Old Fashioned whisky cocktail shot in flat art deco style on graphic red and orange background
The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Take Your Old Fashioned Up
A Notch
By Chandler Phillips
The recipe for an Old Fashioned has stood as a template for nearly every kind of classic cocktail since — start with a base spirit, then add a sweetening agent, a bittering agent, and garnish. However, mixologists and bartenders have discovered that the addition of one more ingredient is a modern must for any Old Fashioned recipe.
Any element of an Old Fashioned can be modified to elevate the taste, but adding a cherry is an easy way to enhance the overall flavor of the cocktail. For example, if you're using a bourbon with strong oak and vanilla notes, adding the right kind of cherry brings forth elements of cherry wood and stone fruit.
The best kind of cherries are premium cocktail cherries that are steeped in spirits, liqueurs, or syrups, like Luxardo maraschino cherries. Further specialty options include Jack Rudy bourbon-soaked cocktail cherries and Copper and Kings Old Fashioned cherries, though you can also make your own preserved cherries.