Done right, it's a perfectly balanced, timeless crowd-pleaser. Picture by Lebohang Mosia

The first reference to The Old Fashioned - as well as the first published definition of the word "cocktail" - came in the May 13, 1806 edition of a newspaper called The Balance and Columbian Repository.

It was there that the paper's editor referred to a cocktail as consisting of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.

The sweetness makes it smoother than a lot of other whiskey-based drinks, though it remains a strong, square-jawed option with an aura of Rat Pack cool. Fortunately, with few ingredients, it's also an easy cocktail to make. Almost as easy as it is to drink.

Disclaimer:

 It might sound obvious, but some folks forget that ice is a crucial component of most cocktails. And not all ice cubes are created equal. Larger cubes have as greater surface area which slows down the melting and causes less dilution of your drink.

So, before you treat yourself to an Old Fashioned, you might consider treating yourself to a proper ice cube mould. You’ll be glad you did.

Done right, it's a perfectly balanced, timeless crowd-pleaser. Picture by Lebohang Mosia

Ingredients

  • 50 ml whisky 
  • 12.5 ml simple syrup 
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel

Method

  1. Combine the whisky, simple syrup, and bitters into a cocktail mixing glass.
  2. Half-fill with ice and stir for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Strain into the rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange peel.