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This old fashioned without bitters is a simple old fashioned recipe you can make when you aren’t able to use bitters. There are several options for bitters substitutes so you can still enjoy this classic cocktail.
There are lots of unique old fashioned recipes to try, such as this pineapple old fashioned or this brown sugar old fashioned.
For other bourbon cocktails, try this bourbon cherry cocktail, this bourbon margarita, or this blackberry bourbon smash.
- This drink still tastes like an old fashioned cocktail. Even though it’s made without bitters, it doesn’t sacrifice its classic flavor.
- There are multiple suggestions for angostura bitters substitutes that would work for this cocktail.
- Just like the classic recipe, this drink is simple & easy to make in just a few minutes.
Angostura Bitters Substitute
Traditional old fashioned recipes are made with angostura bitters. However, even if you don’t have bitters or are not able to drink bitters, you can still make this drink.
This recipe uses Amaro as a substitute, but there are a couple other options to consider:
Amaro, meaning “bitter” in Italian, is an herbal liqueur with a bitter-sweet flavor. It is typically served as an after dinner digestif, but it also works as a bitters substitute in cocktails.
Fernet Branco and Campari are both types of amaro that work best in this old fashioned. However, you can use other brands of amaro if that is what you have on hand.
Another option for a bitters substitute is to use absinthe. Absinthe has an anise or black-liquorice flavor and can be used instead of amaro in this recipe.
A final option is to muddle fruit in place of bitters. Muddle a couple maraschino cherries and an orange slice (with its peel on), in the bottom of your cocktail glass before adding the rest of the ingredients.
This option will add flavor, but will not taste quite the same as the original drink.
- Bourbon: Use your favorite type of bourbon for this drink. Unlike other cocktails, you can use higher end bourbon for an old fashioned since the bourbon flavor will come through quite strongly.
- Amaro: Fernet-Branca or Campari work best as a substitute for Angostura bitters. However, you can use another type of Amaro if you prefer.
- Simple Syrup: Use homemade or store bought simple syrup to add a small amount of sweetness to this drink.
- Club Soda: If you prefer, add a small splash of club soda to dilute the strength of the bourbon.
- Orange Peel & Maraschino Cherries: These are the typical garnishes used in an old fashioned. However, you can leave these out if you prefer.
- A cocktail glass for serving the drink.
- A cocktail spoon to mix the ingredients together.
Step 1: Add the simple syrup and amaro to a cocktail glass. Add in a handful of ice and stir. Stir in the bourbon. Add a splash of club soda (optional).
Step 2: Garnish with the orange peel and maraschino cherries. Enjoy responsibly!
- To make your own simple syrup, heat equal parts of water and granulated sugar on a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the syrup from the stove and let it cool to room temperature before using it in your drink.
- To keep your drink colder for longer, chill your glasses in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours or in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving.
Yes, just like a traditional old fashioned, this one without bitters is just as strong as the classic. For sweeter versions, try this pineapple old fashioned or this brown sugar old fashioned instead.
No. This drink is stirred, not shaken in a cocktail shaker.
Old Fashioned Without Bitters
- Total Time: 3 minutes
- Yield: 1 Cocktail 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This old fashioned without bitters is a simple old fashioned recipe you can make when you aren’t able to use bitters.
- 2 tsp simple syrup
- ⅛ tsp amaro
- 2 oz bourbon
- splash of club soda (optional)
- 1 orange peel
- 3 maraschino cherries
- Add the simple syrup and amaro to a cocktail glass. Add in a handful of ice and stir.
- Stir in the bourbon.
- Add a splash of club soda (optional), and garnish with the orange peel and maraschino cherries. Enjoy responsibly!
- Substitutions for Angostura Bitters: This recipe uses amaro as a substitute for bitters. However, you can also use absinthe or muddled fruit instead. See the blog post for more information.
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 Cocktail
- Calories: 152
- Sugar: 6.2g
- Sodium: 1mg
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 6.2g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: old fashioned, bourbon cocktail
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