The Drambuie Old Fashioned is a delicious, sophisticated riff on the classic cocktail! It’s a slow-sipping drink with warm spices and honey from Drambuie and a pop of tart cherry from Luxardo Maraschino Originale.
If you love Drambuie, you absolutely need to try this variation on an Old Fashioned that combines the tasty Scotch-based liqueur with rye whiskey and Luxardo Maraschino Originale! The Drambuie adds notes of honey, warm spices, and a velvety texture, the rye whiskey adds a spicy bite, and the Luxardo Maraschino liqueur brings in a touch of bright cherry to the classic cocktail. It’s perfect if you need an elegant drink that’s guaranteed to impress even your most cocktail-savvy friends!
Drambuie Old Fashioned quick facts
- Level of difficulty: Easy. This is a riff on an Old Fashioned that doesn’t require muddling any ingredients, so it’s super easy to make!
- Number of ingredients: Five, not including garnishes.
- Main spirit(s): Drambuie and rye whiskey.
- Season or occasion: Since it’s a warming, spirit-forward cocktail, it’s perfect for the fall or wintertime! The notes of spice also make it wonderfully festive for the holidays.
- Type of cocktail: Variation on an Old Fashioned.
Ingredients in a Drambuie Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails around! It was invented in the late 1800s in Louisville Kentucky, and rapidly gained popularity when it was brought to New York. The traditional recipe is made with sugar, bitters, water, and whiskey, but nowadays there are endless creative riffs on the classic cocktail that are just as good as the original, including this recipe!
This spin on an Old Fashioned leverages the wonderful flavor combination of Drambuie and rye whiskey. Like with any Old Fashioned, it’s strong and spirit-forward, but with spiciness and a hint of honey sweetness from the Drambuie and notes of cherry from the Luxardo Maraschino Originale. Here’s what you need to make it!
- Rye whiskey
- Luxardo Maraschino Originale
- Orange bitters
- Cherry bitters (I used Crude Bitter’s cherry, clove, and cinnamon bitters, but it’s totally fine to use plain cherry. Fee Brothers is a good brand you can find most places that sell bitters and online!)
- Large ice cube
- Orange peel, for garnish
- Luxardo cherries, for garnish
What to know about Drambuie
Drambuie is a Scotch whisky liqueur that adds so much nuance to cocktails and is a must for any home bar! Here’s a quick rundown on it.
- What is Drambuie? Drambuie is a liqueur made with Scotch whisky, honey, spices, and herbs. It sits at 40% ABV, so it’s fairly strong as far as liqueurs go. It’s perhaps best known as being the star ingredient in the Rusty Nail cocktail, where it’s paired with Scotch.
- How much does Drambuie cost? A 750ml bottle of Drambuie will set you back about $34. So it’s a little pricy, but trust me — it’s worth every penny and will last you a long time!
- What does Drambuie taste like? Drambuie has a velvety texture and is sweet, but super well-balanced. You’ll predominately taste honey, vanilla, orange zest, warm spices, and a little bit of malty Scotch.
- Does Drambuie taste like Scotch? Nope! While Drambuie does have a base of Scotch whisky and you’ll get some Scotch maltiness, it’s certainly not the defining flavor. So even if you aren’t a fan of Scotch, you should still try Drambuie.
- What else can I make with Drambuie? Drambuie is an ingredient in many cocktails, but it’s most famously used in the Rusty Nail. For more Drambuie cocktail recipes, you can check out these 16 cocktails that highlight Drambuie!
More on Luxardo Maraschino Originale
If you haven’t tried Luxardo Maraschino Originale, it’s an ingredient in classic cocktails like the Last Word and the Aviation, and it’s also delicious on its own! Learn more about the Italian liqueur below.
- What kind of liqueur is Luxardo Maraschino Originale? Luxardo Maraschino Originale is a 32% ABV Marasca cherry liqueur that’s been produced in Padova since 1821. Even though it’s a cherry liqueur, it’s crystal clear in color, so it won’t change the appearance of cocktails which is a plus!
- What does Luxardo Maraschino Originale taste like? It’s not cloyingly sweet like you might expect from a cherry liqueur. Instead, it has a subtle, balanced sweetness and the predominant flavors are tart cherry, almond, vanilla, and dark chocolate, with a decent alcohol burn and lightly bitter finish.
- How much does it cost? Luxardo Maraschino Originale costs around $42 for a 750ml bottle. I know that sounds expensive for a liqueur, but when you think about how many different cocktails you can use it in, it’s a fair price! It’ll also last you forever since you’ll only use about a 1/4 ounce at time — my current bottle is from 2020.
Choosing a rye whiskey
Rye whiskey is a type of whiskey made with rye grain. This makes it pepperier and spicier than bourbon, with more of a bite. When it comes to choosing a rye whiskey for your home bar, here are my top picks that you can find at any liqueur store.
- Wild Turkey Rye 101
- Rittenhouse Rye
- Bulleit Rye
- Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
- Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey
I’ve tried this specific cocktail with Wild Turkey Rye 101 and Rittenhouse Rye. The Wild Turkey is more mild and blends seamlessly with the other flavors, while the Rittenhouse will add an extra spicy bite since it’s a bit stronger. They both turned out wonderfully, though, so it just comes down to your preferences and what you already have stocked in your bar.
Want to learn more about the different types of whiskey and how to pick out a bottle you’ll love? Check out how to choose the best whiskey for cocktails here!
How sweet is this drink?
The level of sweetness is on par with the classic Old Fashioned since it substitutes the muddled sugar cube with Drambuie, which is to say it’s not a sweet cocktail at all. Just like the traditional Old Fashioned, the Drambuie Old Fashioned is incredibly well-balanced and spirit-forward. It’s strong, dry, and refined while still being easy drinking and approachable!
Garnishes for a Drambuie Old Fashioned
I recommend the traditional Old Fashioned garnishes for this cocktail: a cherry and an orange peel. If you’re feeling extra fancy though, you can flame the orange peel to release even more aromatics.
- Luxardo cherries: I don’t recommend using any cherries other than Luxardo maraschino cherries for this cocktail. They’ll go wonderfully with the Luxardo liqueur, and in general are considered the gold standard of cocktail cherries. Feel free to drop the cherry in the glass or keep it on the side!
- Orange peel: The trick to an orange peel garnish is to make sure you’re extracting the oils, which will make the cocktail more aromatic. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel at least a 2 inch piece of the orange peel with as little pith as possible. Then squeeze the peel with the orange side down a few inches above your finished cocktail, run it around the rim of the glass, and drop it in the drink.
- Flaming the orange peel: Flaming the orange peel will add subtle smoky aromas, and it’s also fun and impressive to watch! To flame the peel, first run a match over the peel to warm up the oils, then squeeze the peel over the lit match to trigger a small burst of flame. The flame effect might not work perfectly your first time, but use fresh oranges for the best results and remember that practice makes perfect!
Tips on serving a Drambuie Old Fashioned
- Use one large ice cube: Using one large ice cube is the traditional way to serve an Old Fashioned and will ensure the drink doesn’t get overly diluted. It also enhances the presentation of the cocktail. If you don’t have a mold for a larger cube, this is the one I use and it works great.
- Serve in a rocks glass: Old Fashioneds are typically served in a rocks glass (also known as an Old Fashioned glass). Plus, they’re the perfect size to hold a large ice cube!
- Don’t add soda water: While some Old Fashioned recipes top the cocktail with soda water, this will just water down the complex flavor. It’s supposed to be a spirit-forward drink, so avoid adding any sort of carbonated water.
How to make a Drambuie Old Fashioned
- Build the cocktail: Add the Drambuie, rye whiskey, Luxardo Maraschino Originale, orange bitters, and cherry bitters to a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
- Strain: Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.
- Twist the orange peel: Twist an orange peel over the glass to express the oils, then run the rim around the glass and drop the peel in the glass with the orange side facing outward. If you choose to flame the orange peel, run a match over the peel, squeeze the peel over the lit match above the glass, and drop in the peel.
- Garnish: Put a Luxardo Maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick and lay it on top of the glass or drop it in the glass for extra cherry flavor.
More whiskey cocktails
There are so many types of whiskey to explore that all add different flavors to cocktails! It’s such a versatile spirit, and if you love whiskey, get some inspiration for your next whiskey cocktail below.
- For a unique, complex cocktail that uses rye whiskey to balance out a whopping 1.5 ounces of Angostura bitters, try the Trinidad Sour!
- If you love simple cocktails, check out these 2-ingredient whiskey drinks!
- Ever heard of peanut butter whiskey? If not, prepare to have a new obsession, and give one of these delicious Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey cocktails a try!
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Drambuie
- 1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Originale
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 dash cherry bitters*
- 1 large ice cube (get a large ice cube mold here!)
- Orange peel, for garnish
- Luxardo cherry, for garnish
- Combine the Drambuie, rye whiskey, Luxardo Maraschino Originale, orange bitters, and cherry bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled (about 10-15 seconds).
- Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.
- Twist an orange peel over the glass to express the oils, then run the rim around the glass and drop the peel in the glass with the orange side facing outward. Or if you choose to flame the orange peel, run a match over the peel, then squeeze the peel over the lit match above the glass, run the peel around the rim, and drop it in the glass.
- Put a Luxardo cherry on a toothpick and drop it in the cocktail for extra cherry flavor, or lay it on top of the glass.
*I used Crude Bitter's cherry, clove, and cinnamon bitters, but it's totally fine to use plain cherry. Fee Brothers is a good brand you can find most places that sell bitters as well as online!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g