The Old Fashioned

With the availability of amazing spirits, products and the resurgence of the classic cocktail there has never been a better time to drink cocktails. The Old Fashioned is one of the original classic cocktails and is literally the definition of what a cocktail is. As you can see below, in the first printed mention of the word “cocktail”. "Cocktail, then in a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters." May 6 1806, The Balance, and Columbian Repository. We’re going to walk you through how to make the Old Fashioned. So you can enjoy this iconic cocktail, in the comfort of your own home. Here’s what you’ll need:
The Old Fashioned

Ingredients and Methods



  • 60ml Woodford Reserve
  • 15ml Sugar Syrup* (See recipe)
  • 2 dashes of Orange Angostura Bitters (Available at Dan Murphy’s, if not regular Angostura Bitters are perfectly fine.)
  • Orange Zest


  • Mixing glass (A large glass or small jug would also work.)
  • Jigger
  • Cocktail strainer (known as a “Hawthorn” or “Julep” Strainer)
  • Bar spoon or a long spoon
  • Potato peeler
  • Large “rocks” glass or tumbler
  • Cubed Ice

The key to making this cocktail is using a top quality bourbon and fresh ingredients. In this case we’ve gone for Woodford Reserve, a beautiful, small batch, hand crafted bourbon, available in most bottle shops.

Using the jigger, pour 60ml of Woodford Reserve into the mixing glass.

Using the jigger, pour 15mls of sugar syrup into the mixing glass. It’s best to use syrup, rather than sugar granules because it breaks down much easier and you don’t get that sugar residue at the end of your drink, like you sometimes get with your coffee.

Carefully add two dashes of the bitters. Much like cooking, you can always add but you can’t take away.

Fill the mixing glass with ice and using the bar spoon, start stirring the liquid and the ice. This process will both chill and dilute the cocktail. The cocktail will be done when the level of the liquid reaches the level of the ice. Or you can taste the cocktail as you stir it, using a straw and can stop stirring, when it reaches a level of dilution to your liking.

Using the Hawthorn or Julep strainer, strain the cocktail into a large rocks glass full of ice.

Run the potato peeler, lightly around the skin of the orange. Removing a strip of the orange zest around 4 to 6 centimetres long.

Rub the orange zest around the rim of the glass, so you really get those fresh orange oils when you drink the cocktail. Then “roll” or squeeze the zest over the cocktail and drop it in.

Sit back, take a sip and enjoy.

Sugar Syrup*


  • Equal parts, sugar and water.


  1. Place the sugar and water in a pot over a low flame and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Cool, then bottle.
  3. Will keep for at least a month in the refrigerator.

Linus Schaxmann is currently heading up the drinks program at Agent 284, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood and you can find him behind the upstairs bar, “The Second Floor”.

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Chef Linus Schaxmann

With twenty five years’ experience behind the bar including stints in Monte Carlo, London and America, Linus Schaxmann is regarded as one of the leading influences in the Australian bartending scene. (more)

here to view all of Chef Linus Schaxmann's recipes.

Linus Schaxmann

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