Bitter cherry old fashioned recipe

(10 ratings)

This bitter cherry old fashioned is a twist on the classic whiskey cocktail recipe and adds a lovely sweetness to the smokey drink.

Bitter cherry old fashioned
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
Preparation Time5 mins

An old fashioned is one of our favourite cocktails; this bitter cherry old fashioned is a really classy twist on it. 

TV shows like Mad Men brought the old fashioned cocktail back into the mainstream, and we're so glad they have. The original old fashioned is simply whiskey, bitters, orange peel and sugar, but this version has an extra fruitiness from the cherry. It couldn't be easier to make a couple in just 5 minutes. Serve them in a heavy tumbler with just a couple of big ice cubes, for the perfect, grown-up after dinner drink. Best served on a cosy winter evening next to a roaring fire.


  • 100ml whisky
  • Angostura bitters
  • a pinch of caster sugar
  • 2 sour cherries
  • a slice of orange, to serve
  • ice




  1. Fill 2 tumblers with ice cubes and stir, to cool the glass. Pour 50ml whisky over each with a dash of Angostura bitters, a pinch of caster sugar, and 2 sour cherries.
  2. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and serve with a slice of orange.

Top tip for making this bitter cherry old fashioned

Rather than orange peel, we've used a slice of orange but if you prefer the traditional way, use peel instead. Cut a thick slice of peel from the outside of the orange, then with the outside of the peel facing into the glass, bend the peel. This causes the little capsules of orange oil in the peel to burst over the glass and add an amazing zesty aroma.

What is the best type of whiskey to use in this bitter cherry old fashioned?

Use an American bourbon whiskey for the most traditional taste. They are smooth and smokey and give a lovely flavour alongside the bitters. All kinds of whiskies make a good old fashioned though, depending on your own taste. Japanese whisky, with its clear, clean taste is lovely, or blended Scottish whisky for a peaty flavour.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.