The Old Fashioned

Its creation is attributed to the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, where its resident bartender Martin Cuneo is said to have originally made the drink for a local distiller called James E. Pepper in the last few years of the 19th century. Colonel Pepper was then said to have taken the drink to New York, where it was included – and its origin corroborated – in the 1931 bar book Old Waldorf Bar Days. The cocktail has the virtue of being wonderfully simple yet it cannot be rushed –some bartenders claim it can be made in seconds but I’m old school – I like to see it made carefully over several minutes, stirred to perfection. The recipe can be twisted by supplementing practically any spirit for the bourbon called for in the original recipe.



  • 60ml Bourbon Whisky
  • 1 white sugar cube
  • 4-5 dash Angostura Bitters
  • dash of soda water


Place the sugar cube in the base of an old-fashioned glass. Soak with the bitters and a dash of soda water, then crush the sugar with the back of a barspoon. Add one third of the bourbon and two ice cubes. Stir again then add more ice and another third of the bourbon. Stir and add one more ice cube and the remaining bourbon. Decorate with half a slice of orange and a cherry. The Old-Fashioned should never be rushed: it takes time and care to achieve the perfect result.