This Christmas Old Fashioned, also known as the Holiday Old Fashioned, is the perfect cocktail to get into the Christmas spirit.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas decor, Christmas treats, and of course, Christmas cocktails.
This Christmas Old Fashioned will easily put you in a festive mood with a delicious combo of simple gingerbread syrup, bourbon, and a dash of Angostura bitters.
This is why it is one of our top Christmas cocktail recipes. Because what could be better than a glass of this spiced holiday cocktail all cozied up in front of a fireplace?
What is an Old Fashioned?
An Old Fashioned is one of the most classic and easy-to-make cocktails ever. It is one of the first cocktails invented, originating in 1881 at the Pendennis Club, a gentleman’s club in Louisville, Kentucky.
The classic Old Fashioned cocktail consists of sugar muddled along with Angostura bitters and a splash of water, and bourbon or rye whiskey. And there are many fun spins to this classic cocktail like we did with our Coffee Old Fashioned Cocktail recipe.
In this version, we’ve taken a slightly different route to put in a festive Christmas touch.
What Ingredients are in the Christmas Old Fashioned?
When we think about classic Christmas flavors, gingerbread always comes to mind. So we’ve created a simple gingerbread syrup for this unique Christmas Old Fashioned recipe.
Bourbon or rye whiskey — We prefer Bourbon. However, rye whiskey is a great substitute. Keep in mind it has a drier flavor profile but is equally delicious nonetheless. For this particular recipe, we opted for Bulleit Bourbon, a Kentucky Bourbon with gentle spiciness and sweetness that we love.
Gingerbread simple syrup — Our delicious concoction. It’s easy to make, inexpensive, and can also be used in other recipes whenever you need that Christmas touch.
Angostura bitters — A staple ingredient in cocktail making for not only Old Fashioned but even most rum punches. Angostura gives a depth of flavor and complexity to the cocktail, intensifying and balancing all the ingredients.
Orange peel strip — To release some citrus aroma and garnish.
Pomegranate seeds — To garnish for a festive red touch of Christmas spirit.
How to Make the Gingerbread Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a must-have ingredient for many cocktails since it helps sweeten drinks without having the sugar just sitting at the bottom of the glass. Fortunately, it’s very easy and inexpensive to make at home. The classic and basic simple syrup consists of equal parts of water and equal parts of white sugar. And this one is customized for some gingerbread flavoring.
White granulated sugar
Fresh ginger root
Peppercorns for a final kick
Step-by-step instructions on How to Make the Gingerbread Simple Syrup
1 — Chop the ginger root (peeled or unpeeled) as finely as possible to release as much flavor as possible.
2 — In a saucepan, pour in the water and the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat.
4 — Add the spices and let them simmer for a couple of minutes on low heat.
5 — Turn off the stove and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. This allows the spices to infuse the syrup.
6 — When room temperature is reached, strain with a fine-mesh strainer.
7 — Transfer into a jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
— Use good quality bourbon or rye whiskey: Avoid using cheap, bottom-shelf brands.
— Stick to the classic ratio of 2 parts whiskey to 1 part sweetener (simple syrup or sugar cube).
— Use fresh citrus juice and zest: This will add bright flavors and aromatics to your cocktail.
— Garnish with a festive twist, like a sprig of rosemary or a cinnamon stick.
More Easy Holiday Recipes
Enjoyed this homemade Christmas Old Fashioned? Here are other our of favorite recipes for the holidays —
- Candy Cane Affogato
- Funfetti Reindeer Cookie Sandwiches
- Peppermint Bark Cannoli
- Gingerbread Candied Nuts
Christmas Old Fashioned Recipe
For the cocktail:
- 2 oz bourbon whiskey
- 1 oz gingerbread simple syrup see recipe below
- 3 dash angostura bitters
- 1 orange peel cut it in an oval shape or just a simple strip for garnish
- Pomegranate seeds optional
For the gingerbread simple syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 fresh ginger root about 4"
- 1 tsp cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp black peppercorns optional
- Best to drink it right after being made to avoid it from watering down.
- Best served in a rocks glass, also known as Old Fashioned glass.
- Store the gingerbread simple syrup in the fridge in a mason jar for up to 1 month.
- Gingerbread syrup recipe makes about 2 cups so approximately enough for 16 cocktails.
To make the Christmas Old Fashioned:
- Add one big ice cube (or 2 smaller ones) into a rocks glass (whiskey glass).
- Add the bourbon, then the gingerbread simple syrup, and stir.
- Add dashes of angostura bitters and stir again until well combined.
- Optional: Add in an additional big ice cube.
- Garnish with a strip of orange peel and a few pomegranate grains.
To make the gingerbread simple syrup:
- Chop the ginger root (peeled or unpeeled) as finely as you can to release as much of its flavor as possible.
- In a saucepan, pour in the water and the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add the spices, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes on low heat.
- Turn off the stove and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. This allows the spices to infuse the syrup.
- Once room temperature is reached, strain with a fine-mesh strainer.
- Transfer it into a jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Don’t forget to share your Christmas Old Fashioned with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? You can find them all right here, with a few desserts to go along with them!