When it comes to cocktails, nothing beats an Old Fashioned. This classic beverage works well in a bar, at a party, or having a nightcap at home. However, since the drink has been around for so long, there are tons of ways to enjoy it.
One of our favorite options is to make this cocktail with alcohol-free whiskey. This way, we can get all the flavor without any of the regret (or a hangover the next day). To make an Old Fashioned even better, we add some maple flavoring to turn a whiskey drink into a fun and festive holiday mocktail.
Get your highball glasses ready - let's make a non-alcoholic maple Old Fashioned!
A Brief History of the Old Fashioned
Given the name, it's not surprising that the Old Fashioned's origins date back several hundred years. While it's hard to pinpoint the exact way this cocktail came to be, one of the most common narratives is that it stemmed from a private club called the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky.
However, the term "old fashioned" used to mean something else when talking about cocktails. As mixologists worked on crafting tasty alcoholic beverages, those who used traditional methods were making "old-fashioned" drinks. However, as far back as the early 1800s, this class of cocktail would include various spirits, including gin and tequila.
But back to the Pendennis Club and a bartender named James E. Pepper. According to legend, he perfected the Old Fashioned as a whiskey drink, mixing whiskey, sugar, bitters, and orange peels. From the Pendennis Club, Pepper brought his signature cocktail to the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, where many other cocktails would later be born and made famous.
So, depending on who you ask, the Old Fashioned came from Kentucky or New York, with purists from both states claiming the cocktail as part of their heritage. The city of Louisville even claimed it as its official drink in 2015. Louisville also hosts an Old Fashioned Fortnight event every June, celebrating the beverage's history and cultural influence.
How a Non-Alcoholic Maple Old Fashioned Fits Into Your Holiday Party Plans
If you're familiar with a traditional Old Fashioned, you know it uses simple syrup to give it a sweet and delicate flavor. If you're planning on hosting or attending holiday parties, you can swap the syrup for maple and make the drink more festive.
Thanks to Seir Hill's non-alcoholic whiskey-alternative, Mashville, now you can knock back a few cocktails without getting too buzzed. Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving, attending an office holiday party, or just enjoying time with the family, Mashville can help you celebrate in style. Plus, because this alcohol-free whiskey has all the flavor of the real deal, you won't even know the difference.
What You'll Need to Make a Non-Alcoholic Maple Old Fashioned
Technically speaking, if you still use bitters in this recipe, it will be low alcohol, not necessarily "non-alcoholic." However, there are alcohol-free bitters available, so you can swap and avoid any potential trouble.
This drink is pretty simple - all you need is a stirring spoon and a classic cocktail glass. Other than that, you just need some ice and perhaps a peeling knife to make your orange peel garnish.
Ingredients of a Non-Alcoholic Maple Old Fashioned
- 2 oz Mashville Whiskey Alternative
- 3 - 4 Dashes of Angostura Bitters (or you can use alcohol-free versions)
- 1/2 tsp Maple Syrup
- Orange Peel
- Maraschino Cherry (optional)
How to Make a Non-Alcoholic Maple Old Fashioned
First, make your orange peel by slicing a thin strip off of your fruit. You can use a dedicated orange peeler or just a regular knife. Set it aside for now.
In a rocks glass, add ice and then stir the Mashville, bitters, and maple syrup. Rub the inside of the orange peel around the rim, then give it a twist to add a little citrus zest to the drink. Enjoy!
If you want to enhance the flavor of this cocktail, you can muddle an orange slice and a Maraschino cherry first and add the syrup and liquids afterward. For this option, you'll need a muddler to extract the flavors from your fruit.
Maple Old Fashioned Alternatives
Because the Old Fashioned is such a simple and versatile cocktail, there are virtually endless ways to customize it and make it your own. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Add More Fruits - We mentioned muddling your cherry with an orange slice, but you can add different fruits to make your mocktail even tastier. Other options include strawberries, blackberries, blood oranges, and even blueberries. If you're feeling extra fruity, you can make this drink almost like a smoothie instead of a mocktail.
- Use Smoke-Infused Ice - Smoke-infused drinks are a relatively new phenomenon, but they're quickly gaining in popularity because they add an extra flavor profile to any beverage. For an Old Fashioned, the best option is to use smoke-infused ice cubes so the taste seeps into the mocktail slowly. Otherwise, the whole thing could be a bit too smokey to be enjoyable.
- Use a Cinnamon Garnish - Maple syrup already has a decadent seasonal flavor that changes the nature of the mocktail. You can go all-in on the seasonality of the beverage by adding a dash of cinnamon and using a cinnamon stick as a garnish instead of the orange peel.
- Use Honey - Honey-flavored whiskey is pretty common these days, so it makes sense to add honey to any whiskey-based mocktail. In this case, we would also recommend swapping the orange with a lemon peel to accentuate the honey flavoring better.
If you're interested in making more whiskey mocktails, you can check out our growing library here. Seir Hill offers rum and tequila alternatives, and you can even buy them all at once with our three-pack. Discover what the holiday season can be like when you're sipping on some alcohol-free spirits.