Not-Your-Grandfather's Old Fashioned

not-your-grandfather's old fashioned (made with blood orange juice)

Out of all the cocktails I made for the [when-will-she-stop-talking-about-it] engagement party back in February, this was my favorite — in both designing and imbibing. It was the perfect excuse for me to try out some new-to-me, somewhat-artisnal cocktail products — Sonoma Syrup Co. No. 28 Classic Grenadine Syrup and Tillen Farms Maraschino Cherries — that I’d been eyeing at the grocery store for a while. Plus, the respective products hail from northern California and Washington state, as do the groom- and bride-to-be, making their use especially appropriate for the occassion.

I’ve taken a fair amount of liberties with the classic Old Fashioned to make it somewhat more modern and, frankly, palatable (credit for the name goes to my mother-in-law, Shelley). When available, I prefer using blood oranges to navels for a handful of reasons: they lend a touch more bitter flavor to the drink (supplementing the Angostura bitters and Cointreau rather nicely), and the drink’s raspberry hue is an appreciated deviation from the more common, blasé brown.

With the last stretch of winter upon us — and Mad Men’s return less than two weeks away (!) — I cannot think of a much better time than now to mix up one (or a pitcher) of these cocktails.

not-your-grandfather's old fashioned (made with navel orange juice)

Not-Your-Grandfather’s Old Fashioned

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 cocktail





Combine bourbon through bitters in a cocktail shaker (or mason jar) with lots of ice, shake vigorously until cold; set aside. In a double old fashioned glass (mine is 12 ounces, leaves lots of room for ice), gently smoosh stemmed cherry (not to a pulp, just one good smash/smoosh). Add a handful of ice cubes to glass. Strain chilled cocktail mixture into glass. Top with sparkling water; stir gently. Garnish with orange slice and cherry with stem. Serve immediately.


¹ I selected the grenadine (not pomegranate simple syrup) by Sonoma Syrup Co. because it contains 45% pomegranate juice, unlike the usual, syrupy sweet variety. (Cough, Rose’s, which is fabulous when used for frozen boozy desserts — such as the Summertime Granita — as sweetness is dulled when items are frozen.) Another good option if you cannot locate my preferred brand is this one by Stirrings — it’s less sweet, so you may want increase cherry juice by 1 teaspoon.

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  • Reply
    Lacy @ NYCityEats
    March 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I loved my grandfather’s old fashioned!! lol. I think he’d add some sweetness to mine by pouring in a little cherry juice from the maraschino cherries but I’d always have his 4 o’clock drink with him when I lived in the area. I’ve never actually seen a recipe for one though and I love that you used blood orange! I’m definitely going to have to take a shot at making one on my own. 🙂

  • Reply
    heather sage
    March 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I hope the taste brings back some good memories for you — enjoy :)!

  • Reply
    Sandy @ tinytinyfork
    March 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

    This looks delicious. What a classic throwback to help remember one of my old favorites! Thanks for this 🙂

  • Reply
    March 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I’ve never had one of these but I do know Mr. Draper is quite the fan and that makes me a fan by association.
    I hope you enjoyed the premiere episode yesterday!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    My boyfriend’s favorite drink! We had a couple different varieties when traveling in Chicago last fall–they called one the New Fashioned.

    Anywho Heather, I have selected you as one of my 5 recipients of the Liebster Awards on my page because I love your blog and your site! (Not to mention you’re a fellow SCU alum. Haha.)

    Check it out to accept it:

    Happy Blogging!

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