Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned

This cocktail is hands down my husband’s all time favorite! Our Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned is incredibly smooth and has the perfect subtle sweetness to make it a great drink to sip on. Paired with the Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, this is classy and delicious all the way around.

Our Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned on a placemat with all the ingredients around it.

We aren’t overly fancy here in our house, but this cocktail takes us up a notch for sure. I hunted for a while for a gift for my husband for Father’s Day and I kept circling back to trying to find a bourbon that was amazing to sip on on its own but also was great in an Old Fashioned. Countless articles online and sales people pointed me in the direction of Kentucky Owl. My husband is so glad they did! We loves to sip on a good, smooth bourbon from time to time and we enjoyed whipping up a good Old Fashioned from time to time. Well, we are spoiled now… not sure we can go back to something not as quality as this!

What is the difference between a Manhattan and an old fashioned?

There are definitely difference between the two. An Old Fashioned is made with bourbon or rye whiskey, bitters, and simple syrup. A Manhattan is traditionally made with rye whiskey and substitutes uses a sweet vermouth instead of the simple sugar. Vermouth has a very distinctive taste which makes a big difference.

Why is it called an old fashioned?

The name was inspired by the many drinkers who refused to change with the times and ordered their drinks the old fashioned way; a brown spirit, sugar, water and bitters. This came about in the 1880s when people were coming up with ‘trendier’ drinks.

What Are bitters?

Bitters are made from a lot of different types of botanicals, like aromatic herbs, bark, roots, and fruit. These ingredients are infused into a flavorless alcohol base to create a potent flavoring. They have a high alcohol content but only a few drops at a time are used. The bitters we use is infused with orange.

Ingredients for our Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned.

Ingredients for our Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned:

THESE ONES because it comes with a set, one makes large round ice cubes and the other makes large squares (which we used in the pictures.)

A cocktail glass with a square ice cube in it.

Place the ice in a glass. Next, pour the 1 1/2 shot of bourbon over the ice. Add 3 teaspoons of simple syrup. If you are making the simple syrup yourself, be sure to let it cool completely (and even be refrigerated) if you can before using.

A coctktail glass with simple syrup next to it, contained a ice cube and shot of bourbon.

Now comes the Luxardo cherries. These make a huge difference in this cocktail. The syrup is super thick and the cherries are a really dark red. They pack a great amount of authentic flavor and out weight ANY maraschino you’d get at the supermarket. Add 1-2 to the drink glass with the syrup you scoop out with them.

Someone taking a spoon of Luxardo cherries out of the container to put in a glass.

Next, add about 8 drops of bitters. It is usually one tube worth of liquid. Bitters is very potent so a good notion to take is less is more. Start with the recommended amount, and then add more slowly, if desired

A glass of bourbon with a dropper og bitters going into it.

Last, take a vegetable peeler or a super sharp knife and peel a small strip of orange skin. Try to leave behind as much of the white part behind as you can. (That is the most bitter part of the orange.) Twist the peel over the glass and allow any drops of juice to come into the cup. Place the orange peel in the glass and give the drink a little swirl.

A glass of bourbon next to a orange being peeled by a vegetable peeler.

The drink is ready! You can always add more ice if the taste seems too strong. But the recipe above has been tried and proven time and again in our home!

The final product of our Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned.

We have been Old Fashion’s for a while now and this recipe is one we won’t deter from. It has the perfect combination of smooth bourbon, sweetness, and bold orange flavors thanks to the peel and bitters. The cherries top it off to make our Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned, in our opinion, the best one we’ve ever had. Enjoy!

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Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned

Kentucky Owl Old Fashioned

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Shots of Bourbon
  • 3 teaspoons Simple Syrup
  • 6 Drops of bitters
  • 2 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
  • 1 small Orange Peel


  1. Place a a whiskey ice cube in a cocktail glass. If you don't have one, fill cup half way full with ice.
  2. Measure out the Kentucky Owl bourbon, simple syrup, bitters, and cherries and add to glass.
  3. Last, peel a strip of skin off an orange, twist, and place in glass.
  4. Enjoy!


To weaken the drink, keep adding ice.

*This is a top shelf bourbon and it makes a huge difference in taste.

Luxardo Cherries are also more expensive but worth every penny to make this cocktail (and many others)!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g

(Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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