Building the Perfect Old Fashioned

One of the most classic cocktails around, the Old Fashioned was invented in the 1880s and continues to stay a crowd pleaser because of its delicious simplicity. A true Old Fashioned should be served in a tumbler with a single large cube of ice, and should consist of four critical components: liquor, bitters, sugar, and water. There are dozens of ways to create a fresh take on this classic drink, but at Ruth’s Chris, we’re going to show you the basics of making a perfect Old Fashioned to wow your friends at your next dinner party.

Spring Cocktail Dinner Party

7 Simple Steps to the Perfect Old Fashioned


  • 2 oz. rye or bourbon
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Club soda
  • Cube of Ice


  • Place the sugar cube in a short tumbler
  • Pour in 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of club soda
  • Crush the sugar with a spoon or mixer
  • Slowly spin the glass to line the inside of the glass with the sugar and bitters
  • Add a large ice cube
  • Pour in the liquor
  • Garnish with a stirrer or orange slice

Tips to Create the Best Old Fashioned

Now that you have the simple steps toward a classic Old Fashioned, we have a few extra tips to ensure that your drink will have people asking, “How did you do that!?”

Cocktails at Ruth's ChrisThe Right Liquor

Classically, an Old Fashioned uses rye or bourbon whiskey as the liquor of choice. The key to this classic drink is the whiskey. Because the drink is only enhanced with a few dashes of other ingredients (essentially whiskey on the rocks with a twist), the quality of the liquor is important. Stock your bar with a top shelf rye or bourbon for the best results. If you want a sweeter version, stick with a bourbon. Want to keep it more original? Go with rye.

Sugar or Simple Syrup

Classically, the Old Fashioned has always used a sugar cube to sweeten the drink. It should dissolve underneath the bitters and liquor. If you aren’t a fan of using the sugar cube, create your own simple syrup by heating two parts sugar to one part water on a pan over medium low heat. Once the sugar dissolves completely (without boiling), you now have a simple syrup. Using a simple syrup can slightly dilute the cocktail, but you can choose which sweetening method works best for you.


Angostura bitters are the most typical bitters used in Old Fashioned cocktails. Feel free to experiment with other bitters as well, but make sure you only use a splash or two so that you don’t overpower the tangy whiskey notes.

Order the “Build Your Own Old Fashioned” Cocktail at Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris Steak House offers a Build Your Own Old Fashioned where you get to customize your drink and make it your own. We know that everyone has their own specific taste, whether they enjoy a drink that is on the sweeter side or on the more bitter side. The great thing about this drink is that you can pick the flavors and ingredients specifically for you.

Embrace your unique taste! Have fun with your customization by experimenting with different types of bourbons or rye whiskeys. Maybe even add a splash of juice or soda. We love that adventurous side that you have and are ready to help you find the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail concoction just for you.

Visit Ruth’s Chris for an Old Fashioned You Don’t Have to Make

Come in for a refreshingly classic cocktail at one of our many locations today!