The Secret Ingredient For Your Next Old Fashioned Cocktail

One of the best parts about cocktails is just how versatile a drink it can be. If you're hosting a summer party, you can't go wrong with a frozen margarita or fresh fruit daiquiri. Brunch is hardly complete without some sort of bloody mary or mimosa. Professional bartenders and at-home cocktail creators are getting more creative than ever when it comes to serving classic drinks with a twist. 

Some of the easiest ways to serve a homemade cocktail like the pros are to use fresh ingredients. Instead of using a premade margarita mix or reconstituted lemon or lime juice, squeeze the juice fresh. Fresh juice may be more tart or sweet, but it's all-natural and elevates any drink. Many drinks have simple syrup added to subtly enhance the drink's sweetness while maintaining the perfect balance. Fresh citrus juices and simple syrup are incredibly easy to make at home (per Taste of Home). 

One drink that is increasing in popularity is the old fashioned (per Restaurantware). Recipe developer Christina Musgrave developed an old fashioned recipe for Tasting Table that adds a twist to the classic drink. She calls her version a smooth old fashioned. The smooth old fashioned is made by mixing together your whiskey or bourbon of choice, a sugar cube, angostura bitters, and orange bitters. The drink is stirred and served over ice. 

With just a few staple ingredients, the addition of the orange bitters takes it to another level.

Orange bitters enhance a classic Old Fashioned

An old fashioned cocktail is a timeless drink made with whiskey, bitters, and sugar. It is stirred, poured over ice and garnished with a lemon or orange wedge and cherry (via Allrecipes). While the orange peel gives a hint of orange flavor, there's a secret ingredient that can be added to amp up the citrus flavor.

Tasting Table's recipe for a smooth old fashioned adds orange bitters to a classic old fashioned. The addition of orange bitters of course gives the drink a more bitter flavor, but it also adds a nice citrus flavor. Recipe developer Christina Musgrave writes, "The special ingredient is the orange bitters – they are not common in an old fashioned and gives the cocktail some brightness and a faint citrus note that is even better with the orange peel garnish."

Next time you're in charge of bartending for the evening, try adding equal parts orange and Angostura bitters to whiskey and sugar. It's sure to impress even the most conventional old fashioned connoisseurs.