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. Usually, a hodge-podge of two cocktails mixed together is an overlapping mess of competing flavors, but the Improved Whiskey Cocktail is the exception.
I can’t tell you where I first stumbled across this drink. Somewhere at a bar? I could have been on one of the cocktail blogs I follow. It seems like a lot of ingredients but it’s nothing obscure that will go to waste. Bourbon/rye, maraschino, absinthe, simple sugar, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, and a lemon peel. But like I said, if you’re a Sazerac fan then you already have most, if not everything in your liquor cabinet room.
I’d best describe it 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.
To quickly break it down starting with the Old Fashioned—we have bourbon, simple sugar, Angostura bitters, and an orange peel (sometimes lemon). With the Sazerac, you have rye, simple sugar, both Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, absinthe and lemon peel. The only true outlier between the two is maraschino liqueur, which happens to be one of my favorite liqueurs commonly found in the Aviation or the Last Word.
A drink designed for sipping, it’s a classic that surely will not disappoint, you have my word (unless you hate whiskey cocktails/most of the ingredients, then I’m 100% positive you will hate it). Cheers!Print
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
- In a Boston shaker or mixing glass, combine all ingredients except for the lemon peel. Fill mixing glass halfway with ice, then stir vigorously about a dozen times.
- Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a giant ice cube.
- Squeeze lemon peel over the glass to extract oils, wipe the rim of the glass with the peel and add to the glass.
Keywords: improved whiskey cocktail, classic whiskey cocktail