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Sipping History: What Does an Old Fashioned Taste Like?

Old Fashioned is a legendary cocktail known and loved by many.

In fact, if it were a fashion brand, it would be comparable to the likes of Louis Vuitton or Chanel.

So, if you’ve never heard of the drink, you have much to catch up on.

Starting with its taste, we can’t express how much elegance and tradition Old Fashioned carries.

Even today, it is seen as a staple drink in most, if not every, bar.

So, for those left untouched by the drink, you might wonder, what does an Old Fashioned taste like?

Worry not. We’ve got you covered.

From its taste to servings, continue reading our post to know more.

What is Old Fashioned?

Old Fashioned is an incredibly well-known, classic cocktail.

The drink is created by mixing sugar with bitters, adding brandy or whisky, and then topping off the drink with a citrus rind.

Old Fashioned is traditionally drunk in a round, short glass.

When people drink Old Fashioned, one noticeable feature from the first sip is the orangey aroma fused with notes of spice and caramel.

But this is only the first impression.

The drink will offer more aromatic notes as you increasingly gulp the drink.

The Old Fashioned is also known for its signature cocktail glass, which was actually named after the drink itself.

Although the drink has its origins set in whiskey during the 19th century, it has now changed into a cocktail that infuses different choices of alcohol.

Traditionally, the drink was considered a “manly” cocktail that brought out the strong whisky flavor.

But much of that has changed, and today it has become a cocktail meant for everyone.

You can even have the cocktail customized to your taste.

What Does Old Fashioned Taste Like?

Old Fashioned cocktails found now may not taste exactly like the original.

But, the general flavor of the drink is still pretty much untouched and is known to be sweet with notes of spiciness and bitterness.

When you take the first sip, it will greet you with an aromatic orange flavor fused with hints of spice and caramel.

The drink is usually cold when served, and this slight dilution helps tame the strong kick of whiskey.

The sugar cube added to the drink delivers its sweet taste, and the whiskey helps kickstart the spicy, citrusy, caramel, and vanilla-infused flavor.

Meanwhile, the bitter notes of cloves and cinnamon bring the entire flavor of Old Fashioned full circle.

Despite the presence of bitters in the drink, Old Fashioned is still a pretty sweet drink, and the taste is often compared to sweetened whiskey.

Each serving of Old Fashioned will contain around 4 gms of sugar, and you’ll likely get an extra hint of sweetness right till the end from the sugar cubes.

Old Fashioned is an incredibly well-balanced drink despite the drink having several ingredients.

This is because the spicy and bitter ingredients are used to deliver a subtle kick to balance the sweetness.

Hence, it does not overpower the drink, making it perfectly balanced.

How to Drink and Serve Old Fashioned?

While maintaining its original pace, there are several ways you can serve and enjoy Old Fashioned.

The drink is generally made using either bourbon or rye.

However, the two offer slightly different flavor profiles.

Bourbon tastes slightly sweeter, while rye contains more of a peppery bite.

Regardless of it, if you’re making Old Fashioned, you’ll need high-quality liquor (100+) as it can pair well with the drink dilution.

There are several options to choose from, such as Booker’s, Rittenhouse, Knob Creek, etc.

Since, the drink is a sipping cocktail, you wouldn’t want the drink to turn watery.

So, avoid using small ice.

Instead, try using rubber mold cubes or ice spheres to get the best mixture.

Now, of course, Old Fashioned is a sweet cocktail, so you’ll have to add a proper amount of sweetness to create the flavor.

You can make use of simple syrup or use other options such as agave nectar, honey, etc.

Anything will work as long as it’s diluted properly.

For the bitters, Angostura is the most common, and it’ll balance the sweetness pretty well.

To get a well-balanced Old Fashioned, stir it with ice for 20-30 seconds and strain it over fresh ice.

You can serve it cold and fresh, preferably in an 8-10 ounce glass.


Old Fashioned carries a lot of tradition and honor due to its popularity among cocktail lovers.

Moreover, the delicate balance of each ingredient makes the drink even more attractive.

So, if you’re looking to add a new cocktail favorite, Old Fashioned is a great start.

You can always try the drink at the nearest bar or even make one yourself following the guide we’ve mentioned above.

That said, we hope our post has answered all your questions and created more interest in the drink.

Cocktails are an exciting drink, and now that you know what it tastes like, make sure to order, drink and have fun.

What Does Old Fashioned Taste Like? Does It Taste Good?

Andrew Gray
Looking for insights into the flavors of an Old Fashioned cocktail? Interested in its taste profile? Here's a guide on what an Old Fashioned tastes like and whether it's regarded as enjoyable.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


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