Reiner’s Old Fashioned

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and many a parties are to be had!

The first of January brings about resolutions and the “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day” kinda fluffy stuff. New Years Eve on the other hand is about giving the year a high-five if it was awesome or a “hope I never see you ever again” if it stank. Both situations however, call for parties and those call for some tasty drinks.

I’ve had the opportunity to try some of my dear friend Reiner Erlings’ mixed drinks at a few of his parties and this man is very good at being the (sometimes) self-appointed bartender (other times, he has no choice).

Here’s what this month’s He Also Says guest blogger and drink-maker extraordinaire has to say about one his personal favorites – The Old Fashioned.

The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails around, having been served in one form or another since 1850. Back then it was a simple mixture of whiskey, sugar and bitters, where the latter two were added to make the whiskey more palatable.

Over the last 165 years the quality of whiskey has improved, and the snobbery over how to make a ‘real’ old fashioned has reached new heights of pretentiousness. The debate often deals with matters such as whether of not to add a maraschino cherry, what whiskey/bourbon to use, and whether to garnish with a lemon or orange peel.

Here is how I like to make my old fashioned.

What you will need: 


Bourbon. I prefer Woodford Reserve, but you can use any bourbon. Some people even like it with Rye Whiskey. In the 19th century, people also used brandy, but don’t even suggest that now!
Sugar. I make my own demerara syrup by boiling 2:1 Demerara sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Traditionally, a sugar cube is used, but I find that the sugar is very hard to dissolve if you use a cube.
Bitters. You can’t go wrong with Angustura bitters. Also, it is the most important component as without the bitters, the drink is not an old fashioned.
Orange peel (zest).
Ice. Big cubes works best.

Step by step: 

4.DSC_0914Bring out your old fashioned, lowball, glass (aka a whiskey glass)

9.DSC_0936Pour 1 shot of bourbon (1 jigger, 1.5 OZ, 45 ml), 3/4 shot of sugar syrup (I like it sweet), and a couple of dashes of bitters. Stir and add a few ice cubes and then stir some more.

11.DSC_0930Old fashioned’s should always be stirred, not shaken, as you don’t want to ice to break and dilute the drink. While it will take way longer to make this way as you have to be patient, it does provide the perfect opportunity to look very sophisticated and important.

8.DSC_0932Add a second shot of bourbon and some more ice and stir some more and repeat step.

15.DSC_0947Twist an orange peel to release the oils and place in drink, giving it a quick final stir.


{Photography: Gaya Erlings}


About Reiner Erlings: An award-winning composer, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Reiner Erlings’s musical world is one where grand orchestral melodic fragments build a home with edgy, often-homemade, foley-driven sounds. He is constantly in the pursuit of telling stories through sound. ​With strong hermit-tendencies and humor wryer than rye bread, Reiner’s at his creative best when he can spend hours crouched over his Piano, making new melodies or riffing on classics. Reiner works independently out of his own studio.



Author: Namrata

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