How To Make An Old Fashioned

Emulate Don Draper with this timeless classic

Old Fashioned cocktail
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One of the lasting images of stylish TV series Mad Men was of anti-hero Don Draper sipping an Old Fashioned, his cocktail of choice.

The drink's prominence in the show helped it enjoy a renaissance that still endures today, long after the show's other influences over men have faded (see: sharp tailoring). Though if you've really been paying attention, an Old Fashioned has actually been a bar staple since around the early 1800s.

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Back then, a 'cock tail' was a morning drink made up of a little water, a little sugar, a lot of liquor, and a couple splashes of bitters. Turn the water to ice and make it with whiskey, and you have an Old Fashioned.

The story goes that James E. Pepper, bartender and bourbon aristocrat, invented the drink in Louisville and took the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. If that isn't reason enough to make one, here's Ryan Gosling making the Old Fashioned look pretty damn cool.

Recipe

  • Place 1 sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon loose sugar) in a short glass.
  • Add 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water or club soda
  • Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler or similar, rotating the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining.
  • Add a large ice cube.
  • Pour in 2 oz. Rye Whiskey.
  • Serve with a stirring rod.