In the 1800s the word "cocktail" wasn't used in the same catch-all way that we use it today. Cocktails were just one category of drink—along with juleps, daisies, slings, mules, etc.—with the specific format of spirit, sugar, water, and bitters. The Old Fashioned is the grandaddy of classic cocktails and draws a straight line to that early 1800's definition of the word: "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters."
Carly & Ian from All The Bitter favorite way to enjoy a non-alcoholic Old Fashioned involves one minor tweak to the original recipe: maple syrup in place of the traditional sugar cube, adding subtle texture and rich flavor, while All The Bitter lends a healthy dose of spice, earth, and brings the whole thing together.
There are many wonderful booze-free whiskies on the market now—a few of our favorites are Spiritless Kentucky 74, Free Spirits Bourbon, and Lyre's American Malt. As is true with alcoholic spirits, they all share the same general flavor profile (whiskey) but have their own distinct characteristics and nuances.
Image courtesy of All the Bitter
2 1/2 ounces non-alcoholic whiskey
1/2 ounce maple syrup
Orange peel twist garnish
Add non-alcoholic whiskey, bitters, and maple syrup to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over one big ice cube.
Garnish with an orange peel, first expressing the oils over the drink.
Non-alcoholic whiskey isn't in your repertoire? Try using a strongly brewed barley tea instead!