tsp of allspice dram 2 splashes of orange bitters 2 splashes of Angostura bitters 1 teaspoon demerara syrup garnish with a twist of orange served on the rocks

Embark on a voyage of flavors with the Rum Old Fashioned, an exploration of Caribbean spirits in a traditional setting. By substituting rum for bourbon or rye whiskey, this variation brings a touch of tropical allure to the classic Old Fashioned. Rich and slightly sweet, the Rum Old Fashioned embodies the essence of laid-back beachside lounging. Use both orange bitters and Angostura bitters to enhance the dark rum flavors, and use a demerara simple syrup or even maple syrup for a sweeter drink. Whether sipped in a tiki bar or at a sunset-soaked gathering, it’s a delightful fusion of classic cocktail culture and exotic escapism. Use a classic orange peel for a garnish, or mix it up with something tropical.


The Oaxacan Old Fashioned

Oaxacan Old Fashioned Cocktail Garnish with a orange peel and a sphere ice cube

Travel to the heart of Mexico with The Oaxacan Old Fashioned, a smoky and sultry interpretation of the cocktail. Mezcal takes the spotlight, infusing the drink with a distinctive earthy aroma and a hint of campfire allure. This variation is a celebration of the mezcal culture, inviting enthusiasts to savor the complexities of the spirit. The orange peel garnish enhances the mezcal flavors – you can also use orange bitters instead of or in addition to Angostura bitters if you want more citrus flavors. The Oaxacan Old Fashioned transports drinkers to the vibrant landscapes of Oaxaca in an old fashioned glass, capturing the essence of a mezcal-soaked adventure.


Peanut Butter Old Fashioned

peanut butter whiskey old fashioned with peanut butter cups
Source: www.cocktailcontessa.com

If you love whiskey and Reese’s peanut butter cups, this is the Old Fashioned recipe for you. It’s also a great recipe to try if you’re looking for ways to use your peanut butter whiskey! The peanut butter Old Fashioned uses a combination of classic bourbon (preferably something smooth with vanilla tasting notes), peanut butter whiskey, and your choice of creme de cacao or chocolate whiskey. Pair with two dashes of chocolate bitters, the result is a well-balanced Old Fashioned that tastes like a peanut butter cup. The recipe calls for a higher ratio of bourbon to peanut butter whiskey, but if you want it sweeter, you can pull back on the bourbon and add more peanut butter flavor. Garnish with a Reese’s cup and enjoy!


Maple Bacon Old Fashioned

maple bacon old fashioned

Indulge in the unexpected with the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, a bold fusion of sweet and savory elements. Infused with maple syrup and garnished with crispy bacon, this variation pushes the boundaries of cocktail creativity. The result is a dynamic flavor profile that tantalizes the taste buds and stimulates the senses. The Maple Bacon Old Fashioned is an invitation to explore unconventional flavor pairings, perfect for those with an adventurous palate.


Irish Old Fashioned

Irish Old Fashioned
source: liquor.com

Raise a glass to the Emerald Isle with the Irish Old Fashioned, a spirited tribute to the Irish whiskey tradition. This variation introduces the smooth and distinctive flavors of Irish whiskey, which harmonize with the bitters and sugar for a well-rounded sip. Whether enjoyed in a cozy pub or as a toast to St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Old Fashioned captures the essence of Irish conviviality and heritage.


Gold Fashioned

Gold Fashioned
source: bevvy.co

Elevate your cocktail experience with the Gold Fashioned, a luxurious take on the classic drink. Gold-infused spirits add a touch of opulence, creating a visually stunning and decadent beverage. This variation is a celebration of extravagance, perfect for grand celebrations and high-end events. The Gold Fashioned shines as a testament to the fusion of mixology and luxury, offering a unique and dazzling drinking experience.


Shochu Old-Fashioned

Shochu Old-Fashioned
source: punchdrink.com

Embark on a journey to Japan with the Shochu Old-Fashioned, a fusion of East and West. This variation swaps out whiskey for shochu, a traditional Japanese spirit, resulting in a lighter yet equally flavorful experience. With delicate floral and fruity notes, this rendition offers a new perspective on the old-fashioned. It’s a harmonious blend of cultures that celebrates the art of mixology.


Double Cherry Old Fashioned

Double Cherry Old Fashioned
source: sidewalkshoes.com

Double the delight with the Double Cherry Old Fashioned, a playful twist on tradition. Cherries take center stage in this variation, both muddled and as a garnish, infusing the drink with a burst of natural sweetness. The result is a vibrant and visually appealing cocktail that’s as delightful to sip as it is to behold.  The Double Cherry Old Fashioned is a charming choice for those who appreciate a touch of whimsy.


First-Time Caller

First-Time Caller
source: imbibemagazine.com

Dive into the unexpected with the First-Time Caller, a creative concoction that challenges conventions. This variation introduces unexpected ingredients like cucumber or elderflower, offering a modern interpretation of the classic cocktail. With a nod to innovation, the First-Time Caller invites newcomers and cocktail aficionados alike to explore uncharted flavor territories.


Blood Orange Old Fashioned

Blood Orange Old Fashioned
source: thehealthfulideas.com

Elevate your senses with the Blood Orange Old Fashioned, a citrusy twist that brings a burst of brightness to the drink. Tangy and aromatic blood oranges take the stage, enhancing the traditional flavors of the cocktail. The result is a refreshing and hydrating variation that’s perfect for those seeking a zesty kick in their glass.


Chocolate Old Fashioned

Chocolate Old Fashioned
source: cocktailcontessa.com

Indulge your sweet tooth with the Chocolate Old Fashioned, a decadent rendition that transforms the cocktail into a dessert-like treat. Dark chocolate bitters and cocoa nibs infuse the drink with rich, velvety undertones. The result is a sophisticated and complex flavor profile that caters to those with an appreciation for the finer things in life. The Chocolate Old Fashioned offers a delightful balance between the bitter notes of chocolate and the warm familiarity of the classic cocktail.


An Añejo Old Fashioned cocktail in a classic lowball glass, the drink features a deep, rich amber hue, indicative of the aged tequila base. It's garnished elegantly with a twist of orange peel and a single large ice cube, highlighting the simplicity and refinement of the drink. The cocktail is set on a sophisticated, dark wood bar top, with a backdrop of dim, moody lighting that accentuates the warmth and depth of the Añejo tequila. Soft light reflects off the glass, showcasing the smooth texture and inviting nature of the cocktail.

13 Old Fashioned Variation Recipes

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Instructions

  1. Pick your favorite recipe
  2. Gather all the needed ingredients
  3. Prep an old fashioned cocktail in less than 5 minutes

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13 Must-Try Old Fashioned Variations
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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