What Does an Old Fashioned Taste Like? Are Old Fashioneds Good?


One of the oldest classic cocktails around is the Old Fashioned. If you have never heard of it, you must have been living under a rock without anyone talking about alcohol!

Just kidding.

But what we can’t kid about is how elegant and traditional the Old Fashioned is, being a staple in many bars. For those who haven’t tried it yet, you’re probably wondering: what does an old fashioned taste like?

Even those who have had a glass of an Old Fashioned probably wonder what the authentic taste is really like to appreciate it more! We answer your question below, so read on!

Short Answer:

An Old Fashioned cocktail is made with bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters and a citrus peel. It tastes bitter and sweet, with the whiskey flavor being strong.

The bitter taste comes from the bitters and the sweetness from sugar and fruit on top. An Old Fashioned is very tasty and popular. You should take your time to enjoy it!

What is an Old Fashioned?

The Old Fashioned is a special drink. You mix sugar and bitters, then add whisky or brandy. Finally, you put in a twist of citrus rind. This drink is usually served in a short glass that looks like a round ball. (*)

Fun fact:

When making this cocktail, use an Old Fashioned glass. This type of glass got its name from the drink it is used for. The Old Fashioned drink was made with whisky in the 1800s, but it has changed over time.

The Old Fashioned was a traditionally “manly” cocktail that brings out whisky’s flavor.

You can find this in many bars, where you can have your order customized according to your tastebuds.

image of Old Fashioned Taste Like

what does an old fashioned taste like?

When you take the first sip off the Old Fashioned, the first thing you may notice is the lovely aroma of orange mixed with caramel and spice notes from your favorite whisky. You’ll probably have some aromatic additions, thanks to the bitters.

Once it settles on your tongue, the cold and slight dilution tames the ethanol bite. The subtle sweetness mellows the flavor—the bitters round the flavor prevent the sweetness from cloying. Moreover, you’ll taste hints of spices and botanicals like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, among others.

Continue sipping the drink, and you notice the flavor evolving. The whisky starts to dilute because of the ice melting and added sugar dissolving. The drink mellows even further to smooth rough edges and relax the sharpness.

Once you reach the last sip, there will be a pop of sweetness from any undissolved sugar with some spice from bitters and warmth from the last of the whisky. Hopefully, there is still some orange aroma from the twist! You’ll be left with a refreshing note, probably leaving you wanting more.

Did that all sound very technical? Some people say it’s like a sweetened whiskey with hints of bitters and spices to balance out the sweetness.

Fun Fact:

People from Wisconsin love their Old Fashioned so much and have their own preference, the Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet. That means it goes heavier on Angostura bitters! (*)

Frequently Asked Questions

For those who have any questions left regarding the Old Fashioned, continue reading!

Our Unique Takes On The Classic Old Fashioned Recipe:

Yes, it’s possible to make Old Fashioned yourself! You can find numerous recipes online to start, and while the process may sound complicated, practice makes perfect.

Here’s an excellent Old Fashioned recipe from PBS you can refer to! (*)

Fun fact:

If you’ll make Old Fashioned using brandy, use Peychaud bitters rather than Angostura. Make sure you use high-quality ingredients to truly get the best flavors and experience.

Smoked Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned

This recipe makes a special kind of Old Fashioned cocktail. It is sweeter and smokier than the usual Old Fashioned because of the maple syrup and hickory wood chips. It will also smell nice from the orange peel garnish. People who like unique flavors will love it!

Blackberry Thyme Old Fashioned

This is a special version of the Old Fashioned. It has blackberries for sweetness, bourbon for a deep taste, and thyme simple syrup for an unexpected flavor. To make it look nice, add some thyme as a garnish. Try it and you will like it!

Chocolate Orange Old Fashioned

Do you like sweet treats? The Chocolate Orange Old Fashioned is the perfect cocktail for you! It uses chocolate-infused bourbon, orange bitters, and Cointreau. These ingredients blend together to create a drink with a great flavor.

Top it off with some chocolate shavings and an orange peel to make it look special. Try this recipe the next time you want something really yummy!

Wrapping It Up

We hope we have answered your question, “what does an Old Fashioned taste like?” If you believe this cocktail speaks to your soul, order it the next time you’re out drinking with friends, or make it yourself! Have fun and enjoy your cocktails!

Up Next: What Does a Martini Taste Like?

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