Old Fashioned with Scotch: Recipe to Elevating Your Cocktail Game

While a classic Old Fashioned uses bourbon or rye whiskey as its base spirit, using Scotch instead adds a whole new level of complexity and depth. The smoky and peaty flavors found in some Scotches provide an interesting contrast to the sweetness of sugar used in the recipe. It’s important to choose a Scotch that compliments your taste preferences as well as those of your guests if you plan on serving it at a party or gathering.

Smokey Scotches like Laphroaig pair well with darker sugars like molasses or demerara while smoother blends like Johnnie Walker work better with lighter sugars such as white granulated sugar. Overall, whether made with bourbon or Scotch whisky, an Old Fashioned is always sure to please any crowd – especially those who appreciate a classic cocktail with just enough complexity.


Servers: 1

  • 2 oz. Scotch Whisky
  • 1/2 tsp. Simple Syrup
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel for garnish (optional)
  • Ice Cubes

Taster’s Guide Tip 113: Scotch Scotch Scotch ?

Choose the right Scotch whisky – The choice of Scotch whisky can significantly impact the flavor of your Scotch Old Fashioned. Consider selecting a Scotch whisky that complements the other ingredients and enhances the overall taste. Single malt Scotch whiskies with smoky and peaty characteristics, such as those from Islay or the Highlands, can add depth and complexity to the cocktail. Alternatively, you can opt for a blended Scotch whisky with a smoother and balanced profile. Experiment with different Scotch whiskies to find the one that best suits your preferences and desired flavor profile for your Scotch Old Fashioned.


  1. Fill a highball glass or cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add 1 1/2 oz vodka, 1/2 oz peach schnapps, 2 oz orange juice, and 2 oz cranberry juice.
  3. Stir gently in the glass or shake well in the shaker.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled highball glass filled with fresh ice cubes.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice or cherry if desired.
  6. Enjoy responsibly!

Congratulations! You just made a perfect Scotch Old Fashioned!

Tips on how to properly mix and stir the ingredients

Mixing and stirring are key elements in making a great Scotch Old Fashioned. Here are some tips that will help you master these skills:

– When muddling the sugar cube and bitters, use a wooden muddler instead of metal or plastic ones as they can affect the taste of your cocktail. – Use large ice cubes when stirring your cocktail as they melt slower which prevents over-dilution.

– Stir your drink longer when using smaller ice cubes as they dilute faster due to their larger surface area. – Hold your spoon between your thumb and index finger instead of gripping it tightly which may lead to chipping or breaking of ice cubes.

– Stir until properly chilled (around 20 seconds) but not beyond that otherwise you risk over-diluting your drink. By following these tips, you’ll be able to make perfectly mixed and stirred Scotch Old Fashioneds every time!

Garnish: Putting the Final Touch on Your Scotch Old Fashioned

One of the most visually appealing facets of a cocktail is its garnish. It’s not only there to look pretty, but it can also add an extra dimension of flavor and aroma to your drink.

When it comes to a Scotch Old Fashioned, the garnish can make all the difference. Here are a few suggestions for choosing a complementary garnish that will enhance your cocktail experience.

Suggestions for Garnishing Your Scotch Old Fashioned

First things first, let’s talk about what types of garnishes work well with a Scotch Old Fashioned. One popular choice is an orange twist, which adds some citrus notes to the drink and creates an inviting aroma as you sip it. Other common options include cherry (or maraschino cherry), which adds some sweetness and color, or even a cinnamon stick which can complement the smokiness of the Scotch.

If you want to take things up a notch, consider experimenting with different types of bitters or spices in your garnish. For example, star anise can provide hints of licorice that pair well with certain types of scotch whiskey.

Why Choosing the Right Garnish Is Important

You may be wondering why all this fuss over something as small as a garnish? Well, think about it – when you order a meal at a restaurant or cook something at home, presentation matters. The same principle applies to cocktails – they should look and taste great in every aspect.

The right garnish can elevate your cocktail from good to excellent by adding some extra flavors and aromas that complement each other perfectly. It’s all about creating an experience for yourself and for those around you who are enjoying their drinks alongside you.

Considerations for Garnishing Your Cocktail

When it comes to garnishing your Scotch Old Fashioned, don’t be afraid to experiment with different options until you find the one that works best for you. Whether it’s a classic orange twist or something more adventurous like star anise, the important thing is to choose a complementary garnish that will enhance your drinking experience.

Remember, presentation matters in every aspect of life, including cocktails. So take some time and effort to create a beautiful and delicious Scotch Old Fashioned with the perfect garnish – it’s worth it!

Scotch Old Fashioned Variations

Suggestions for variations on the classic recipe

While the classic Scotch Old Fashioned recipe is a timeless favorite, there are several variations that can be made to suit different tastes. One option is to swap out the sugar cube for a flavored syrup, such as cherry or orange. This will add a touch of sweetness and enhance the fruit notes in the Scotch.

Another variation is to use peated Scotch instead of non-peated. This will give the cocktail a smoky flavor that pairs well with grilled meats and savory dishes.

For those who enjoy a bit of spice, adding a dash of bitters infused with jalapeño or habanero can create an exciting twist on the traditional recipe. Alternatively, using honey instead of sugar can bring out honeyed notes in certain types of Scotch.

Examples of other types of whiskey that can be used

Although the Scotch Old Fashioned traditionally calls for Scotch whisky, there are several other types of whiskey that can be used in its place. For example, rye whiskey will provide a spicier flavor profile than most Scotches due to its high rye content.

Bourbon, on the other hand, will provide sweeter notes and has a distinctive caramel taste. Japanese whiskies are also becoming more popular as an alternative to traditional Scotches because they have similar flavor profiles without being too heavy or smoky.

Irish whiskey is another option with its smooth finish and subtle sweetness. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference when choosing what type of whiskey to use in your Old Fashioned cocktail – whether you stick with tradition or experiment with different varieties, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this classic drink!

Suggestive Serving

Now that you know how to make the perfect Scotch Old Fashioned, it’s time to talk about serving. Traditionally, this drink is served in a lowball glass with a single large ice cube.

This not only looks impressive but also helps keep the drink chilled without diluting it too quickly. If you don’t have large ice cubes, regular-sized ones will suffice, but avoid using crushed ice as it melts faster and can adversely affect the flavor of your cocktail.

When it comes to garnishing your Scotch Old Fashioned, there are several options. The classic garnish is a slice of orange peel or a maraschino cherry.

Some prefer to use a lemon twist instead of orange peel for a more tart taste, while others add a dash of Angostura bitters for an extra kick of flavor. Experiment with different garnishes and find what works best for you.

Tips on enjoying:

The key to enjoying a good Scotch Old Fashioned is taking your time with it and savoring every sip. Start by taking in the aroma by holding your glass up to your nose before taking a small sip and letting it sit on your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. This allows you to fully appreciate the complex flavors of the whiskey and bitters before they hit the back of your throat.

If you prefer your cocktail slightly diluted, consider adding just enough water or soda water to suit your taste buds without overpowering the flavor of the whiskey itself. Remember that this is an adult beverage intended for slow sipping rather than quick gulping – enjoy it at its own pace.

Suggestions for pairing with food:

A well-crafted Scotch Old Fashioned pairs well with cheese plates or savory dishes like steak or roasted duck breast. The smoky, peaty flavor of the Scotch also works well with BBQ or bacon-wrapped appetizers. Avoid pairing with overly sweet or spicy dishes as it can clash with the flavors of the drink and make it less enjoyable.

When in doubt, stick to classic pairings like a good charcuterie board or a hearty meat dish. Remember that everyone’s taste buds are different, so feel free to experiment until you find a pairing that works best for you.


The Timeless Classic

The Scotch Old Fashioned is a cocktail that has truly stood the test of time. Despite the numerous variations and twists on the classic recipe, the original version remains a beloved favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. The combination of high-quality Scotch whiskey with bitters and sugar creates a drink that is both complex and comforting – perfect for sipping on a chilly evening or relaxing with friends after a long day.

A Drink for All Occasions

Whether you’re looking to impress your guests at a fancy dinner party or simply want to relax with a delicious cocktail at home, the Scotch Old Fashioned is an excellent choice. It’s easy to make, versatile, and always satisfying. The addition of different garnishes or types of whiskey can completely change the flavor profile, making it an exciting drink to experiment with.


There’s no denying that the Scotch Old Fashioned is one of the most iconic cocktails in history – and for good reason. Its simplicity, elegance, and versatility make it an enduring classic that will never go out of style.

So next time you’re in the mood for something deliciously smooth and flavorful, mix up a batch of Scotch Old Fashioneds and raise your glass in honor of this timeless drink! Cheers!

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