1960’s Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Get the perfect Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe and learn how to make a 1960's Don Draper Old Fashioned Cocktail, the way Don would have liked it.

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Craving an Old Fashioned Cocktail? Then you will love my 1960’s Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe, made just like Don Draper would have loved it.

whisky glass with Old Fashioned Cocktail Garnish with an orange slice
Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Just so the purists are clear : a 1960’s Old fashioned involves terrible maraschino cherries, oranges and sugar cubes. When I mentioned Old Fashioned’s to a relative that just happened to ACTUALLY be drinking Old Fashioned’s in the 1960’s and onward he scoffed and said ” Phhht. We smashed a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, poured in the whisky and there you had it.”

And that’s the ticket. Old Fashioned’s in the 1960’s.

You smash a sugar cube and pour that whisky over it.

Maybe you threw in an ice-cube or two. And let me tell you, you sure didn’t have any of these “newfangled rock sized ice cubes” in your Old Fashioned.

You put in those cruddy small ice cubes and let it melt to dilute that whisky and sugar so that you could have three more. And you LIKED IT, buddy.

Old Fashioned Cocktail - whisky glass with sugar cube and maraschino cherry Garnish with an orange slice

Side note: Did you guys see the awesome glass that I use for my Old Fashioned’s? Karlynn and I thrifted it in New Jersey along with the 11 other Zodiac glasses. We honestly have no clue what company made them, but they are definitely vintage and they were definitely around only 30 cents each. Karlynn was thrilled to nab the entire set for less than 6 bucks by the time we were done.  I’m a Taurus, so I always choose the Taurus glass when it comes time for an Old Fashioned.

Karlynn had way too much fun taking these photos. Sugar cubes and terrible maraschino cherries. She was cackling about how totally tacky these Old Fashioned’s are, but you know what?

This is the 60’s, baby.

There’s no fancy herbs or spices. Frothy egg white? SHUT THE HELL UP AND DRINK A MAN’S DRINK.

There’s no wild shaking and pirouetting by a bartender while making these. This is a Don Draper old fashioned. You waved your cigarette-holding hand at a bartender when you were at a restaurant with a client and got what you wanted. You got your 8-year-old daughter to make you an Old Fashioned while you were at home, then tossed it back and had a drive in your car and threw the glass out the car window because you are the man and you can litter.

(In the real world Karlynn and I will totally kick your ass if you drink and drive because it’s illegal, irresponsible, immoral, terrible and more, but it’s a TV show so let’s suspend our disbelief and be immersed in the Mad Men story. Also, don’t throw your glass out of the window. Ever. That’s just not cool unless you are Don).

You’re Don Draper with 17 girlfriends and an Old Fashioned in your hand at all times. You’re an AD MAN.

Now back to real life. Don Draper was a total womanizing ass and a horrible father BUT if there’s one thing he got right, it’s that the old fashioned is a damn fine drink. This is what I have every night. I also prefer to use a large square ice cube because frankly, it doesn’t melt as fast.

This month, Karlynn and I hosted a Mad Men themed party in our vintage home bar. For the party, we featured cocktails based on characters from the popular TV show.

Here’s a look at the card I made; including the fun character profile; for the Don Draper Old Fashioned station:

Don Draper Old Fashioned station with a card of character profile

Now let’s talk about how to make these bad boys the Mr. Kitchen Magpie way.

To make a Old Fashioned, you need the following ingredients:

  • Canadian Club whisky (Don would never use anything else, if you’ve seen the show, you know I speak the truth)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • A sugar cube
  • Two orange slices (one for garnish and one to put in the drink)
  • Angostura bitters
  • 1 large ice cube
  • A muddler

How to Make a 1960’s Old Fashioned Cocktail

  1. To prepare it my way, get yourself a nice whisky glass and add 1 sugar cube and 1 maraschino cherry to the glass.
  2. Muddle the cherry and sugar cube.
  3. Add in an orange slice, muddle the fruit part of orange slice just enough to get the juice out. Add in your large ice cube.
  4. Pour two fingers of Canadian Club over the ice cube (should be even with the top of the ice cube. Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  5. Give it a light stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

Side note: I like to muddle the cherry, orange and sugar cube in mine. The traditional 1960’s method is to simply muddle the sugar cube, add in the maraschino as is and only use an orange slice for garnish on the side. I personally prefer the taste of mine but it’s completely up to you which method you choose to use.

Now throw your feet up and enjoy your drink like a boss because you’ve earned it.

Don’t feel like using sugar cubes? Want something more modern? Click here for a modern day Old Fashioned recipe.

close up Old Fashioned Cocktail showing the writings at the back of zodiac glass

To see all of the other drinks and the write up on the Mad Men Party, click these links below!

How to Throw a Mad Men Party

Gin Gimlet Recipe

Classic Manhattan Recipe

Greyhound Cocktail Recipe

And there you have it! All the booze that you need for your Mad Men Themed Party!

Happy (and responsible) drinking everyone! Love you more than Old Fashioned’s,

Mike (aka Mr Magpie)


Get the perfect Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe and learn how to make a 1960's Don Draper Old Fashioned Cocktail, the way Don would have liked it. #cocktail #whiskey #oldfashioned

Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Get the perfect Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe and learn how to make a 1960's Don Draper Old Fashioned Cocktail, the way Don would have liked it.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Total Time
5 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3 ounces Canadian Club whisky two fingers or enough to cover the ice, basically
  • 1 Maraschino cherry
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • 2 slices Orange
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 large square Ice cube


  • Add 1 sugar cube and 1 maraschino cherry to your glass. Muddle them.
  • Add 1 orange slice to the glass. Muddle fruit portion lightly.
  • Add 1 large square ice cube.
  • Pour whisky over ice until it just covers the ice cube (about two fingers high).
  • Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Stir lightly.
  • Add orange slice for garnish.

Recipe Notes

Nuttitional data includes eating the orange and the cherry so is inaccurate

Nutrition Information

Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Potassium: 50mg, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 65IU, Vitamin C: 14.9mg, Calcium: 11mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Mr. Kitchen Magpie

Hey everyone! I'm Mike (Mr. Kitchen Magpie). When I'm not sharing cocktail recipes here and on my Instagram (@mrkitchenmagpie), I'm enjoying a nice bottle of scotch in a vintage glass from my barware collection.

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  1. Tenderloin says

    Got a few things askew about Draper’s old fashioned. First, he was not above using rye when necessary. and, anyway, the Canadian Club of today is a much lower quality pour than it was in the ’60s, so if Don was making an o.f. today, he’d probably opt for a better brand. Second, Don muddled the bitters with the sugar, not the orange. He added the orange slice at the end. Third, he added a generous splash of club soda.

  2. Sue says

    Simple syrup
    Not sugar cube. Gotta muddle the
    Heck out of it.
    I use southern comfort

  3. Cassius Wright says

    You would be well served to get a copy of the Degroff cocktail book if you are interested in actual vintage cocktails. There’s a phenomenal amount of options to the drink in question which has more to do with locality than era. I’ll just leave it at that.

5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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