The Ultimate Guide to Making an Old Fashioned: Exploring the World of Bitters

If you’re a fan of old school cocktails, chances are you have heard of the “Old Fashioned”. This classic drink has been around for centuries, and for good reason. The perfect Old Fashioned is all about balance – a balance of flavors, aromas, and ingredients. Among the essential ingredients, bitters play a crucial role in creating the perfect cocktail.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of bitters and explore the various types used in making an Old Fashioned. We’ll also answer some common questions like “what is Angostura bitters made of?”, “what is a bitter in an Old Fashioned?”, and whether you should use aromatic or orange bitters for an Old Fashioned. So, let’s get started!

The Perfect Old Fashioned Bitter

Are you a fan of bitter cocktails? If so, you might be searching for the perfect recipe for an Old Fashioned Bitter. Look no further! Here are some tips to concocting a delicious drink that will make your taste buds dance:

Start with High-Quality Ingredients

The first rule of making a great cocktail is to start with the best ingredients. Use high-quality whiskey, fresh oranges, and aromatic bitters to take your drink to the next level. Don’t skimp on quality!

Properly Prepare Your Cocktail Glass

Before you start muddling ingredients, make sure your cocktail glass is properly prepared. Fill your glass with ice, and let it sit while you prepare your ingredients. This step will ensure your drink stays at the perfect temperature throughout the drinking experience.

Use the Right Equipment

Muddling ingredients, measuring spirits, and making a great Old Fashioned Bitter require the right equipment. If you’re a serious cocktail enthusiast, invest in a good cocktail shaker, jigger, and muddler. Not only will it make your job easier, but it will also make your cocktail taste better.

The Perfect Old Fashioned Bitter Recipe

Now you’re ready to mix your Old Fashioned Bitter! Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:


    old fashion bitter

  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1 orange peel


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, simple syrup, and aromatic bitters.
  2. Add ice and shake well.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a strip of orange peel.


There you have it, folks! Follow these steps, and you’re well on your way to making the perfect Old Fashioned Bitter. Remember, start with high-quality ingredients, properly prepare your glass, and use the right equipment. Cheers to a delicious cocktail!

The Power of Angostura Bitters

As we mentioned earlier, old fashion bitters form an essential ingredient in making the classic old-fashioned cocktail. While many bitters brands exist in the market, one stands out for its unique flavor and history—the Angostura Bitters.

A Brief History of Angostura Bitters

In 1824, German physician Johann Siegert created a unique concoction of herbs and spices in Venezuela known as Angostura Bitters. He originally intended to treat stomach ailments, but the locals started adding it to their alcoholic beverages, leading to the birth of the now-famous bitters.

The recipe’s secret is still closely guarded with only five people knowing the exact ingredients. However, the company claims to have a unique blend of gentian, cinnamon, cloves, and other aromatic plants.

Why You Need Angostura Bitters

Angostura bitters is a go-to ingredient for most bartenders when making classic cocktails. It is a staple ingredient in over half of all cocktails served today, including the Old Fashioned.

The unique flavor that Angostura bitters brings to cocktails is unrivaled. It is both bitter and sweet, with a warm, pleasant aroma that elevates any drink’s taste.

How to Use Angostura Bitters

Angostura bitters is quite potent, and only a few dashes are required to add the necessary flavor to cocktails. When making an Old Fashioned cocktail, put some simple syrup and a few drops of Angostura bitters in a glass and muddle the mixture before adding your bourbon or rye whiskey and ice.

Angostura bitters is versatile and can also be used in other cocktails like the Manhattan, Champagne cocktail, and Pink Gin, among others.

old fashion bitter

In summary, Angostura bitters is not only an essential ingredient in classic and modern cocktails, but it also adds unique flavor and aroma to your drinks. The next time you make an Old Fashioned cocktail or any other cocktail that requires bitters, be sure to reach for the Angostura bitters and experience its magic.

Old Fashioned Ingredients

Ah, the Old Fashioned. The classic cocktail that’s been around since the 1800s. It’s a drink that’s often associated with sophistication, class, and style. But do you know what goes into making this iconic drink? Here, we’ll take a closer look at the Old Fashioned ingredients and what makes them so essential for creating the perfect cocktail.


Whiskey is the star of the show when it comes to the Old Fashioned. Traditionally, bourbon is the whiskey of choice, although rye whiskey can be used as well. The whiskey provides the base of the cocktail and brings a rich, complex flavor that’s at the heart of the drink.


Next up, we have sugar. Old school Old Fashioned recipes will call for the use of a sugar cube, but these days, simple syrup is more commonly used. The sugar adds some much-needed sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the whiskey.


Now we get to the bitter part of the Old Fashioned. Angostura bitters are a must when it comes to creating this cocktail. They add a spicy, herbal undertone to the drink that complements the whiskey perfectly.

old fashion bitter


Ice is another critical component of the Old Fashioned. It’s best to use a large ice cube as it melts slower and won’t water down the drink too quickly.


Finally, the garnish. A classic Old Fashioned calls for an orange peel. Take a piece of fresh orange peel, twist it over the drink to express the oils, and then place it in the glass. This adds a bright citrus flavor and a lovely aroma to the cocktail.

Now you’re armed with everything you need to know about the Old Fashioned ingredients. Remember to use quality ingredients and take your time when making this iconic drink. A perfectly crafted Old Fashioned is a thing of beauty and a joy forever!

What is Angostura Bitters Made of?

If you’re a cocktail lover, you’ve undoubtedly come across bitters at some point. And if you’re interested in classic cocktails, chances are you’ve had at least one drink that called for Angostura bitters. But what exactly is in this little bottle? Let’s explore together.

A Recipe for Wonder

Angostura bitters are made by the House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago, and they’ve been around since 1824. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, known only to a handful of people. In fact, it’s so secret that only one person, the Master Blender, knows the full recipe at any given time. They’re like the Willy Wonka of the cocktail world.

The (Least) Secret Ingredients

But we do know some of the ingredients that go into making Angostura bitters. The blend includes a proprietary mixture of herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. There are also some fruit flavors, such as orange and lemon, as well as a touch of caramel for sweetness.

We’re Just Getting Started

The recipe for Angostura bitters may be closely guarded, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to replicate it. Depending on the source, you might find recipes that call for ingredients like gentian root, orris root, and cascarilla bark. Some even add in things like wormwood or coriander.

Liquid Magic

What’s so special about Angostura bitters? Well, for one, they’re incredibly versatile. They can be used to add depth and complexity to all sorts of cocktails, from classics like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, to modern creations like the Paper Plane. And their unique flavor profile means that just a few dashes can transform a drink from good to great.

The Final Mix

So, what is Angostura bitters made of? While we might not know the full recipe, we do know that it’s a blend of herbs, spices, fruits, and sweetness. The result is a liquid that adds a magical touch to cocktails all over the world. So next time you’re mixing up a drink, grab that little bottle and give it a few dashes. Your taste buds will thank you.

What is a bitter in an Old Fashioned?

If you’ve ever ordered an Old Fashioned at a bar, you’ve probably heard the bartender ask, “Would you like it with bitters?” But what exactly are bitters, and why are they an essential part of an Old Fashioned?

Bitters 101

Bitters are concentrated blends of herbs, spices, and botanicals infused into a high-proof alcohol base. They were originally developed as medicine and later found their way into cocktails as a way to balance the sweetness of sugar or fruit with bitterness. Bitters come in many different flavors and varieties, including orange, aromatic, and cherry.

Bitters in an Old Fashioned

An Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail made with whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters. The bitters are what give the drink its signature complexity and depth of flavor. Without bitters, an Old Fashioned would just be whiskey and sugar-water.
It’s all about balance! Bitters add a subtle bitterness to the cocktail and help to mellow out the sweetness of the sugar or any fruit present.

Choosing the right type of bitters

There are many different types of bitters available on the market. Be sure to experiment with your cocktails to be sure you’re using the best fit for your taste. Aromatic bitters are perfect to achieve a well-rounded flavor for your classic Old Fashioned, while orange bitters may lend themselves better to a fruit-based cocktail. However, the best part of making a delicious cocktail is experimenting to find what works best for your palate.

Bitters and their importance in a classic cocktail such as the Old Fashioned are often undervalued. Understanding that these flavorful concentrate can change the entire taste of your cocktail may make you appreciate them more. With this guide, you’ll be able to know exactly what they are, where they come from, and how they contribute to the cocktail experience, the eccentric, and the delicious old fashioned cocktail.

Aromatic and Orange Bitters for Your Old Fashioned

old fashion bitter

When it comes to crafting your perfect old fashioned, bitters are a crucial ingredient. While the classic recipe calls for Angostura bitters, there are a few other options that can really help elevate your drink, such as aromatic and orange bitters.

Aromatic Bitters

Aromatic bitters are a staple in many classic cocktails and can take your old fashioned to the next level. They’re made by infusing a neutral spirit with a blend of botanicals, including herbs, spices, and roots. This combination adds depth and complexity to your drink and can help balance out the sweetness of the sugar.

One of our favorite aromatic bitters is the Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters. Made from a secret recipe that’s been passed down for generations, these bitters have a warm, spicy flavor with hints of cinnamon and allspice. Just a few drops can make a world of difference in your old fashioned.

Orange Bitters

Orange bitters are another great option to experiment with in your old fashioned. They add a bright, citrusy note to your drink that can really elevate the flavors. Like aromatic bitters, they’re made by infusing a neutral spirit with botanicals, but the main flavor profile comes from bitter orange peel.

One of our go-to orange bitters is the Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6. Developed by cocktail expert Gary Regan, these bitters have a bold, zesty flavor with just the right amount of bitterness. They pair especially well with rye whiskey in an old fashioned.

Mix and Match

Of course, you don’t have to choose between aromatic and orange bitters – you can mix and match to find your preferred flavor combination. Try using both Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters and Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6 for a complex, layered old fashioned that’s sure to impress.

No matter what kind of bitters you choose, remember that a little goes a long way. Just a few drops will do the trick, so be sure to measure carefully. A great old fashioned is all about balance, and using the right bitters can help take your drink from good to great.

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