Aiden’s Old-Fashioned Recipe!

In Risking It, Aiden owns a bar and laments that the clientele isn’t inclined toward heirloom cocktails. Below, I share an excerpt and a recipe for a bourbon Old-Fashioned!

“I also love mixing drinks, the art of it, and have wanted to introduce signature drinks, but…”

“But your clientele isn’t quite right for that, I take it.”

“No. It’s a beer and peanuts kind of place, and not even a craft beer kind of place. They just want the standard stuff. Nothing fancy. My Quota license is wasted on them.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah.” We step around an elaborate sand sculpture of what looks like a great ape. “When this one is settled enough, I’ll branch out with a second one, use my Quota license, and switch the Butt to just beer and wine. Maybe on Osprey. Serve drinks that are family recipes of mine and my employees. Or maybe ones from locals.”

“Ooh, that sounds like a cool concept, if you play up that part.”

“Yeah. I want to use my uncle’s Old-Fashioned recipe. He’s from an old Virginia family, and their recipe is a tad different. It’s that difference that started my fascination with the vintage cocktails—how each one got passed down and how they vary.”

I thought I’d share his recipe today, just in time for the weekend!


  • Good bourbon (Maker’s is great)
  • Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • Sugar
  • Maraschino cherries and juice
  • One orange
  • One apple


  • In the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, put 1 cherry, ½ teaspoon sugar, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, ½ slice of orange.
  • Crush these together with the back of a spoon until they’re soft and mixed well.
  • Add 1 to 1 ½ jiggers of bourbon, 1 to 1 ½ jiggers of water and stir well.
  • Add ice, a slice of apple and stir.
  • Add a splash cherry juice and let it bleed on its own into the drink.
  • Serve.

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Do you have a favorite heirloom cocktail that’s been passed down in your family? This one is actually from my uncle 🙂

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