Let’s start with a Breakfast Old Fashioned, the Wakey Wakey Old Fashioned to start the day.
Combining a little cold brew coffee syrup (or just what’s left over from the last pot of the morning) or coffee liqueur, add a smidge of maple syrup and a healthy dose of whiskey and orange bitters, and you’ve got a great way to start (or end) the day.
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What is an Old Fashioned?
An Old Fashioned cocktail is a classic whiskey cocktail consisting of whiskey, sugar and bitters. It’s one of the oldest cocktails and was originally a morning cocktail. Whiskey and bitters were considered medicinal, and you’d take them each morning the way we take our vitamins today.
Much like the mimosa or bloody mary today, it was the cocktail to get you ready to face the day. It’s sad that’s no longer our tradition because I’d start the day with an old fashioned over a mimosa any day.
For the full story on the Old Fashioned head to my article on How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned.
Flavors in this Breakfast Old Fashioned
So I decided to think about the tastes of breakfast, and I’ve got a little coffee, a little maple syrup, a touch of orange in the bitters and of course a healthy dollop of bourbon to round it all out. Admittedly, using espresso and maple on the rim of the glass might be a bit over the top, but not as much as turning your bloody mary into a full-on salad.
One thing to note here is that the strength of the coffee you use for the coffee syrup will dictate whether you need that extra bit of coffee liqueur in the cocktail. If you make espresso at home or something with a really robust, dark, bitter roast, you may not need the extra bit of coffee and sweet added by the coffee liqueur.
But, if you do need the coffee liqueur, make sure you’re not using one that’s a cream-based liqueur. It will make the cocktail look muddy and unappealing, although I’m sure it would taste fantastic.
How to Make a Breakfast Old Fashioned
Like all Old Fashioneds, the Wakey Wakey Old Fashioned is fast and easy to put together. Add the bourbon, coffee syrup, coffee liqueur, maple syrup and orange bitters to a mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice and stir for 20-30 seconds, until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish.
If you prefer to focus on the maple flavor an even easier option is the Maple Old Fashioned.
How to Garnish a Wakey Wakey Old Fashioned
For the garnish, I opted to use a bit of the maple syrup on the outside rim of the glass so you could decide if you wanted to add a little more sweet or bitter of the espresso powder as you chose how to sip your cocktail. Or try both. As the ice melts and the drink mellows, that extra bitter from the rim might change your thoughts on breakfast cocktails for dinner.
I also think expressing an orange peel over the cocktail adds to the aroma and perception of orange in the cocktail.
The other Quarantine Old Fashioneds from the series:
Recommended Bar Tools
You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:
You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:
Wakey Wakey Breakfast Old Fashioned
- 2 oz bourbon
- ½ oz coffee liqueur non-creamy (optional)
- ½ oz coffee syrup
- 1 barspoon maple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: swipe a little maple syrup on the side of the glass and dust it with some espresso powder if you have it
- Prepare the old fashioned glass by putting a swipe of maple syrup on the lip of the glass and dusting it with espresso powder or finely ground coffee. Set aside.
- Combine bourbon, coffee liqueur, coffee syrup, a bit of maple syrup and the orange bitters in a mixing glass and fill with ice.
- Stir until well-chilled and strain into the prepared glass filled with ice.
- Express an orange peel over the cocktail before you take your first sip. Works well as both a morning and evening cocktail.