Learn How To Make An “Old Fashioned” Cocktail, The Ultimate Guy Drink

“The world adores a properly made Old Fashioned cocktail.” If you're one of those people, you can learn from Rudi de Vos, the House of Machines bartender.

Kelleigh Korevaar |

The 1st of November marks the start of Old Fashioned Week, an ode to the father of all badass cocktails.

“The world adores a properly made Old Fashioned cocktail. Our desire is also to support the bars to attract customers and increase their cocktail sales.  Every major city has bars offering quality rum and whisky at the top of their menus,” says Cyrille Hugon, co-founder and director of Old Fashioned Week.

Related: All About The R16 Million Whisky Plus Our (Cheaper) Choices

In honour of Old Fashioned Week, we asked House of Machines bartender, Rudi de Vos, to spill the secrets on how they make one of their two house specialties. He also showed us how to make another one of their classic cocktails, The Negroni. You can get all the secrets in the November issue of Men’s Health, in stores now or you can buy it here. This is your licence to learn.

Old Fashioned

THoM’s Old Fashioned ditches the sugar and uses maple syrup instead. It’s a new twist on the old Old Fashioned. Here’s how to make it:


2 shots Bourbon

1 tsp Maple Syrup

3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Orange Peel

Related: 5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Whisky – And The Best 3 Ingredient Cocktail


Place ice blocks in a tall mixing jug. Add the syrup, bourbon and bitters, and stir till it’s ice cold. Then place a block of ice in a whisky tumbler. Strain the drink and pour it over the ice into your glass. Slice off a piece of orange peel and rub it all over the inside of the glass, then pop it in the drink.

Related:  An Experts Guide To Whisky (Plus, How & Why You Should Be Drinking It)

Sticky Situation

At The House of Machines they use maple syrup instead of sugar. Why? “Sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold water, and it also doesn’t dissolve in alcohol. So that’s why we use classic maple syrup. You can use any other kind of sweetener; and you can make a syrup out of just about anything, even orange,” Rudi says. It also doesn’t hurt that maple syrup is better for you.

Related: 6 Foods You’re Eating That Are Secretly Packed With Sugar

Beginner To Badass

Fire up a crème brûlée torch and hold the flame over an oak board till it starts smoking. Place your glass upside down over the smoking area so that the smoke is inside the glass, and leave it there while you make the rest of the cocktail. Then turn it over and pour in your drink. “It’s our classic. The American oak board adds a little oak taste. And makes a nice theatrical experience.

READ MORE ON: alcohol cocktails drinks guy skills how to whisky

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