This Brown Sugar Old Fashioned is the perfect drink for the holidays or cozying up to a fire on a cold night. Combine bourbon with brown sugar syrup and a touch of bitters for a cocktail that exudes smoothness, subtle sweetness, and a hint of caramel-like flavor. This easy-to-make, comforting drink strikes the perfect balance— not too strong, not too sweet, just incredibly delicious.
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Classic Cocktails with a New Twist
Nothing like taking a classic cocktail and giving it an update with a new flavor or refreshing twist. It’s a way to breathe life into old favorites making them new and exciting. Plus, it’s fun to be creative and introduce unique twists that fit the season or occasion.
Introduce cranberry to the timeless Whiskey Sour, and you have a holiday-ready Cranberry Whiskey Sour. Similarly, infuse a Gingerbread Martini with gingerbread syrup for a festive twist, or opt for this Skrewball White Russian Recipe that adds a little peanut butter twist to a favorite.
A Strawberry Mojito can bring a light summery essence to the classic mojito, or elevate a Mimosa with a tropical touch by incorporating pineapple juice, as seen in the Hawaiian Mimosa. These unexpected flavor combinations all add a little something extra to our favorite classic cocktails.
What is an old fashioned drink?
The Old Fashioned is one of the most venerable and iconic cocktails, representing the very essence of what a cocktail is meant to be. Rooted deep in the annals of mixology, the name itself signifies its age-old legacy; it's fashioned in the "old" way.
The ritual of making it often involves muddling sugar (sometimes in the form of a cube) with a splash of water and a couple of dashes of bitters. Once the sugar dissolves, ice is added, followed by the spirit. The drink is then stirred until it reaches the desired dilution. To finish, it's garnished with a twist of citrus peel, often orange or lemon, which releases essential oils that dance on the surface, adding a fragrant aroma and an additional layer of flavor.
Over the years, the Old Fashioned has seen numerous variations, adaptations, and revivals, but its core essence remains unchanged. It’s a testament to the timeless nature of good taste. When made well, it has a sublime balance of sweet, bitter, and boozy flavors, making it a favorite for many cocktail enthusiasts around the globe.
What's in an old fashioned drink recipe?
A classic Old Fashioned cocktail is a simple concoction, typically made with just a few ingredients: sugar, water, bitters, and spirit. The spirit of choice has traditionally been bourbon or whiskey, although variations using other spirits like rum or brandy can also be found. The beauty of the Old Fashioned lies in its simplicity, with each ingredient playing a key role.
Why You'll Love an Old Fashioned with Brown Sugar
If you’re a fan of the classic Old Fashioned, taking a detour with brown sugar offers a delightful twist on this beloved drink. Here’s why the brown sugar variation might just become your new favorite:
- Richer Sweetness: Brown sugar isn't just sweet; it brings a deep, molasses-like flavor that adds an extra dimension of richness to the cocktail. This warm, caramel note enhances the bourbon's sweetness, creating a fuller and more layered taste profile.
- Complex Aromatics: The organic compounds in brown sugar contribute to various aromas, from toffee to chocolate. When paired with the citrusy fragrance of the orange peel and the spicy notes of the bourbon, it offers a captivating aroma with each sip.
- Velvety Mouthfeel: The syrupy consistency of brown sugar simple syrup can lend the cocktail a slightly thicker, velvety texture. This makes the drink feel more indulgent and allows for a smooth finish that lingers on the palate.
- Visual Appeal: A Brown Sugar Old Fashioned often has a slightly darker hue, reminiscent of amber or rich mahogany. This deep, inviting color adds to the overall allure of the drink, making it as pretty to look at as it is to sip.
- Versatility: The subtle sweetness of brown sugar pairs beautifully with a wide range of bourbons, from the robust and smoky to the light and floral. This flexibility means you can play around with different bourbon brands and ages to find your perfect match.
Essentially, a Brown Sugar Old Fashioned takes everything you love about the classic and amplifies it. It's familiar yet new, simple yet complex, making it a drink that both purists and adventurers can appreciate and savor.
Here's what you'll need to make this amazing old fashioned recipe. The exact ingredients are in the printable recipe card below.
- Brown sugar syrup
- Bourbon - Knob Creek, Maker's Mark, Southern Comfort, and Basil Hayden are great choices.
- Orange bitters - Angostura brand is the most popular.
- Orange peel for a garnish
How to Make a Brown Sugar Old Fashioned
Here are the simple steps to make this brown sugar old fashioned recipe:
- Fill a lowball glass with ice and add your favorite bourbon.
- Pour in the brown sugar syrup.
- Add a few dashes of orange bitters.
- Stir and garnish with a twist of orange peel over the cocktail.
Add a cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy. Whether you're curled up by the fireside on a chilly evening or toasting to a special occasion, this refreshing twist on the classic promises a smooth blend of flavors that makes each sip a delight.
- Apple Bourbon Old Fashioned - Apple bourbon introduces a fruity twist to the classic, evoking autumn flavors.
- Barrel-Aged Gin Old Fashioned - Barrel-aged gin adds a unique juniper-infused twist, merging the botanicals of gin with the warmth of barrel aging.
- Brown Sugar Bourbon Old Fashioned - Given that BSB brown sugar bourbon carries its inherent sweetness, you might consider reducing the amount of brown sugar syrup.
- Less Sweet Old Fashioned - You can easily adjust the syrup-to-spirit ratio for those who prefer their drinks on the less sweet side. Start with a ½ ounce of syrup and add more if desired.
- Whiskey Old Fashioned - Use Jameson (an Irish whiskey) or Southern Comfort (a whiskey-based liqueur with fruit and spice accents).
How to Serve an Old Fashioned Cocktail
Serving an Old Fashioned is as much an art as it is a ritual. The presentation and the details matter. Here's how to serve this classic drink with finesse:
Always use an Old Fashioned glass, also known colloquially as a lowball glass. This short tumbler, with its wide brim, not only allows you to appreciate the aromas but also provides ample room for ice and ingredients, ensuring a balanced mix.
Elevate your drink by opting for a large ice cube or an ice sphere. These larger ice forms melt slower, providing a consistent chill without diluting the drink too quickly. Their aesthetic appeal also adds an element of sophistication to your presentation.
Orange peel is the quintessential garnish for the Old Fashioned. Twist the peel over the drink to release its essential oils, then drop it in or drape it over the rim. This aromatic citrus touch elevates the drink's scent and flavor profile.
If you wish to add a touch of opulence, consider dropping in a high-quality cherry, such as a Luxardo or Amarena cherry. Their deep, rich flavors harmonize beautifully with the drink's components.
For an autumnal or wintry twist, a cinnamon stick can be an intriguing addition. It introduces a subtle spiced aroma and flavor, making each sip reminiscent of the festive seasons.
If you find your Old Fashioned a tad strong or just fancy a lighter sip, top it off with a splash of club soda or water. This can soften the drink's intensity while providing a refreshing effervescence or dilution.
Remember, while there are traditional ways to serve an Old Fashioned, cocktail-making is a personal journey. Experiment to find your preferred combination, and most importantly, enjoy the process and the final creation. Cheers!
More Cocktail Recipes
Here are some drinks with rich or spiced accents:
- Eggnog Martini - who says a martini can't be holiday-themed? Eggnog pairs perfectly with vanilla vodka in this rendition.
- Espresso Martini - a classic martini with an espresso twist!
- Fireball Apple Cider - is a great way to add some boozy cinnamon flavor to your apple cider. For adults only of course.
- Christmas Berry Cocktail - a cocktail with a little tart and a little sweet with a touch of bubbles from sparkling wine.
- Pumpkin Spice Martini - is like dessert in a glass, pumpkin pie of course!
Find lots of easy recipes for cocktails right here on 2CM!
- 1 ounce brown sugar syrup
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 2-3 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: strip of orange peel
- Fill a lowball glass with ice.
- Pour in the brown sugar syrup and bourbon.
- Sprinkle in a few dashes of bitters. Stir gently to mix and chill.
- Twist the orange peel over the glass and drop it into the cocktail. Garnish with cinnamon stick, if desired.