The Perfect Old Fashioned

by Kelli H. on November 30, 2014

It’s almost funny for me to post this recipe since I am not a fan of Old Fashioned’s, but when you’re married to a man with a bourbon collection in your living room, you have a hard time ignoring the craft of bourbon. While I may not enjoy an Old Fashioned I have taken many sips of David’s and I try to appreciate the craft of bourbon. I acknowledge that just like beer and wine, bourbon is definitely a craft.

Though David loves bourbon on the rocks, once in a while he enjoys making himself an Old Fashioned at home. With lots of trial and error, he’s come up with his favorite recipe that’s worked time and time again. David uses Bulleit Bourbon because it’s a great price and has spicier notes due to the higher rye content, which pairs wonderfully with orange. I’ve smelled all of David’s bourbons from Buffalo Trace to Bookers and I have to admit, Bulleit smells pretty darn good.

David starts his Old Fashioned by using 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar (most places will use a sugar cube which is about 1 teaspoon, but since we try to limit our sugar intake, he’s reduced it to 1/2) and two dashes of orange bitters.

He then adds in a dash of water and stirs it together with a chop stick until the sugar is completely dissolved. 

Next up is two shots of bourbon which is measured out into a shot glass and poured over the sugar, bitters, and dash of water. 

He then twists his orange rind to release the oils into his glass. Usually he’ll do this with two peels to get maximum oils.

After releasing orange oils directly into the glass, he rubs the orange peel over the rim of his glass. This way with every sip you take, you’ll smell the orange aroma and get a little taste of orange.

Last step is to add a big ole’ ice cube. David will go through the extra steps of twice boiling water before turning it into ice cubes. This helps purify the water and get rid of the cloudiness that ice cubes from the refrigerator tend to have. Don’t forget to stick the orange peel directly into your glass, or you can garnish the glass with it, whichever you prefer.

Just like that you have yourself a perfect Old Fashioned to enjoy at home. It’s a great drink to know how to make since it’s one of the most popular cocktails. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sitting by the fire on a cold day while enjoying an Old Fashioned.

The Perfect Old Fashioned 
Recipe by David Wells
Serves 1

1/2 teaspoon sugar (or 1 sugar cube depending on your preference) 

2 dashes orange bitters
small splash of water
2 oz bourbon (Bulleit highly recommended)
2 orange peels
large ice cube


In a rocks glass pour sugar and mix with orange bitters. Add in splash of water and mix until sugar is dissolved. Stir in bourbon. Squeeze/twist both orange peels into glass to release orange oil. Liberally rub orange peel alongside rim of glass. Drop in ice cube and 1 orange peel or garnish with orange peel. Enjoy.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Made in Sonoma December 1, 2014 at 7:58 pm

I love this! Not because I drink bourbon but because David helped you out with a post. And the fire in the background is a really nice touch. 🙂


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