On the Rocks: The Old-Fashioned

The Old-Fashioned is a classic cocktail that never goes out of style. It is the perfect holiday sipping drink, for myriad reasons. A single liquor is less likely to leave you feeling unwell at your desk the next morning, bitters will aid digestion if you have overindulged in sweets and meats, the seltzer keeps you hydrated, always a smart move in stuffy, too-warm gatherings. Bulleit rye is good enough to drink straight, so we also tried mixing Canadian Club whiskey, which tickled me because it is such a throwback without irony. Or did I just add a dash of irony without meaning to? CC & 7 is a drink for dads, dads with mustaches and denim shorts and corduroy blazers and soft packs of Winstons. I liked its plain, straight-to-the-point bottle. Brazenly cheap and commercial. Sedate and bare bones with just a kiss of Kenny “The Beard” Loggins. Also, not delicious. Not straight anyway. But, with a little help from sugar and bitters, Canadian Club becomes palatable. I wouldn’t recommend drinking many. But if you’re mixing up a batch for a big party, go for it.

The Old-Fashioned


  • Sugar cube
  • Angostura bitters
  • Seltzer water
  • Rye whiskey
  • Orange slices


Place a sugar cube in a highball glass. Saturate with 3 ashes of bitters. Pour in desired amount of rye, add a splash of seltzer and garnish with orange slices. Fill the glass up with crushed ice.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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