Old Fashioned Mad Men


Who makes the best Old Fashioned? Our top bars to drink this classic cocktail in New York

Don’t be fooled by the name, the Old Fashioned is one of the coolest cocktails around, as Don Draper’s favorite drink in Mad Men has become the tipple of choice for a whole generation of stylish New Yorkers.

But the question remains: where in the city should you go for an Old Fashioned to remember?


Pegu Club, SoHo

For an Old Fashioned as it should be, head to Pegu Club in SoHo. With its wood-panelled ceiling and bar that stretches the length of the room, Pegu Club is almost as suave as the Old Fashioned itself.


Subject, Lower East Side

An interesting twist on the classic cocktail, Subject serves a Oaxacan Old Fashioned. A tantalising mix of mezcal, tequila, agave nectar and chocolate bitters. Say hello to your new drink of choice.


Gallagher’s Steakhouse

This may seem like an unusual choice, but Gallagher’s Steakhouse has a flawless Old Fashioned. The old-school atmosphere of this restaurant is the perfect pairing for their traditional Old Fashioned, made with Heaven Hill four-year-old Bourbon.


Prime Meats, Brooklyn

For another interesting twist on the classic, give the Prime Meats Old Fashioned a try. The bartenders use pear bitters made from the tree in their back garden. An interesting change from the usual Angostura tang.


Rye, Williamsburg

Rye combines two of New York’s favorite things: happy hour, and the Old Fashioned. Head down to Williamsburg and grab a surprisingly good Old Fashioned for only $5. Monday to Friday between 5:30PM – 7PM, this is the place to be.


Dutch Kills, Long Island City

Fiercely traditional, and fiercely classic. This is an Old Fashioned for the purists. With its classic “rabbit ears” lemon and orange twist, Dutch Kills serves up a strong, dry, Old Fashioned. Truly made as they were meant to be made.


Amor y Amargo, East Village

Amor y Amargo is another bar which knows how to do an Old Fashioned right. They serve up this super-simple drink with a little of their own personality: a splash of orange bitters. Serving the drink in the “proper”, smaller, Old Fashioned glass, this may be the most classic Old Fashioned in New York.


Apothéke, Chinatown

Apothéke wins for quirkiness, you have to go looking for this one. Nestled behind an unmarked door in the center of Chinatown is one of the best Old Fashioneds in the city. Their chamomile take on the classic cocktail caller Catcher in the Rye is one that is not to be missed.


Fine & Rare, Midtown

Oh, this one is exciting. Prepare yourself to have your rye base smoked right before your eyes. You can choose from Applewood, hickory, mesquite or Cherrywood, and the bartenders will emerge from the fog with an incredible Old Fashioned. Doesn’t get much cooler than that.


Fedora, West Village

Fedora is about as romantic as it comes. It oozes with sophistication and charm, just like the Old Fashioned itself. As with some of the other bars we have seen, Fedora shows its individuality through the bitters, finishing off its exciting mix of Four Roses bourbon, fresh citrus and sweet maple wash with homemade pecan bitters. You’d be nuts not to try it.


The Old Fashioned is not a drink for the faint of heart. It is strong and dark, and truly delicious. The debate about the perfect Old Fashioned will continue to rage, but recent exciting twists on the classics could be changing the mould. Only one way to find out – head out and try them all.

Our top bar picks in SoHo, NYC

Previous article

Our top bar picks in SoHo, NYC

Next article

Our favorite museum bars in Europe

Our favorite museum bars in Europe