7 Facts About the Old Fashioned

An Old Fashioned on top of a book

When it comes to Scotch whisky cocktails, there are few more classic than the Old Fashioned.

The Old Fashioned has survived the test of time by placing the focus on the drink it serves to highlight. While many cocktails mask the taste of the alcohol with fruity juices, sugar or soda, the focus is solely on the whisky in this traditional sip.

To celebrate this iconic whisky drink, we’re sharing some facts about the Old Fashioned!


It Actually is Quite Old

Somewhat living up to its name, the Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktail recipes on record. It is believed to have been created in the 19th Century.


Large Ice Cubes Are Essential

While you may think that oversized ice cubes are just a gimmicky extra for aesthetic reasons, there is actually a scientific basis behind the reason they are used in an Old Fashioned.

When ice has a larger surface area, it takes longer to melt. This means that a large ice cube melts much slower than smaller ice cubes or crushed ice.

The less your ice melts, the less diluted your whisky becomes!


It’s Still Fashionable

Even though its name suggests otherwise, the Old Fashioned is still very much in fashion. This cocktail is often named the most commonly ordered drink in bars. In 2020, Drinks International even named the Old Fashioned as the best-selling cocktail of the year!


It Can Be Expensive!

The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., offer up their version of an Old Fashioned for $1,500 – what a bargain!

 Their rendition is called the ‘Impeachment’ and contains Pappy Van Winkle 23-year old and peaches that have been macerated in 1995 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes. If that’s not enough, the drink is poured over hand-cut ice that is covered in gold leaf.


It’s the Official Cocktail of Louisville

As the story goes, the Old Fashioned was made famous by one Mr James E. Pepper. Pepper’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky claim that the drink was first invented there. In 2015 they named the Old Fashioned as the city’s official cocktail.


There Are Many Alternative Versions

The Old Fashioned has been reinvented many times using many different alcohols. Versions have been created using rum or Port instead of whisky. Without whisky, they’re maybe not a true Old Fashioned, but we do enjoy the variety!


Garnish Makes All the Difference

Small extras like a cherry, lemon twist or orange wedge may seem like they won’t make any difference to your drink, they can actually make or break an Old Fashioned.

For example, you should avoid Maraschino cherries, as their overt sweetness can throw the drink off balance. Whereas, a good twist of orange can give the whisky a nice hint of scent without overwhelming it!

If you feel inspired to make an Old Fashioned, then you can check out our range of whisky and other alcoholic drinks available at Havana House for an incredible cocktail experience.

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