Doctor’s Orders: an Old Fashioned recipe

old fashioned recipe

UPDATE: I won! You’ll be able to order your very own Doctor’s Orders bourbon cocktail at the South Place Hotel bar in the near future. More details here if you’re interested!

For years gin was my tipple of choice. Gin and Tonics, gin and elderflower cocktails, gin in teacups… I was your walking talking gin-lovin-early-twenty-somethin gin stereotype, and it was great.

Then two years ago something magical happened. I discovered bourbon, and I’ve never looked back.

Sure, I’ll have a G&T on Christmas Day. Perhaps even in a beer garden in the height of summer. But when it comes to what I really want to drink and making my own cocktails, it’s bourbon all the way. Whether it’s a hot toddy in winter or a bourbon ginger ale float in the summer (or neat in a good glass just about whenever) I can’t get enough.

A few weeks ago I joined some fellow bloggers and bourbon enthusiasts for a Woodford Reserve masterclass at South Place hotel with Tom Vernon, Woodford Reserve’s ambassador (best job ever?).

woodford reserve south place hotel

Aged for seven and a half years on average, Woodford Reserve is one of my favourite bourbons to drink. It has cherry and caramel undertones and is on the sweeter side of the spectrum, which I think makes it a great introductory bourbon. I get a hit in the back of my throat just smelling the stuff.

old fashioned south place

On the night we were treated to an Old Fashioned which went down oh so perfectly on a Monday night. Afterwards we were told to think about our own cocktails, and were given an opportunity to get our own bourbon cocktail recipe served at South Place hotel.

So here’s my shot. I’ve reimagined a classic American bourbon cocktail and created my very own Old Fashioned recipe. It’s called Doctor’s Orders and I hope it will make you feel better. Even if you’re already feeling pretty good.

Doctor’s Orders: an Old Fashioned recipe

A traditional Old Fashioned recipe features sugar, bitters, orange and bourbon. Today I’m switching the sugar and orange for honey and lemon, two magical ingredients that perk you up when you’re not feeling your best.

If honey syrup sounds complicated, it’s not. Just mix equal parts of honey and water over a low heat and let cool before adding to the cocktail.

You could switch the angostura bitters for your own homemade lemon bitters, but after experimenting I decided not to. The lemon should slice through the sweetness of the honey but shouldn’t be the focus of the drink.

I also tried using a honey liquor that we had in the cabinet, but decided against using it. For me an Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that can be rustled up anywhere as everyone should have access to the ingredients. Most people don’t have honey liquor at home so for me that was a deal-breaker.


Woodford Reserve bourbon
Angostura bitters
Honey syrup


Mix a single measure of honey syrup with a small squeeze of lemon in a glass. Add a couple of drops of bitters and a double measure of bourbon. Top with a small handful of ice cubes. Stir gently and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Thanks to Woodford Reserve and Stir PR for a great night, and good luck to all the other bloggers participating! Can’t wait to try making all of your cocktails.

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