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How to find the original Old-Fashioned
Episode 10926th March 2019 • Lush Life • Susan L. Schwartz
00:00:00 00:25:26

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The Old-Fashioned is one of the most iconic cocktails on the planet. Adored by Bourbon-lovers world-wide. Three simple ingredients - bourbon, sugar, and bitters, and a bit of fruit have wowed them since the 19th century. A billion variations have popped up especially in these cocktail-crazed times, but the true recipe is just perfection and hard to top. Today’s episode we see how the Old-Fashioned came to be, and that could only begin in one town - Louisville, Kentucky.

I’m Susan Schwartz, your drinking companion, and this is the Lush Life Podcast, every week we are inspired to live life one cocktail at a time by the best in the industry.  Today is the launch of my Lush Life cocktail collection. Remind everyone how simple it is to make an old-fashioned by wearing one of my Old-Fashioned t-shirts. Head to to check this out! Remember that every penny goes to bring you more Lush Life!

Back to the Old-Fashioned and its origins. As David Wondrich, the award-winning cocktail writer says, "Anyone who hooks his cart to any cocktail history is going to go off road!" I truly want to believe that the Old-Fashioned was invented at the Pendennis Club, so that’s where we are beginning. James Gerhardt, the General Manager of one of Louisville’s oldest private clubs and where the old-fashioned is purported to have been invented, is here to tell us his side of the story.  

Then we pop down to Whiskey Row and Old Forester’s new distillery to meet Holly McKnight to see how their bourbon fits into this jigsaw puzzle of Old-Fashioned History. After that we wander down whiskey row to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience to let George Harrison explain how we wouldn’t even have bourbon if it weren’t for Evan Williams!

For the pure enjoyment of this episode, I would skip ahead to our cocktail of the week and while stirring, double back to savor the story ahead.


Our Cocktail of the Week is Pendennis Old-Fashioned


  • 2.5 ozs Bourbon (Old Forester 86 proof)
  • Quarter size pour of Simple Syrup
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters



  • Put in a quarter size pour of simple syrup in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass
  • Add two dashes Angostura bitters, orange wedge, maraschino cherry….
  • Muddle gently without smashing everything together.
  • Pour 2.5 ozs bourbon (house is Old Forester 86 proof) on to the ingredients and add ice.
  • Some bartenders have expressed a lemon over it and rubbed on rim, but that is overkill at this point.


You’ll find this recipe and all the cocktails on, where you’ll also find all the ingredients in our shop.

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