Sometimes you want a drink that sound alcoholic but isn’t. Or maybe you’re the designated driver but want to join in the drinking fun. Or you’re trying to cut back on calories and know that mocktails can be a great way to do that.
Well, here’s how to make yourself a mocktail of the classic Old Fashioned. And if you’re out and about, here’s what to expect to get when you ask for the Old Fashioned without the booze.
How to Make an Old Fashioned Mocktail
The ingredients of an Old Fashioned include bourbon, orange peel, bitters, and cherry. Since bourbon comes with its own flavors and is such a big part of the drink, we’ll explain how to craft the mocktail without it.
Some people may not even like Old Fashioned because of how much bourbon is in them, so maybe this will be a great way to find the new favorite drink with this recipe.
Black Tea – This Old Fashioned Mocktail recipe uses brewed black tea instead of bourbon. The black tea gives the drink the rich taste in lieu of that bourbon. Plus, it also means you get some caffeine in the drink as well. Of course, if you do not want the additional caffeine, choose a decaf black tea instead.
Sugar – The next thing you’ll need is some sugar since black tea is not naturally sweet. This you can do to taste, but we’ll put the recommended amount of sugar in the recipe below for the optimal taste. An alternative to this would be to use simple syrup.
Bitters – this is the next ingredient. Some places do have non-alcoholic bitters for purchase. However, if you cannot find the non-alcoholic bitters in the store, Amazon sells old fashioned syrup mix. This mix is a non-alcoholic blend of fruit and spices, typically cherries, orange peels, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.
You can also choose to omit the bitters altogether for a sweeter drink.
Orange slice – You’ll still want to muddle an orange slice yourself with the sugar and bitters (or their replacements) before adding the tea. Leaving the orange slice out strips away the classiness of this mocktail.
Cherry – After muddling those together and adding the tea, garnish the drink with a bright red maraschino cherry.
What You’ll Need
In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll want to have a muddler. Cocktail muddlers can be purchased at stores or online. They are for gently smashing – or muddling – the desired ingredients together in the bottom of the glass.
If you do not have a muddler on hand, you can use a wooden spoon but make sure it is clean and free of oils that may otherwise seep into the drink and possibly ruin the taste.
You’ll need to have measuring cups and spoons to measure out the water and simple syrup if that is what you are using in lieu of sugar.
You may also want to have stir sticks on hand, but spoons will also work. Stir sticks are ideal for getting in between ice cubes.
Lastly, you will need the old fashioned glass, otherwise known as a rocks glass. This is a specific type of glass tumbler that is short and wide, sitting directly on the table with a flat base.
They hold between six to eight ounces. This recipe makes four servings, so that is four glasses.
With all that out of the way, on to the recipe itself!
Tips & Tricks
- Do make sure the tea is chilled enough before pouring it into the glasses, the drink should be served cold.
- This recipe uses sugar cubes but if you want to use unpacked sugar, you will need a teaspoon for the sugar as well.
- Consider using brown sugar cubes to add a sweet, molasses-like flavor.
- For a sweeter drink that is not using bitters, add two dashes of simple syrup, in addition to any simple syrup you may have already added.
- For a stronger orange taste, use orange peels in place of the orange slices. Two peels per glass will make up for a single orange slice.
- Experiment with muddling a cherry or a cranberry at the bottom for a different fruity flavor to the drink.
What Does Mocktail Mean?
Mocktail is considered to be a cocktail without alcohol. The word “mock” implies fake or pretend. Mocktails are great for people who cannot have alcohol for whatever reason, or for kids who are not old enough to drink yet but want to have an “adult” drink.
What Drinks are Similar to an Old Fashioned?
The closest drink would be a Manhattan. This is because both drinks use orange and bitters. However, Manhattans use sweet vermouth instead of sugar and typically have whiskey instead of bourbon.
Are Mocktails Healthier than Cocktails?
Generally speaking, yes, because mocktails do not contain alcohol, which is considered to be bad for your health in many ways. One thing to watch out for is mocktails that have too much sugar, which is also not so great for the waistline. This mocktail in specific is low on sugar unless you are swapping out the bitters for more simple syrup.
Other Cocktail Recipes
This new twist on an old classic drink will surely be enjoyed by people who love the Old Fashioned drink, the Manhattan drink, and people who love black tea with a twist. Try serving it at your next cocktail party and see what happens!