Whiskey Old-Fashioneds (With Really Good Fruit)

updated May 3, 2019
Whiskey Old-Fashioned (Fruit-Style)
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Nora Maynard)

Fruit or no fruit? That is the question (or one of them, anyway). Like Martinis, Old-Fashioneds are one of those drinks that’ve been around long enough to have developed more than a few variations.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A satisfying blend of whiskey (preferably straight rye or bourbon, though some recipes use Canadian Whisky or a blended scotch), bitters, and sugar, stirred together with ice (and sometimes topped up with club soda), the Old-Fashioned makes a great wintertime drink. Richly flavorful, but not overly strong, it works equally well during cocktail hour, or as an after-dinner sipper.

But let’s get back to the fruit: While older, pre-Prohibition recipes call for the simple addition of a twist of lemon peel to the mix described above, more recent versions often fancy things up with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry instead. And while it’s often been remarked that these late additions were just add-ons to disguise the taste of bad contraband liquor during Prohibition, I personally think they can contribute a lot to the flavor of the drink.

So, if you have some good really fruit on hand – as I did this weekend – why not take advantage? Slice up some fresh, juicy oranges (I used blood oranges), and drop in a quality preserved cherry (I used homemade maraschinos preserved from the summer – with no day-glow red dye, they’re a little pale looking in the photo, but believe me, their flavor’s amazing), and you’re in business.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Whiskey Old-Fashioned (Fruit-Style)

Makes 1 drink

Nutritional Info


  • 2 ounces

    whiskey (rye or bourbon – I used Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey)

  • 1 teaspoon

    granulated sugar (or 1 sugar cube)

  • 2 dashes

    Angostura bitters

  • 1

    orange wedge (I used blood orange)

  • 1

    maraschino cherry (I used homemade)

  • 1 teaspoon

    water (for muddling)

  • A splash of club soda (I omitted this step)


  1. Place the sugar cube in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass. Add the bitters and water directly to the sugar so that they are absorbed. Muddle together with the back of a spoon (some recipes call for the fruit to be muddled at this point, but I prefer to add it later, whole). Add the whiskey and one or two large ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with the cherry and orange - and be sure to savor both when your drink is done.

Related: The Celluloid Pantry: Sazeracs and Live and Let Die (1973)

(Images: Nora Maynard)