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  • Writer's picturethefizzycoupe

Beauty in Simplicity

How has 2022 been for you so far? Over here at TFC, we’ve been enjoying simple, spirit-forward, stirred cocktails. It’s a grey, cold time of year in Western Pennsylvania, so cocktails with bold, warming flavors without a ton of work to make them hits the spot. On a frigid night when you just want to sink into a soft and cozy chair, you don’t want a bunch of cleanup waiting for you after savoring the last beautiful sips of your cocktail. After all, the same cocktail in a bar can often taste better than when you make it at home. Know why? As one of our favorite bartenders, Sother Teague, says, ‘cause the bar “does the dishes!”

So we propose the classic, the OG cocktail, the always-delicious…the Old Fashioned. No other cocktail gets you more bang for your buck in terms of big flavor with minimal effort. You build it in the glass, so the only tools you’ll need are a glass, a spoon, and a jigger.

The Old Fashioned cocktail has graced us with its beautiful presence for over 200 years. First appearing in print in 1806, it was originally called “the whiskey cocktail,” and consisted of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water - and that remains the recipe today. As time went on and new spirit products were introduced, such as liqueurs and other mixers, bartenders went wild and started making “improved” versions of the beloved cocktail. Some imbibers just wanted the classic drink, and started telling the barkeep to “give me the old fashioned!” The rest, as they say, is history.

The other beautiful thing about the Old Fashioned is that it’s customizable to your own palate. Swapping out the base spirit, the type of sweetener, and/or the bitters can result in shockingly different drinking experiences. As much as we love a classic bourbon Old Fashioned, variations are a truly beautiful thing. We really get excited by a tequila Old Fashioned! The beautiful sweet, earthy aromas and flavors of tequila enhanced by its adjacent sweetener - agave nectar - and strengthened by bracing Angostura bitters are an unbeatable combination. Want to add a bit of depth and smokiness? Cut down the tequila by a half ounce and swap in the same amount of mezcal. Ooooo weeeee! Then you have yourself the modern classic Oaxaca Old Fashioned, and it is a truly lovely cocktail experience.

So as we brace ourselves against these chilly winter days, stir up an Old Fashioned and marvel over the beauty in its simplicity. How do three ingredients create such compelling and complex flavors? It’s cocktail alchemy, friends. Sit back and enjoy the magic!


Old Fashioned template

2 oz. spirit

1/4 -ish oz. syrup/sweetener (adjust to your preferred sweetness level) *

2 dashes bitters

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass over a large ice cube and stir until well-chilled. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist. Sip & enjoy!

* Just don't make it too sweet - or something bad might happen!


Tequila Old Fashioned

2 oz. añejo tequila

1/4 oz. agave nectar

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Oaxaca Old Fashioned

1 1/2 oz. reposado tequila

1/2 oz. mezcal

1/4 oz. agave nectar

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Follow mixing instructions above.


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