WRRV's 12 Days of Cocktails continues on Day 6, with one of my favorites. I find myself always wanting to try a new bartenders personal take or interpretation of the classic cocktail, The Old Fashioned.

It is one of those drinks that each bartender is able to bring their slightly different twist to. Here is a version (no cocktail geeks, its no 100% the same technique) that also uses local maple syrup from Crown Maple at Madava Farms in Dover Plains.

Maple Old Fashioned


  • 2 tsp. of Crown Maple, maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 dash bitters
  • 2 oz. Black Dirt Bourbon (it's spicy notes lends itself well to the maple syrup)
  • 1 slice of orange peel, about 2-3 inches long
  • 1 maraschino cherry, if you have it. If not, don't stress.

Combine maple syrup, water and bitters in a glass, stirring until well-blended. Add ice and then pour bourbon on top. Twist the orange peel over the drink and drop it in, along with a cherry, if you have it.

This is a simple version of an old fashioned. The original version starts with a sugar cube in the bottom of a rocks glass. Drip a few drops of bitters and a few drops of water onto that sugar cube (as far as I am considered the only reason sugar cubes are still in existence is solely for cocktails). Then add a wedge of orange and one cherry (no stem) to the glass, use your muddler to mash them all together. Add ice, then add bourbon and garnish as you like.

The cocktail itself dates back to the early 1800's. I prefer my Old Fashioned to have bourbon, but they can be made with pretty much any type of spirits (gin, vodka, rye, applejack, etc) then with sugar, water, bitters, orange peel and cherry.

Which version do you prefer? Is there a place in the Hudson Valley that you would like to share that makes an Old Fashioned that you think is the most amazing?