A Publication of WTVP

An old-fashioned Old Fashioned

by Phil Culbertson |

The Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky, claims the Old Fashioned cocktail was invented there.

The recipe is said to have been created by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. The first mention in print of “old fashioned cocktails” was in the Chicago Daily Tribune in February 1880, before the Pendennis Club was opened. With Peoria’s early and rich distilling history, it’s pretty likely some early renditions of this classic cocktail were made with bourbon from our city!

As many know, Pour Bros. is a craft-beer bar known for our pour-your-own-beer walls across Illinois. We don’t typically identify as your go-to mixology spot. However, cocktail connoisseurs are often surprised that we take such care in crafting cocktails using high-quality ingredients made with purpose and consistency. You can be sure to find an Old Fashioned on most bar menus around town. Some are more sweet, or fruited, with adjuncts added, but we go the route of classic simplicity, allowing the spirit to shine! 

The Pour Bros. Old Fashioned opts for orange bitters instead of muddled fruit. We use Old Forester 100 proof bourbon along with Angostura bitters and finish with a Turbinado simple syrup.


• 2 oz. Old Forester 100

• 2 dashes Angostura bitters

• 2 dashes orange bitters

• 1/2 oz. Turbinado simple syrup

Next, the PROCESS:

Stir vigorously in a cocktail mixing glass filled with ice and then strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with an amaretto cherry and orange twist.

Phil Culbertson

Our mixologist is general manager at Pour Bros. Craft Taproom in Peoria Heights, where he wears multiple hats such as the beer and spirits buyer, taste tester, keeper of the peace, vintage rags dealer, stage crew, maintenance man, technology advisor, and curator of all things simple and old-fashioned!