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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.
- 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.
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.