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  • History of the Old Fashioned Cocktail

    March 05, 2024 2 min read

    History of the Old Fashioned Cocktail

    The Old Fashioned—the velvety texture of a whiskey base gently touched by the bittersweet embrace of sugar and the graceful fragrance of citrus oils dancing on the surface—is steeped in a history as warm and complex as the drink itself. Journey with us through the smoky, mahogany-laden bars of the past as we uncover the captivating heritage and enduring charm of this timeless libation. Come explore the history of the Old Fashioned cocktail.

    A Sip of History: Unearthing the Ancient Roots

    When was the Old Fashioned cocktail invented? We must travel back to the 1800s to find the first known mention of this cocktail, originally named the “whiskey cocktail.” It stood as a staunch representation of the simplicity and elegance that characterized the cocktail culture of the time. A mix of whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus, this drink embodied the quintessential flavors of America's robust spirit, distilled into a single, emblematic mixture. Some claim the cocktail was invented in Louisville, KY, while others say it was at a bar in NYC. Either way, Louisville claimed the Old Fashioned as their official cocktail in 2015.

    Interactive Evolution: Adapting to Instincts and Innovations

    It would be remiss to think of the Old Fashioned as a static relic of a distant past. Instead, it has evolved to reflect the changing palates of countless generations. From the sugar cube that replaced the spoonful of sugar to the experimentation with different fruits, the Old Fashioned has been a playground for mixologists both amateur and professional. With every iteration and improvisation, the Old Fashioned remains a personalized canvas where the drinker's individualism can be celebrated in a wholly unique cocktail experience.

    Staying in Fashion: A Resurgence and Modern Allure

    The cocktail's meteoric rise in the 21st century is a testament to its timeless allure. A symbol of sophistication and taste, the Old Fashioned has seen a revival among a new generation of consumers who crave authenticity and the stories behind their drinks. Bartenders on the cutting edge continue to craft innovative variations, introducing novel elements that harmonize with the traditional base. Craft spirits and specialized bitters have given the cocktail a modern edge, ensuring its place at the forefront of the mixology renaissance.

    We hope you enjoyed learning the history of the Old Fashioned cocktail. If you want to start making this classic cocktail at home, shop the Bartender’s Secret Sauce collection of Old Fashioned cocktail syrup. This product will make your cocktail mixing easier and take the guesswork out of the process!