Clementine Old Fashioned Recipe: A Citrusy Twist on a Classic Cocktail

Clementine Old Fashioned Recipe: A Citrusy Twist on a Classic Cocktail

An Old Fashioned is a timeless cocktail that hails from the early 19th century. It’s known for its simple yet potent combination of ingredients, typically including bourbon or rye whiskey, a sugar cube, bitters, and a twist of citrus peel. The drink is served in a short, round glass, often referred to as an “Old Fashioned” glass, over a large ice cube to ensure minimal dilution.

Utilizing Clementines in Cocktails

Integrating clementines into cocktails brings a fresh twist to classic recipes. Clementines, known for their sweet, slightly tart flavor and easy-to-peel skin, enhance the drink’s profile without overpowering the base spirit. When incorporating clementines into an Old Fashioned, muddling clementine segments with sugar creates a fresh citrus undertone, complementing the robust taste of bourbon. Garnishing with a clementine peel adds a fragrant aroma, enriching the overall experience.

Crafting the Perfect Clementine Old Fashioned

Ingredients Needed

To craft a Clementine Old Fashioned, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey: Use high-quality whiskey to ensure a smooth base.
  • 1 Clementine: Fresh clementine adds zest and aroma.
  • 1 Sugar Cube: Provides sweetness to balance the citrus and bitter notes.
  • 2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters: Classic bitters enhance complexity.
  • Large Ice Cube: A single, large ice cube chills the drink without diluting.
  • Clementine Peel: For garnish, enhancing the visual appeal and aroma.
  1. Muddle Ingredients: In a rocks glass, muddle the sugar cube with a few dashes of Angostura bitters and one segment of the clementine until well combined.
  2. Add Whiskey: Pour 2 oz of bourbon or rye whiskey into the glass, stirring to mix all elements.
  3. Ice and Stir: Add a large ice cube to the glass, then stir gently. This ensures proper dilution while keeping the drink cold.
  4. Garnish: Cut a peel from the clementine, twist it over the glass to release essential oils, then drop the peel into the drink for a fragrant garnish.

By following these steps, you’ll create a balanced and flavorful Clementine Old Fashioned, blending the classic cocktail’s richness with the bright notes of fresh clementine.

Flavor Profile and Tasting Notes

What Makes Clementine Unique?

Clementines offer a distinct, sweet-tart flavor that differentiates them from other citrus fruits. Their natural sweetness blends seamlessly with the robust character of bourbon, creating a smooth yet complex profile. Unlike the sharper taste of oranges or the bitterness of grapefruits, clementines provide a balanced citrus element that enhances the drink without overpowering it. Their peels, full of essential oils, contribute an aromatic intensity when used as a garnish.

Pairing the Flavors

Combining clementines with bourbon introduces a new layer of depth to the traditional Old Fashioned. The sweetness of the muddled clementine segments complements the warm, caramel notes of the bourbon. Sugar cubes enhance this sweetness, while Angostura bitters add a touch of spiciness to balance the flavors. A large ice cube keeps the drink chilled without diluting its rich taste. Garnishing with a clementine peel not only adds a decorative touch but also releases fragrant oils that elevate the overall sensory experience.

Variations of the Clementine Old Fashioned

Experimenting with Different Bitters

Different bitters create unique flavor profiles in your Clementine Old Fashioned. Angostura bitters, known for their aromatic complexity, are a classic choice. Try orange bitters if you prefer an intensified citrus note. Chocolate bitters accentuate the caramel tones of bourbon, adding richness. For an herbal twist, use celery bitters to introduce a savory depth that contrasts with the clementine’s sweetness.

Alternative Sweeteners

Experiment with various sweeteners to adjust your cocktail’s sweetness. Traditional recipes use sugar cubes, but simple syrup offers a smoother blend. Honey introduces floral undertones that complement the citrus. For a richer flavor, try maple syrup which adds a hint of smokiness. Agave syrup, lighter and less viscous, blends easily and provides a mild, natural sweetness.


The Clementine Old Fashioned offers a refreshing twist on a classic cocktail, perfect for those looking to elevate their mixology skills. The combination of clementines and bourbon brings a delightful balance of sweet and tart flavors. Whether you stick to traditional ingredients or experiment with different bitters and sweeteners, this cocktail is sure to impress. So grab your favorite whiskey, muddle some clementines, and enjoy a sophisticated drink that’s both familiar and exciting. Cheers to your next great cocktail adventure!

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