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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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.

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Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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