Like many of the great cocktails that were created in America and have gone "international," the Old Fashioned is sadly a mere shadow of its former self. Nowadays, in the majority of bars across the country, your barkeep has probably muddled some heinous mélange of sugar, orange, pineapple, and cherry into your Old Fashioned, delivering a sickly sweet mess that might even be — god forbid — shaken to within an inch of its life.
Most of this artificial frippery was most likely added during Prohibition, when many drinks were doctored in such a way so their base spirit was rendered tasteless. In actual fact, the Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail is a simple, no-nonsense affair that can be made by any budding home mixologist that has in their possession the following: American whiskey (a peppery rye will deliver the best results), Angostura bitters (or feel free to sub in any other type as your imagination allows), sugar, a spoon, and some good quality ice.
Add the whiskey, simply syrup, and bitters to a cocktail glass. Stir over ice and then strain into a serving glass over a single, large piec of ice. Add a lemon twist and smile.