How to Craft the Perfect Coffee Old Fashioned: A Step-by-Step Guide

As a fervent coffee enthusiast, I've always been on the lookout for unique ways to enjoy my daily cup. That's when I stumbled upon the coffee old fashioned, a delightful twist on the classic cocktail that combines the rich, bold flavours of coffee with the smooth, sweet notes of bourbon and bitters. It's a game-changer for those who love their coffee with a bit of an edge.

Crafting this exquisite drink at home is surprisingly simple and doesn't require a trip to a fancy coffee shop. With just a few ingredients and a couple of minutes, you'll be sipping on a coffee old fashioned that's sure to impress both coffee aficionados and cocktail lovers alike. Let's dive into how you can bring this sophisticated beverage into your home.

Coffee Old Fashioned: A Unique Twist

Diving into the world of cocktails, I've always been a sucker for a good old fashioned. It's the simplicity combined with the depth of flavours that catches my palate every time. Now, what happens when you merge this classic cocktail with the rich, aromatic world of coffee? You get a Coffee Old Fashioned – a unique twist that's as intriguing as it sounds.

The key to perfecting this drink lies in its simplicity and the quality of ingredients. Here's a straightforward recipe that I've nailed down after a few experiments:


  1. Dissolve the Sugar: Place the brown sugar cube in an old fashioned glass. Add the bitters and a splash of water. Muddle them together until the sugar is nearly dissolved.
  2. Add the Bourbon: Pour in the bourbon, adding a rich layer to the foundation we've started.
  3. Mix in the Coffee: Slowly add the cooled espresso. It's crucial that the espresso is not hot, to preserve the integrity of the bourbon.
  4. Stir Gently: Give the concoction a gentle stir. This is about marrying the flavours rather than aerating the drink.
  5. Garnish and Serve: Twist an orange peel over the glass to release its oils, then drop it in as a garnish.

Crafting a Coffee Old Fashioned doesn't require a barista or a bartender's skill set. It's about understanding the delicate balance between the rich, bold flavours of the coffee and the smooth, vanilla notes of bourbon. Enjoying this drink on a slow evening or to kick off a sophisticated gathering showcases its versatility and appeal to both coffee lovers and cocktail aficionados alike. With each sip, the layers of flavor unfold, telling a story of tradition and innovation in a glass.

Ingredients You'll Need

Creating the perfect Coffee Old Fashioned might sound like it requires a barista and a bartender working in tandem, but I'm here to tell you it's quite the contrary. This cocktail hinges on simplicity and quality, ensuring every ingredient shines through. Let's dive into what you'll need to craft this delectable drink.

To get started, you want to gather the following:

For an optional garnish:

Here’s a quick rundown of the quantities you’ll need for one cocktail:

Simple Syrup15ml
Angostura Bitters2-3 Dashes
Orange Peel (Garnish)1 Strip
Cherry (Garnish)1 (Optional)

Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

After discussing the essential ingredients, let's dive into how to actually make a Coffee Old Fashioned. I've always believed that making cocktails should be as enjoyable as drinking them. This guide is laid out to ensure you have a straightforward and fun experience.

Gather Your Ingredients

First things first, make sure you've got all your ingredients ready. You'll need:

The Recipe Steps

Follow these simple steps to create your Coffee Old Fashioned:

  1. Chill Your Glass: While this might seem like a small step, starting with a chilled glass can enhance the drinking experience. Pop your glass in the freezer for a few minutes before you start mixing.
  2. Mix Your Ingredients: In a mixing glass, combine the bourbon, fresh espresso, simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura Bitters. The key here is to pour slowly and steadily. You're aiming for a harmonious blend where each ingredient complements the others.
  3. Stir: With a long-handled spoon, stir the mixture gently. You're not looking to create a whirlpool in your glass but to cool the mixture down and slightly dilute it for the perfect balance.
  4. Strain over Ice: Strain the mixture into your chilled glass filled with ice cubes. Straining ensures a smooth drink without any unwanted bits.
  5. Garnish: If you're feeling fancy, add a twist of orange peel or a cherry to your drink. Not only do these garnishes look great, but they also add an extra layer of flavour.

Remember, the beauty of a Coffee Old Fashioned lies in its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. Each component should be chosen carefully and measured accurately. But most importantly, don't forget to enjoy the process. Making cocktails is a craft, and every craft deserves to be enjoyed.

Tips for Perfecting Your Coffee Old Fashioned

When I'm crafting a Coffee Old Fashioned, I've found that focusing on a few key details makes all the difference. These tips can elevate your cocktail from good to unforgettable. It's the little things, after all, that can turn a simple drink into an experience.

First off, let's talk Coffee Quality. The coffee you choose will significantly impact your drink. Opt for a freshly brewed espresso—its robust flavour pairs wonderfully with the bourbon. If you don't have an espresso machine, a strong, cold brew concentrate works as a fantastic alternative.

Secondly, Ice Matters. Use large ice cubes for serving. They melt slower, diluting your drink less and keeping it perfectly chilled. It seems like a small detail, but it truly enhances the drinking experience.

Let's not forget the significance of a Quality Bourbon. Your Coffee Old Fashioned hinges on the bourbon you choose. Look for one that's smooth with a slight sweetness to balance the bitterness of the coffee.

Additionally, a little bartending wisdom—Stir, Don't Shake. Stirring gently ensures your Coffee Old Fashioned is silky and well-blended without diluting it too quickly.

And finally, the garnish. An Orange Peel or a couple of Luxardo Cherries not only adds a touch of elegance but also a layer of flavour that complements the coffee and bourbon beautifully.

Remember, making a cocktail isn't just about the end drink. It's about enjoying the craft. Pay attention to these details, and you'll not only create a delicious Coffee Old Fashioned but also savor the journey of making it.

Serving and Enjoying Your Sophisticated Beverage

Once you've mastered the craft of making the perfect Coffee Old Fashioned, it’s time to think about the best ways to serve and savour this elegant drink. I've found that the presentation and the atmosphere significantly enhance the drinking experience, making every sip feel like a celebration of flavours.

Serving the Coffee Old Fashioned isn’t just about pouring it into a glass. It’s about creating an experience. Here’s how I do it:

Creating the Atmosphere

Part of enjoying a sophisticated beverage like the Coffee Old Fashioned is setting the right atmosphere. Whether it's a calm evening at home or entertaining guests, the mood you create will complement the complexity of the drink. Here are my personal touches:

Remember, making and enjoying a Coffee Old Fashioned is as much about the journey as it is about the flavour. Each step, from selecting your ingredients to the final sip, is an opportunity to revel in the craft of cocktail making. So take your time, enjoy the process, and let every sip be a reminder of the care and attention that went into creating your sophisticated beverage.


Crafting the perfect Coffee Old Fashioned isn't just about mixing a drink; it's about creating an experience. I've shared the importance of presentation, the right glassware, and the ideal garnishes that not only enhance the flavour but also the overall enjoyment. Remember, the atmosphere plays a crucial role too. Soft lighting, the right playlist, and some carefully chosen snacks can turn a simple cocktail into an unforgettable moment. It's these details that make the Coffee Old Fashioned more than just a drink—it's a journey worth savouring. So take your time, pay attention to the details, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Cheers to making your next Coffee Old Fashioned an experience to remember!

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