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Honey Rose Old Fashioned

4.50 from 2 votes

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Last Updated on September 21, 2020 by Heather Wibbels

Honey Rose Old Fashioned on the rocks with orange rose garnish
Honey Rose Old Fashioned

Time for your Friday Old Fashioned. This time, it’s a honey rose old fashioned. For this cocktail, I’ve been dreaming of the warmer weather and the rose bushes that have just started to bud. But I’m also enjoying the cooler nights and entertaining thoughts of hot toddies and their honey goodness.

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While I could talk about old fashioneds for hours, at its most basic, the old fashioned cocktail is a combination of whiskey, sugar (in some form) and bitters. I’ve written more about the history and composition of a basic old fashioned here, How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned. And it’s a fun cocktail to make variations of simply because each flavor element contributes so much to the cocktail.

Combining Honey and Rose in the Old Fashioned Cocktail

In this old fashioned, I use a rose tea-honey simple syrup to sweeten the old fashioned. To pair with that floral note from the rose, I used apple bitters which are bright, but have a flair of the bitter around them. They’re not strong in adding a lot of direct apple flavor to the cocktail, but they do add more brightness and lightness to the cocktail.

To make the rose-honey simple, I made a rose tea and while it was warm, added it to honey, just as you would make a normal honey syrup. I’d had dried rose-buds left over from a dry vermouth infusion last year, and since rose buds keep so well, I still have plenty of left for infusions and teas.

Honey Rose Old Fashioned on the rocks with orange rose garnish
Honey Rose Old Fashioned

I wanted to round out the garnish with something traditional, so I used a long peel of orange to make an orange rose and dropped a couple of the more intact rose buds inside. With each sip you get the aroma of orange peel and rose as you bring the glass toward your mouth.

It’s a simple cocktail, and the rose-honey simple will combine well with sours – whiskey or gin, added to highballs and spritzes and will brighten up any champagne cocktail you have for brunch. Just try adding it to your next mimosa. You can thank me in the comments.

Other Old Fashioned Cocktails to Try

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Honey Rose Old Fashioned on the rocks with orange rose garnish

Honey Rose Old Fashioned

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Tempt your taste buds with a simple old fashioned dressed up with floral notes from a rose-honey simple syrup. Top off the cocktail with a splash of apple bitters and you've got a bright cocktail to sip on the porch in the spring while the roses come in.
4.50 from 2 votes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 0.75 oz Rose-Honey simple syrup See note below
  • 2 oz bourbon I used New Riff Bottled in Bond Bourbon
  • 2 dashes Bar Keep apple bitters
  • Garnish: long orange peel rolled into an orange rose and a few dried rose buds


  • In a mixing glass, combine rose-honey simple, bourbon and bitters. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with large cubes of ice. Garnish with the orange rose and rose buds.


For the Rose-Honey Simple:
1 tablespoon dried rose buds
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
Brew the rose buds in boiling water for 8 minutes like you would a tea (I used my teapot). Strain 1/2 cup of the tea into a glass measuring cup. While still hot, add 3/4 cup honey and stir well to combine. Let cool completely and keep in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks, and a little longer if you add a bit of vodka to it before storing it. You can drink the remaining tea on its own, or make some of it into a rose simple syrup by adding 1/2 cup sugar to it.
Keyword honey, old fashioned, rose
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

By on March 13th, 2020
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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