Summer Old Fashioned

Bourbon | Cocktails

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Summer Old Fashioned_001

Introduction to the Summer Old Fashioned

As the sun shines brighter and the days grow longer, a refreshing cocktail becomes the perfect companion. The Summer Old Fashioned is a vibrant twist on a classic, blending the rich warmth of bourbon with the bright notes of seasonal fruit. Ideal for backyard barbecues or a relaxing evening on the porch, this cocktail is a summer staple.

Imagine the sweet aroma of orange and cherry mingling with the deep essence of bourbon. The Summer Old Fashioned is not just a drink; it’s a sensory experience that captures the essence of summer in a glass. Let’s dive into what makes this cocktail a must-have for your warm-weather festivities.

Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or a casual cocktail enthusiast, the Summer Old Fashioned is sure to delight. Its balance of sweetness and bitters makes it a versatile choice for various palates. Keep reading to discover how to craft this seasonal sensation.

Key Facts About the Summer Old Fashioned

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV (28 proof)
Calories: Approximately 180 kcal
Preferred Glass: Old Fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass
Typical Garnish: Fresh orange slice and cherry

Interesting Facts about the Summer Old Fashioned

– The Summer Old Fashioned is a modern take on a cocktail that dates back to the early 19th century.
– By incorporating fresh summer fruits, this version adds a seasonal twist to the timeless recipe.
– It’s a popular choice for those looking to enjoy a classic cocktail with a refreshing, fruity edge.

Summer Old Fashioned Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Summer Old Fashioned offers a symphony of flavors that are both complex and harmonious. The bourbon provides a smooth, oaky base with hints of vanilla and caramel. When combined with the sweetness of the simple syrup and the fruitiness of the orange and cherry, it creates a cocktail that is both robust and refreshing.

This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate the depth of a good whiskey but are looking for something lighter for the summer months. It’s an excellent choice for evening gatherings, sunset toasts, or simply as a relaxing drink after a long day.

The Summer Old Fashioned suits a variety of occasions, from casual get-togethers to more formal events. Its versatility and crowd-pleasing nature make it a go-to choice for any host.

History of the Summer Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned has a storied history, believed to have originated in the early 1800s. It was first referred to as a cocktail in the 1880s, in Louisville, Kentucky. The drink was a simple combination of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar, and it has since become one of the cornerstones of American cocktail culture.

Over the years, the Old Fashioned has seen many variations. The Summer Old Fashioned is a contemporary variation that pays homage to the original while embracing the flavors of the season. It’s a testament to the cocktail’s adaptability and enduring popularity.

The addition of fresh summer fruits to the traditional recipe not only enhances the flavor profile but also adds a touch of elegance and color to the presentation. This modern twist on the classic has quickly become a favorite for its ability to capture the carefree spirit of summer.

Summer Old Fashioned Ingredients

Bourbon Whiskey: 2 oz (60 ml) – The soul of the cocktail, bourbon brings a rich and smooth character.
Simple Syrup: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Adds sweetness to balance the strength of the bourbon.
Angostura Bitters: 2 dashes – Provides a herbal complexity and depth.
Orange Slice: 1 – Offers a citrusy freshness and a fragrant aroma.
Fresh Cherry: 1 – Contributes a sweet and tart flavor, enhancing the summer vibe.
Ice Cubes: – Chills the drink, making it more refreshing.

Did you know?

> “The Old Fashioned is often cited as the original cocktail, setting the standard for mixology excellence.”

Ingredients for Summer Old Fashioned

Summer Old Fashioned Method

Muddling the Fruits

Begin by placing the orange slice and cherry in a mixing glass. Add the simple syrup and bitters. Use a muddler to gently press the fruits, releasing their juices and essential oils. This step is crucial for infusing the cocktail with fresh, fruity flavors.

Adding the Bourbon

Pour the bourbon into the mixing glass with the muddled fruit mixture. The quality of the bourbon is key, as it will significantly influence the overall taste of the cocktail.

Stirring and Chilling

Fill the glass with ice and stir the mixture for about 30 seconds. This not only chills the drink but also dilutes it slightly, ensuring a smooth sip.


Strain the cocktail into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. This step ensures that any fruit pulp or unwanted solids are left behind, resulting in a clean and elegant drink.


Garnish with a fresh orange slice and cherry, if desired. The garnish adds a final touch of flavor and an attractive visual appeal.

Serving Suggestion

The Summer Old Fashioned is best served in an Old Fashioned glass, which allows the drink’s aromas to concentrate and enhances the tasting experience. The wide brim of the glass also makes it easy to enjoy the garnish’s scent with each sip.

For garnishes, a fresh orange slice and cherry not only add to the drink’s aesthetic but also offer a hint of freshness with each taste. The garnish should complement the drink without overpowering it.

Elevating the Summer Old Fashioned

Use Premium Bourbon: Selecting a high-quality bourbon can elevate the cocktail’s flavor profile significantly.
Experiment with Bitters: Try using different types of bitters to add unique dimensions to the drink.
Club Soda Splash: For a lighter version, top the cocktail with a splash of club soda.

Each of these tips can transform the Summer Old Fashioned from a simple cocktail into a sophisticated and memorable drink.

Summer Old Fashioned Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Summer Old Fashioned

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try something new, there are plenty of substitutions and alternatives to consider. For instance, if bourbon isn’t your preference, rye whiskey can provide a spicier kick. If Angostura bitters are unavailable, orange bitters can offer a more citrus-forward profile.

Similar cocktails that share some characteristics with the Summer Old Fashioned include the Whiskey Sour, which also combines whiskey with citrus, and the Manhattan, which offers a similar whiskey-forward taste with a hint of sweetness.

Add a Twist

Herbal Infusions: Infuse the simple syrup with herbs like basil or thyme for an aromatic twist.
Smoked Old Fashioned: Add a smoky element by using a smoking gun or smoked ice cubes.
Seasonal Fruits: Incorporate other seasonal fruits like peaches or berries for a different flavor profile.

These twists can add a personal touch to the Summer Old Fashioned, making it even more special.

Preferred Liquors for the Summer Old Fashioned

While many bourbons can work well in a Summer Old Fashioned, some brands are particularly well-suited. For example, Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve offer the right balance of sweetness and oakiness. Bulleit Bourbon is another excellent choice, known for its high rye content and bold flavors.

Choosing the right bourbon is essential, as it forms the foundation of the cocktail’s taste. A good rule of thumb is to select a bourbon you enjoy drinking neat or on the rocks.

Similar Cocktails to the Summer Old Fashioned

Mint Julep: Another bourbon-based classic, perfect for those who enjoy the refreshing taste of mint.
Boulevardier: A whiskey cocktail with a bitter edge, thanks to the addition of Campari.
Sazerac: A New Orleans favorite that also features whiskey and bitters, with an absinthe rinse for an anise flavor.

These cocktails share a spirituous backbone with the Summer Old Fashioned, making them great alternatives for whiskey lovers.

Food Pairings to go with the Summer Old Fashioned

The Summer Old Fashioned pairs well with a variety of foods. Here are some suggestions:

Classic Barbecue: The smoky flavors of grilled meats complement the bourbon’s richness.
Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses can balance the cocktail’s sweetness and bitters.
Summer Salads: Fresh, light salads with citrus dressings echo the cocktail’s fruity notes.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or enjoying a quiet night in, these pairings can enhance your Summer Old Fashioned experience.

Summer Old Fashioned FAQs

Can I use a different type of whiskey? Yes, rye whiskey or even a milder Canadian whisky can be used as substitutes.
Is it necessary to muddle the fruit? Muddling is recommended to release the flavors, but you can also simply garnish with the fruit if preferred.
Can I make this cocktail in advance? It’s best made fresh, but you can prepare the fruit and syrup mixture ahead of time.
What if I don’t have Angostura bitters? Other bitters like orange or peach bitters can be used as an alternative.
How can I make my Summer Old Fashioned less sweet? Reduce the simple syrup amount or add more bitters to balance the sweetness.

These FAQs can help you navigate any uncertainties and ensure your Summer Old Fashioned is a hit.

Summer Old Fashioned_001

Summer Old Fashioned

A refreshing twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, the Summer Old Fashioned infuses the timeless whiskey drink with seasonal fruit flavors, making it a perfect sipper for warm weather and sunny days.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Old Fashioned glass


  • 2 oz Bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 slice Orange
  • 1 Fresh cherry
  • Ice cubes


  • In a mixing glass, muddle the orange slice and cherry with the simple syrup and bitters.
  • Add the bourbon to the mixing glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice and stir the mixture until well chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a fresh orange slice and cherry, if desired.


For a lighter flavor profile, consider using a citrus-forward bourbon or adding a splash of club soda. The addition of seasonal fruits can also enhance the summer vibe of this cocktail.
Keyword bitters, bourbon, cherry, Classic Cocktail, Fruit, Ice, Orange, Refreshing, Simple Syrup, Summer Cocktail, Summer Old Fashioned, Whiskey

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