Skip to main content

This creative old-fashioned recipe has two bitters and a unique bourbon that give it a campfire feel

An old fashioned recipe that's perfect for winter

Bib & Tucker old fashioned
Bib & Tucker

There are classic cocktails, and then there’s the old-fashioned. While the cocktail renaissance of the last few decades has unearthed many traditional cocktails and brought others back to the forefront (like the daiquiri, gimlet, Manhattan, Tom Collins, negroni, and others), none are as timeless as the old-fashioned. This whiskey-based drink is as popular as ever.

The aptly named cocktail is a very boozy drink with a whiskey base. Recipes call for rye or bourbon; what you use is entirely up to you. Since whiskey is the star of the show and the prominent flavor, the drink will be quite different depending on the whiskey you (or your favorite bartender) select. Rye whiskey-based old fashioneds will have a spicy, peppery bite, while bourbon-based old fashioneds will have a sweet corn base. Both are great options.

The rest of this iconic cocktail is traditionally Angostura bitters, sugar, and water. The sugar is muddled with bitters and water, and then the whiskey is added. It’s served in an old-fashioned glass and garnished with a slice of orange or a cocktail cherry (or both if you’re feeling extra lively). It’s as simple to mix up as it is to drink.

And while it’s effortlessly popular today, this traditional cocktail has been crafted by bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts for almost 150 years. While its genesis is up for debate (like all classic cocktails), it’s believed that, even though the first reference to the drink was in a newspaper in 1806, the drink was officially created in 1880 at a private social club in Louisville called The Pendennis Club.

A bartender (and whiskey pioneer) named James E. Pepper (who now has a whiskey in his name) invented the drink there before bringing the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York where it gained prominence and became the iconic drink we know today.

Also, while the drink is a well-known classic and has a traditional recipe and directions, it’s beloved by bartenders and mixologists because of its versatility and adaptability. Change the bitters or add a flavor or two, and it’s still an old-fashioned; it’s just a little elevated. Don’t believe us?

The folks at Tennessee’s Bib & Tucker devised an epic, delicious, memorable take on the classic cocktail. Instead of simply utilizing whiskey, sugar, bitters, and water, Bib & Tucker’s version ramps up the flavor by adding maple syrup instead of sugar and swapping out the classic Angostura bitters for coffee pecan bitters and black walnut bitters. And while you can use any of Bib & Tucker’s bourbon, its Double Char gives the drink a nice smoky flavor.

The result is a contemporary take on a timeless classic. Keep scrolling to see the recipe so you can whip some up at home. Even with the different ingredients, you don’t need a Ph.D. in mixology to make this drink to wow your friends and family this holiday season (and any time, for that matter).

Campfire Old Fashioned


2 parts Bib & Tucker Double Char Bourbon
0.25 part Maple Syrup
2 dashes of Coffee Pecan Bitters
2 dashes of Black Walnut Bitters
Garnish with Orange Peel


Add Bib & Tucker Double Char Bourbon, maple, and bitters to mixing glass over ice. Stir for 30 seconds until cold. Strain liquid over fresh ice into rocks glass and garnish with orange peel.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
Why the Jungle Bird deserves to be a cocktail you mix up this summer
Put this on your list of summertime go-to drinks
Jungle Bird cocktail

The beauty of the Jungle Bird cocktail is greater than the sum of its parts. It's like a musical chord: When in tune or balanced, it's one sound or note with much depth and complexity. The Jungle Bird is exactly that: A perfect harmony of rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, Demerara syrup, and bitter Campari.

Tiki cocktail expert Jeff "Beachbum" Berry first discovered the recipe. Berry published it in his book Intoxica, citing John J. Poister’s The New American Bartender’s Guide in 1989 as the original source. The cocktail was created in 1978 in the former KL Hilton’s Aviary Bar in Malaysia, and was later brought back into vogue by ex-New York City Giuseppe Gonzalez. Now, the Jungle Bird has established itself as a modern classic that deserves to be drunk for the whole summer.

Read more
How to make the controversial Singapore Sling cocktail
While its exact origins might be up for debate, the Singapre Sling has endured
Singapore Sling

Many classic cocktails have an uncertain history because of a lack of record keeping or a long game of telephone where one name or ingredient was inaccurately transformed into another over time. The Singapore Sling, however, might be the most convoluted of all because of the myriad of ingredients it contains, but there are a few things that have been uncovered thus far. For starters, the cocktail isn't even a sling.

According to renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich — who has done the work of the cocktail gods by sifting through various texts and archives to unravel when and where the cocktail originated and what was originally in it — there are a few ingredients that are a part of the recipe for certain. Gin, a cherry brandy (kirschwasser style), Bénédictine, lime juice, and a few dashes of bitters seem to be the constants based on a mention of this particular formula in the Singapore Weekly Sun in 1915.

Read more
How to make the Vancouver cocktail: Reviving a vintage classic
Add this obscure drink to your home bar cocktail list
The Vancouver cocktail

Born in the Canadian city for which it is named, the Vancouver is a fairly obscure cocktail that nearly went extinct. Its serendipitous rediscovery some 15 years ago has aided its rise among the cocktail-loving cognoscenti. When made properly, the combination of gin, Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters makes a brilliant match, with earthy complexity thanks to its fruity, spicy, and herbaceous profile. While it’s all the rage in western Canada, the Vancouver cocktail is one drink that’s poised to become a universal classic.
How to make the Vancouver cocktail


Read more