I've been waiting years to write about this topic! Many people reached out to me asking, “where can I find the best Old Fashioned in Claremont?” The answer always varies because there are restaurants in Claremont mixing ridiculously good Old Fashioned cocktails.
An Old Fashioned is one of my all time favorite cocktails for two reasons: (1) I freakin’ love whiskey (2) it’s just a classic and timeless drink. When an Old Fashioned is done well, it feels like a warm hug and smiles in each sip and I want to point you in the right direction.
In this blog, you'll find:
Best places in Claremont for an Old Fashioned
Where to buy your ingredients to make one
A personal recipe of my own called the "Spiced Claremont Old Fashioned"
The Meat Cellar
When I want a Smoked Old Fashioned I head over to The Meat Cellar. They'll take a piece of wood and torch it, put the glass over the wood, let the smoke fill the glass, pour an Old Fashioned into the glass. The smoke give the drink an edge. Their A5 Old Fashioned is made with Bourbon (usually Buffalo Trace), sugar, angostura bitters, garnished with an orange peel and Luxardo cherry.
The Whisper House
If I am in the mood for an Oaxaca Old Fashioned, The Whisper House is my top choice. This Mexican take on an Old Fashioned features ingredients like tequila, mezcal, agave nectar, and angostura bitters. I know what you’re thinking, “Tequila in my Old Fashioned?!” but hear me out. Mezcal is very smoky and combined with the tequila and agave nectar, all the flavors blend together resulting in a glorious concoction where you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Union on Yale
Head to Union on Yale for their delicious Flamed Old Fashioned. They use Rye whiskey (my preference), simple syrup, and angostura bitters garnished with an orange peel and Luxardo cherry. Classic! What makes it “flamed” is they light the orange peel on fire and place it in the drink giving it a subtle hint of smokiness.
The Lounge @ Casa 425
To enjoy a Classic Old Fashioned in a cozy environment, simply go to The Lounge at Hotel Casa 425. Their Old Fashioned is made with your choice of Rye or Bourbon, simple syrup, angostura bitters, an orange peel, and a Luxardo cherry. Enjoy this timeless cocktail in their outdoor courtyard by the fire pits or indoors by the fireplace.
For an Old Fashioned with a peach twist, try The Blonde Girl at Bardot made with bourbon, peach bitters, simple syrup, grapefruit zest, and basil.
There’s a story behind this drink I’d love to share with you all. Geniece AKA Whiskey Loves Basil created this drink when she was a bartender at Bardot. Since many could not remember her name they'd ask for “The Blonde Girl.” When it came time to name this drink, it was a no brainer what to call it.
For an Old Fashioned with bacon flavors, try the Tipsy Pig Old Fashioned at Eureka Burger in the historic Claremont Packing House. They use a 10 year rye whiskey that’s been infused with bacon, bitters, and barrel aged maple syrup. For a limited time, Eureka is making their seasonal Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned which is so festive and delicious. Get them while you can (ends January 3).
Pre-Made Bourbon Old Fashioned
VomFass in Claremont conveniently sells a pre-made Bourbon Old Fashioned that is absolutely delicious and comes in various sizes to take home. Visit their store off of 2nd Street and Indian Hills Blvd to sample it. Only starting at $19, these also make a great gift.
Exclusive Recipe: Spiced Claremont Old Fashioned
I’ve tinkered with the recipe for years and resulted in a yummy spiced, cheer-y cocktail perfect for this holiday season or any season for that matter.
Spiced Claremont Old Fashioned Recipe
2 oz Rye whiskey
0.5 oz Spiced Simple Syrup
2-3 dashes of black walnut bitters or angostura bitters
Garnish: 1 rosemary sprig, 1 orange peel, Luxardo cherry
How to make Spiced Simple Syrup
2-3 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Star Anise
8-10 whole cloves
Allspice (or ground)
2 sprigs of Rosemary
Orange Peels from 1 whole orange
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup orange juice (fresh squeezed)
Toast whole spices for 3 minutes (avoid burning spices)
Pour in sugar, water, orange juice
Add rosemary, Allspice, and orange peels
Stir and let simmer on low for 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved
Strain into bottle to store
Refrigerate and store (can last up to 3 weeks)
Where to Buy Old Fashioned Ingredients in Claremont
Whiskey. The number one place I recommend buying your whiskey locally is at VomFASS in Claremont. They sell all sorts of whiskey such as Irish, American, Japanese, and Scotch. They’ll give you samples of each to ensure you choose the right one for your palette.
Bitters. Rio De Ojas located on the corner of Harvard Ave and Bonita sells a variety of bitters.
VomFass carries an assortment of unique bitters that include aromatic, orange, black walnut, chocolate, cherry, and more! Buy them in a variety pack or individually.
Cherries. My top choice is to use Luxardo cherries for your Old Fashioned garnish which can be purchased at most grocery stores. However, they easily go for $25 a bottle but so worth it! Another option is to purchase “Cocktail Cherries” from VomFass in Claremont for $17 a bottle.
Glassware. Head to Norens Space to find an assortment of retro glasses perfect for an Old Fashioned. All glassware is mid-century modern style. I recently purchased festive, Christmas rocks glasses that I use for my own Spiced Claremont Old Fashioned recipe.
When you make this recipe, be sure to tag me at @missclaremont I’d love to see how they turned out and your thoughts on the taste.