Fancy Free Cocktail

While Whiskey has always had its dedicated followers, for a long time it has been shunned by those who might feel the brown spirits are something which should be avoided. Lately however, there has been some renewed interest into this classic American spirit, and it’s flavorful characteristics. While a Manhattan might be a little too forward for the beginner, the Fancy-Free might provide a slightly more comfortable introduction.


2 oz bourbon

1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur

dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters

dash Angostura Orange Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


blair frodelius 25 Nov 2009
6:11 am


When you say that Angostura “re-architected” an orange bitters formula, do you mean that they made one at one time years ago?  If so, did they also make other bitters?


Natalie - The Liquid Muse 25 Nov 2009
8:36 am

This is my kinda cocktail!  Simple - a kiss of sweet liqueur in the whiskey and orange bitters to boot - yummy…

Robert Hess 26 Nov 2009
11:25 am

blair, by “re-architecting”, I meant that they weren’t using a previous recipe, but instead worked out something of there own.

Benny Dictine 26 Nov 2009
10:50 pm

It’s late Thanksgiving—just came across the email and made the drink along with you for the first time—usually I watch the videos at work—no ingredients available.
I had to substitute Regans’ #6 Orange bitters—- I liked it, very nice, cut right through the turkey and sides. Tonight’s gravy called for 3 tablespoons of bourbon—I surrendered my Maker’s Mark to the worthy cause and now we meet again. This is similar to the “Deadly Sin” one of my favorites from The Joy of Mixology, though the Luxardo here is doubled—minus the sweet vermouth. I must now stir up a DS for comparison in my endless quest for a “favorites”  short list; endless indeed. The simplicity of this cocktail is great, though the name would indicate a more “fruity” cocktail. Thank you, again.

Chuck 13 Dec 2009
6:37 pm

Depending on the Bourbon used, this cocktail has the potential to be very sweet….perhaps even too sweet for some tastes.  For an interesting take on the Fancy Free, try it with a high-proof Bourbon.  This may also be historically accurate, as I think that many Bourbons of the early 20th century were of a higher proof than those available today.  I usually make these with 101-proof Wild Turkey & find that the Maraschino tempers the whiskey just enough to turn it into a somewhat civilized cocktail.  It’s remarkably smooth, but rest assured that no one will ever call it “too sweet!”

eddie delisio 17 Jan 2010
8:31 am

Try it with Regan’s Orange Bitters or Fee Bros as well. Thanks for pronouncing Maraschino right…I am sure you’ve heard plenty of people say it the wrong way as well. Its the cocktail worlds equivalent of bruschetta in that way. thanks for comprehensive site

Robert Hess 18 Jan 2010
5:44 am

Eddie, yes, switching around on what bitters you use can sometimes add an interesting touch to drinks. As for Maraschino… I’ve tried to get into the habit of refering to real Maraschino (liqueur or cherries) as maraskeeno, and those artificial neon red things as marasheeno just to keep them separated :->

Ginty 6 Jul 2011
10:57 am

Hahaha!!!  I have to admit, when I heard Mr.Hess and Mr.Wondrich pronounce it correctly my Canadian ears were VERY turned off, since I’m used to French.  But I guess it IS Italian after-all.  I’ll get used to it.

Keenan 15 Feb 2013
8:03 pm

Delicious! Best application so far for my newly acquired bottle of Luxardo Maraschino. (closely followed by the Casino cocktail)

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