The Ultimate Guide to Crafting the Perfect Bulleit Old Fashioned


The Old Fashioned cocktail is a timeless classic that has captivated cocktail enthusiasts and whiskey lovers for generations. Known for its simplicity and rich flavor, the Old Fashioned remains a favorite in bars and homes alike. Among the many variations, the Bulleit Old Fashioned stands out for its distinctive taste and exceptional quality. In this guide, we’ll explore the history of the Old Fashioned, delve into the unique characteristics of Bulleit Bourbon, and provide a step-by-step recipe for crafting the perfect Bulleit Old Fashioned at home.

The History of the Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails, dating back to the early 19th century. Its origins can be traced to the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The cocktail gained popularity quickly and became a staple in bars across America. Originally made with whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters, the Old Fashioned is a testament to the elegance of simplicity in mixology.

The Old Fashioned has played a significant role in cocktail culture, symbolizing a return to traditional values and craftsmanship. Its enduring appeal lies in its balance of flavors and the ability to showcase the quality of the whiskey used. Over the years, bartenders have experimented with various spirits and ingredients, but the essence of the Old Fashioned remains unchanged.

The Role of Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon, founded by Tom Bulleit in 1987, has become synonymous with quality and innovation in the whiskey world. Known for its high rye content and bold flavor profile, Bulleit Bourbon adds a unique twist to the classic Old Fashioned. The bourbon’s spicy notes and smooth finish enhance the cocktail, making it a standout choice for whiskey enthusiasts.

Tom Bulleit himself has often emphasized the importance of using quality ingredients in cocktails. “The key to a great Old Fashioned lies in the quality of the bourbon,” he says. “Bulleit Bourbon’s unique character and depth of flavor make it the perfect choice for this classic drink.”

Crafting the Perfect Bulleit Old Fashioned

Making a Bulleit Old Fashioned at home is a rewarding experience that allows you to appreciate the nuances of the bourbon. Here’s a detailed recipe to guide you:


  • 2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • A splash of water
  • Orange peel for garnish
  • Luxardo cherry for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare the Glass:
  • Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add the bitters and a splash of water.
  1. Muddle:
  • Gently muddle the sugar cube until it dissolves.
  • Stir to mix the sugar and bitters with the water.
  1. Add the Bourbon:
  • Pour 2 oz of Bulleit Bourbon into the glass.
  • Add a large ice cube or several smaller ones.
  1. Stir:
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients and chill the cocktail.
  1. Garnish:
  • Express the oils from an orange peel over the glass and rub it along the rim.
  • Drop the peel into the glass as a garnish.
  • Optionally, add a Luxardo cherry for an extra touch of sweetness.

Tips for Home Bartenders

  • Ice Quality: Use large, clear ice cubes to minimize dilution and maintain the integrity of the drink.
  • Bitters: Experiment with different types of bitters to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • Consistency: Take your time to stir the cocktail properly, ensuring all ingredients are well integrated.

Variations on the Bulleit Old Fashioned

For those looking to put a creative twist on the classic Bulleit Old Fashioned, there are endless possibilities. Here are a few variations to try:

Spiced Maple Bulleit Old Fashioned

  • Replace the sugar cube with a teaspoon of maple syrup.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon bitters for a warm, spiced flavor.

Citrus Bulleit Old Fashioned

  • Use a combination of orange and lemon peels for a zesty twist.
  • Add a splash of fresh orange juice to brighten the drink.

Smoked Bulleit Old Fashioned

  • Smoke the glass with a smoking gun or by burning a piece of wood.
  • Add a smoky depth to the cocktail, pairing beautifully with Bulleit Bourbon’s spice notes.

Seasonal Variations

  • Winter: Add a dash of chocolate bitters and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
  • Summer: Incorporate fresh berries or mint for a refreshing take.

Pairing the Bulleit Old Fashioned

Pairing the Bulleit Old Fashioned with the right food can elevate your tasting experience. Here are some recommendations:


  • Charcuterie Board: The rich flavors of cured meats and cheeses complement the boldness of the Bulleit Old Fashioned.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms: The earthy flavors pair well with the whiskey’s spice notes.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: The robust flavors of a perfectly grilled steak enhance the complexity of the cocktail.
  • Barbecue Ribs: The sweetness of the barbecue sauce contrasts beautifully with the bourbon’s depth.


  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate balances the sweetness of the Old Fashioned.
  • Pecan Pie: The nutty, caramel flavors of pecan pie harmonize with the whiskey’s profile.

Hosting a Tasting Event

Hosting a tasting event featuring the Bulleit Old Fashioned can be a memorable experience for your guests. Here are some tips:

  • Theme: Create a themed evening centered around classic cocktails and whiskey.
  • Presentation: Use elegant glassware and quality ingredients to impress your guests.
  • Education: Share the history and nuances of the Old Fashioned and Bulleit Bourbon to engage your audience.

The Art of Presentation

A well-presented Bulleit Old Fashioned not only tastes great but also looks appealing. Here are some tips for elevating your cocktail presentation:


  • Old Fashioned Glass: Use classic Old Fashioned glass for authenticity.
  • Crystal Glassware: For a touch of luxury, opt for crystal glassware.


  • Large Ice Cubes: Use large, clear ice cubes to minimize dilution and add a sophisticated touch.
  • Ice Molds: Invest in ice molds to create perfectly shaped cubes or spheres.


  • Orange Peel: Express the oils over the glass for added aroma and flavor.
  • Luxardo Cherry: For a touch of sweetness and elegance, add a Luxardo cherry.


The Bulleit Old Fashioned is more than just a cocktail; it’s a celebration of tradition, craftsmanship, and quality. Its timeless appeal and versatility make it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts, home bartenders, and whiskey lovers alike. By understanding its history, mastering the craft, and experimenting with variations, you can enjoy this classic drink in all its glory.

We encourage you to try making your own Bulleit Old Fashioned at home or order one at your favorite bar. Share your creations and experiences with us, and let’s raise a glass to the enduring allure of the Bulleit Old Fashioned. Cheers!

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