I made these Old Fashioned cocktails over the summer with fresh cherries and clementine. The drink, from muddling the cherries with the sugar and clementine, turned a lovely ruby color and was punch-like from the sweet bing cherries that I used.
It reminded me a lot of bottled fruit punch, actually—but in a good way.
Wigle Whiskey PA Straight Rye from Pittsburgh, PA, or another rye whiskey would be a good choice here to cut through the sweetness, but I used Makers Mark, which is always my favorite.
Purists may turn up their nose at such a fruit-forward take on the Old Fashioned, but if you’re not normally a bourbon drinker, or just looking for something delicious, try it. For extra flavor and some fizz, I like to top my drinks off with lemon or orange seltzer water. You can also use plain seltzer or club soda.
I also made sure to double-strain this cocktail, which is good practice to remove ice chips after shaking, or parts of fruit and other ingredients that have been muddled. I don’t always do this—sometimes, I’m lazy—but in this case it makes a huge difference.
To do this, use a cocktail strainer, like the one with the spring on the back of it (this is common in a lot of home bars, purchased as part of most bar tool sets), set on top of your pint mixing glass or cocktail shaker, and strain it into a finer, mesh sieve.
A summertime-ready recipe for the classic Old Fashioned.
- 4 oz bourbon or whiskey such as Makers Mark
- ½ clementine peeled and seeded
- ¼ cup fresh cherries about 4-5 cherries, pitted and stems removed
- ½ lemon sliced and pitted
- ½ tbsp white sugar
- Large ice cubes for serving
In a large cocktail shaker, add cherries, 2 slices lemon, clementine, and sugar. Muddle until sugar dissolves and the fruit has given up its juices.
Fill cup or shaker with ice and add bourbon, stirring well (don't shake) until the outside of the shaker or glass is very cold.
Add a large block of ice or a few cubes to two highball glasses. Double-strain the cocktail into glasses. Garnish with a cherry and a lemon slice, and serve immediately.