Sweet and smooth, this Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned is a delicious twist on this classic cocktail.
Now that fall is rolling around (well, at least according to the calendar!) I’m in the mood for Bourbon cocktails! This Kentucky Mule and Bourbon Lemon Drop Martini are tops on my cocktail playlist this month.
Old Fashioned vs. a Manhattan
The Old Fashioned Cocktail has a reputation for being strong and a” bit rough around the edges”. Unlike a Manhattan (which is a mix of Bourbon and Sweet Vermouth) the Old Fashioned is made with classic bourbon, a muddled sugar cube, a dash of bitters and a twist of citrus.
But this whiskey cocktail? With its lovely honey, bourbon and citrus flavors .. well, it’s an entirely different matter!
I think even Don Draper would approve of this riffs to his favorite drink!
I won’t lie to you, this mixed drink is a bit potent! But, it’s absolutely delicious and just what you want to sip around a fire with good friends!
Old Fashioned Ingredients
- Bourbon -use a high proof, classic bourbon.
- Honey– I love the flavor that honey imparts! But you could be traditional and use a sugar cube or compromise and use simple syrup!
- Bitters – I used Orange Bitters but Angostura bitters are traditional – use whichever you happen to like and/or have!
- Cointreau – Optional. This is definitely NOT a traditional ingredient! The Cointreau adds a lovely orange note and softens the burn. A great choice for those who are just starting out with more potent cocktails.
- Cocktail Cherries – again, I didn’t add them but used a dried orange slice instead. You can definitely make this old fashioned with a cherry – but please don’t use those electric red ones! Opt for Luxardo Maraschino Cherries which are so much better!
Best Bourbon for an Old Fashioned
The “best” bourbon for an Old Fashioned is a hotly debated topic – and there definitely isn’t a right answer! Or rather, the “right” answer is – the bourbon that you enjoy drinking!
Ideally, you want a higher proof bourbon for this cocktail so that the cocktail doesn’t become watered down as the ice melts. TIP: Use a large ice cube or ice sphere!
To get you started, I’ve included a list of some of the best bourbons for an Old Fashioned Cocktail (IMO!)
- Woodford Reserve – mellow with a nice smooth finish.
- Elijah Craig – great caramel, oak and spice notes.
- Maker’s Mark – vanilla, cinnamon and almond notes – this one works really well in this drink!
How to Make this Bourbon Old Fashioned Recipe:
- Gather your bourbon, honey, orange liqueur (if using), and bitters. Add all the ingredients with some ice to a mixing glass and use a long bar spoon to stir.
- Pour over ice into an Old Fashioned or rocks glass.
- How to Garnish: I chose a candied orange slice, but a slice of fresh orange, an orange peel and/or a cocktail cherry are all appropriate garnishes for this cocktail!
Other Bourbon Drinks to wet your whistle!
If you enjoyed this bourbon old fashioned, I would love for you to leave a comment and rate it!!
Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned
- 2 oz. high quality bourbon Elijah Craig or Woodford Reserve
- 1/2 oz. Cointreau or a good quality Triple Sec
- 1 spoon orange blossom honey
- 3 dashes orange bitters I used Regan’s
- In a glass, mix the bourbon, Cointreau, orange blossom honey and bitters together with ice.
- Garnish with a candied orange slice or fresh orange slice.
- For this bourbon old fashioned, use a good quality bourbon. I like both Elijah Craig and Woodford Reserve. Jack Daniel’s would also work, but I find it’s a bit rougher for a cocktail such as this one.
- As for the orange liqueur, I used Cointreau, but any good quality Triple Sec works well. You could also use Grand Marnier, but the drink will have a bit more kick to it!
- This is a great cocktail to batch for parties. Just mix up the ingredients (sans ice) then measure into a glass with ice, stir and garnish!