Improved Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

The improved whiskey cocktail is a mix between a Sazerac and the Old Fashioned. Sound good? This just may be your new favorite whiskey cocktail.

Improved Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

If you’re a fan of the sazerac or the old fashioned, the improved whiskey cocktail just may be your new favorite drink. The improved whiskey cocktail is one of my favorite classics. It combines a lot of my favorite elements from two very important classic cocktails, the old fashioned and the sazerac.

The cocktail can be made with bourbon or rye as the base spirit with maraschino, absinthe, simple sugar, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, and a lemon peel. I’d best describe the drink as an old fashioned on steroids. From a distance, it’s the same cocktail with the addition of maraschino liqueur, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters. You’ve essentially got a more dynamic bourbon old fashioned with notes of anise, lemon citrus, and maraschino.

Maraschino Liqueur

The only non-borrowed ingredient between the sazerac and old fashioned is maraschino liqueur. Maraschino liqueur is a unique cherry-flavored spirit made from sour Marasca cherries. It’s clear, slightly sweet, and found in many classic and Prohibition-Era cocktails. Luxardo is the most well-known cherry liqueur brand and my personal recommendation should you decide to embark on this maraschino cocktail journey.

I think most people have heard of the classic Aviation cocktail, but here are some other maraschino liqueur cocktails that may pique your interest as well. I highly recommend you grab a bottle and put it to good use. While it’s often used sparingly in drinks, I wouldn’t stock a home bar without it.

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Improved Whiskey Cocktail Recipe
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Improved Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: American


The improved whiskey cocktail is a mix between a Sazerac and the Old Fashioned. Sound good? This just may be your new favorite whiksey cocktail.


  • 2 ounce rye or bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon absinthe
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • lemon peel for garnish


  1. In a Boston shaker or mixing glass, combine all ingredients except for the lemon peel. Fill mixing glass halfway with ice, then stir vigorously for 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass over a giant ice cube.
  3. Squeeze lemon peel over the glass to extract oils, wipe the rim of the glass with the peel, and add to the glass or discard.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 197
  • Sugar: 6.2g
  • Sodium: 107mg
  • Fat: 1.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.1g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: improved whiskey cocktail, classic whiskey cocktail