Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Old Fashioned is essentially The Original Cocktail, with hard-to-follow roots going back to the early 1800s at least. Back in the day, it could’ve been any kind of booze (in Wisconsin, they still do this one with brandy). Bourbon respects the drink’s established Kentucky roots.
If you order one at a bar, most of them will thin it out with all kinds of fruit and soda; the original used none of those. This is a small tweak to the simple original recipe of spirit, sugar, and bitters – with just a little hit of orange oil that makes the drink.
Brought to You by: KegWorks.com


1 orange zest piece

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1/2 oz simple syrup

2 oz bourbon whiskey


Cut a piece of zest the size of a large coin, place in the glass with the outside facing up.

Add bitters and simple syrup to the glass.

Muddle well (with a muddler from KegWorks.com) and mix to express orange oil in with the syrup and bitters.

Add a large ice chunk or two to three ice cubes.

Add bourbon.

Stir to combine and chill.


8stringfan 1 Jun 2012
12:30 pm

I’m not sure about this new series.  For one thing, do we really need another video telling us how to make an Old Fashioned?  For another, I don’t think this woman needed someone to show her how to make an Old Fashioned, and as such, her acting job in terms of being the “student” seemed awkwardly done.  Actually , the whole thing seemed a bit awkward, but if I had a choice, I’d have Small Screen Network give the girl her own show: she’s cute and has a far more engaging personality.  Oh, and if the idea is to make drinks using the home bars of real people, then shouldn’t some emphasis be given to the person’s home bar?  All I say here was some woman’s kitchen table.  I love the Robert Hess videos, but this almost seems like a first take amateur thing uploaded to youtube.

Oh, and as far as the drink goes, I’d suggest making it separately in a mixing glass and then pouring over the large single cube.  I also personally like to add two dashes of angostura (or FBWA bitters) and one dash of orange bitters.

Dave Stolte 1 Jun 2012
12:43 pm

Hi Alex - appreciate the feedback. The focus of this series is simply to give the beginning cocktail enthusiast a place to start, to let them know everyone is welcome at the party. We’ll be covering the classics done professionally, but in a low-key, unrehearsed quick visit.


Small Screen Colin 1 Jun 2012
1:04 pm

Alex, My personal opinion is that the more properly made Old Fashioneds (and other classics) we can promote on Small Screen, the better!
Here in Seattle, we suffer from the overly muddled orange slices, cherry and ice in a mixing glass syndrome that ruins what should be a beautiful drink.
As far as home bars go, I know there are a great many who have cool bars in their homes. Profiling folks and their bars is a great idea for a series! For many at home though, like myself, my bar is, well, my kitchen counter.
Thanks for watching!

8stringfan 1 Jun 2012
1:27 pm

I’ve got nothing against properly made Old Fashioneds, but considering that you already have at least five videos on what is a really simple drink, don’t you think it’s getting a bit redundant now?  To some degree, you even risk losing possible viewers who see yet another video on how to mix bitters, whiskey, and sugar and just say, “no thanks”. 

I think you could do more with the home bar concept than just take a basic drink and mix it in someone’s kitchen.  Why not, for example, take what’s in someone’s actual home bar and come up with a few cocktails they can make on the fly with what they have, perhaps by even taking a few classic cocktails and showing how they can modified to make use of what someone may actually have lying around?  Maybe talk to amateur cocktail aficionados about their home bars.  Why certain liquors and not others?  What do they make they make most frequently when guests are visiting and drinks are poured?  For folks who have more than a few bottles but no actual bar, have they come up with any interesting storage ideas?  I’ve actually seen some really cool Ikea bar hacks online which would make some interesting short video content.

Point being, the idea that you seem to have to set this new series apart from what’s already on your site is that it emphasizes real-life home bars rather than real bars, or the dream home bars of guys like Robert Hess.  However, this video seems to just pay lip service to that aspect and instead is just another video showing how to pour together bitters, bourbon, and sugar.

I hope I don’t come across as a troll, but I really enjoy a lot of Small Screen Network content and feel like this new idea has promise but it just wasn’t executed with any thought towards mining the originality in the concept.  Best of luck!

Nucleozoid 1 Jun 2012
7:23 pm

A bit awkward I’d say - sorry.

onkelandy 2 Jun 2012
3:10 am

I totally agree with Alex on every single argument. This series idea has much more potential than just remaking the almost perfect videos from Robert Hess and Co. in an amateur way.

I love Alex’ idea of checking out different standard home bars and making drinks based on the liquor found, probably with hints what can be substituted by what and so on.

Small Screen Colin 2 Jun 2012
12:28 pm

Thank you for all your comments. This type of engagement and feedback is what makes Small Screen and our fans so great! We are always striving to make better shows and expand our network. Your input helps drive us to be better!

Adam 2 Jun 2012
4:36 pm

Yeah, let’s give Zooey Deschanel here her own show.

Dave Stolte 4 Jun 2012
9:03 am

That might be fun to show up at someone’s home and see what can be done with what’s on hand… Whipped Cream vodka, Malibu rum, a fake plastic lime, and artificial grenadine? Hmmmm…

Adam G 4 Jun 2012
3:46 pm

When I first took an interest in making cocktails myself, right around when I started watching videos on Small Screen Network, I had pretty much nothing to work with. Now that some time has passed, I still use measuring spoons instead of jiggers, cut my twists using a knife instead of a peeler or channel knife, juice my citrus using a reamer that must be several decades old at least, and manage a small but versatile collection of spirits.

As I see it, if we’re going to have a show about the home bar, then it would seem most useful to people who are actually concerned about their home bars, to make a show that emphasizes how the average person might be able to make some really great drinks. Folks on this site like Robert Hess, Jamie Bodreau, Charlotte Voisey, and others put out great videos, but they’re clearly working with an enormous range of top of the line ingredients, equipment, and (in the case of Boudreau) technology. To talk about things like what specific spirits can work well in cocktails without breaking the bank, what ingredients can get the most mileage, how to make substitutions for rare or expensive ingredients, etc., would be a very helpful and informative alternative to that style of video.

This video, on the other hand, is just showing someone with all that same bar equipment making a cocktail, while the process is described. And the things that might be informative for someone who doesn’t already know how to make these drinks at home aren’t even mentioned (For example, you comment that it’s always best to make your own simple syrup, and that it’s too easy not to, without explaining how to do it. And you use those beautiful enormous round ice cubes without ever explaining how to make them (last I checked most people’s freezers don’t come with a setting for them).

No, I don’t actually expect this show to start explaining how to make fantastic cocktails without relying on a big supply of top-of-the-line equipment, since the two close ups of the KegWorks logo on the muddler suggest to me that showcasing all the fancy equipment you can buy and use at home is kind of the point of the show. But still, it seems like a show that can’t target its audience: If it’s for the sort of people who are already familiar with cocktails and frequent this site, then the brief instructions on how to make drinks like the Old-Fashioned really won’t be anything new or informative. And if it’s for someone who’s a novice to mixing drinks, then it glosses over and omits all the information that would be very helpful.

So yeah, I’m not going to offer suggestions on how to change this, since I’ll assume that like most shows the bulk, if not the entirety of it has been filmed already, but still, it all seems kind of unnecessary and disappointing.

Dave Stolte 4 Jun 2012
3:53 pm

Great suggestions, perhaps down the road we can do some episodes focusing on techniques (like how to make those ice rocks) or syrups (simple, grenadine, orgeat, etc.). Thanks for your input!

Post a Comment

You must be registered and logged in to post comments.

Login to Comment register new account

remember me