Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe (2024)

The Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet is one of my favorite classic co*cktails! I first discovered this twist on the Classic Old Fashioned when I lived in Wisconsin and would order the co*cktail in the (supper) clubs. Since I’m partaking in my 5th annual Dry January, I decided it was time to up my beverage game. My first foray? To create a Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe inspired by a Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet.

Jump to my Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe

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What is an Old Fashioned co*cktail?

The old fashioned is a co*cktail made by muddling sugar with bitters and water, adding whiskey, and garnishing with orange slice or zest and a co*cktail cherry.


There are a few differences between a classic Old Fashioned and the Wisconsin version. In Wisconsin whiskey is replaced with brandy and topped with lemon-lime soda instead of water. Since brandy is made from wine or fermented fruit, this makes for a sweeter, less strong, co*cktail.

Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe (1)

Why is it called an Old Fashioned co*cktail?

Like most things, there are varying accounts of when and who created what we know today as an Old Fashioned. What doesn’t seem to be disputed is the first definition of the word co*cktail, which was in the early 1800s and was defined as a drink made of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters.

As drink-making became more sophisticated and new co*cktails emerged, the ‘Old Fashioned’ sticks to its roots of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. So a Brandy Old Fashioned is as much of a traditional Old Fashioned as the popular Whiskey Old Fashioned and Bourbon Old Fashioned.

Virgin Old Fashioned ingredients

For Dry January, not only is the intention to make a Non-Alcoholic Old Fashioned, but it was to make it a little cleaner than the traditional recipe too. Some substitutions we’ll be making are using organic apple juice instead of brandy (both are made with fruit after all), skipping the added sugar, and using a high-quality ginger beer instead of the lemon-lime soda.

What exactly are Bitters?

You’ll notice that we aren’t using Bitters in the recipe, even though they are a key component to an Old Fashioned. Although considered non-alcoholic, alcohol is the #1 ingredient in bitters before the herbs and spices. You can’t really create an Old Fashioned Mocktail Recipe if one of your ingredients is alcohol, can you?

However, if the 2 dashes of bitters that you would use won’t bother you, then this is the gold standard brand to use in the mocktail.

Muddling not only the inside of the orange but also the peel gets some of the bitter oil into the drink, achieving a “bitters” flavor.

Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe (2)

Non-Alcoholic Spirits

In this Old Fashioned Mocktail recipe, I’ve chosen to use apple juice as the alcohol substitute. The other option is to use a non-alcoholic spirit. With the emergence of the sober curious movement, many zero-proof companies have popped up. I haven’t personally tried these, but if you are interested, some of the more well-known companies are Lyre’s, Ritual Zero Proof, and ArKay.

What bar tools do you need to make an Old Fashioned Mocktail?

  • Muddler | You’ll really want to muddle the orange peel to work those oils. This is a great option since the tip won’t damage your glass.
  • Jigger | Part of every well-equipped bar, and makes measuring a breeze.
  • co*cktail Picks | Not only used for the cherry garnish, you can use this to stir the drink as well.

Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe

Servings: 1



  1. Place 1 cherry and ½ orange slice in the bottom of an old fashioned glass
  2. Muddle making sure to work oil from the peel
  3. Add ice and apple juice
  4. Top with ginger beer
  5. Garnish with a cherry and ½ orange slice


  • I recommend getting large ice cube molds – the larger the ice the slower it melts and waters down the drink
  • If you are looking for an alcoholic version of the classic co*cktail, check out the Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet Recipe

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Virgin Old Fashioned Recipe (2024)


How to make a fake old fashioned? ›

That's all it takes! Add simple syrup and bitters into an old fashioned glass and then add a dash of plain water (you can also use a sugar cube as your sweetener and saturate it with the bitters). Muddle and mix the ingredients. Fill glass with ice and add Ritual Whiskey Alternative.

What is the most famous mocktail? ›

What is the most popular non-alcoholic drink? The most popular mocktail right now is a Shirley Temple. Add cherries to it for a pretty garnish.

What alcohol is in lemon lime and bitters? ›

Image of What alcohol is in lemon lime and bitters?
A bitters is traditionally an alcoholic preparation flavored with botanical matter for a bitter or bittersweet flavor. Originally, numerous longstanding brands of bitters were developed as patent medicines, but now are sold as digestifs, sometimes with herbal properties, and as co*cktail flavorings.

What is a dirty Old Fashioned? ›

“Dirty” because it involves the orange of an Old Fashioned as well as the cherry juice that is usually a ghost of a flavour from the cherry at the bottom of a Manhattan. These two elements combined add the sweetness of the drink and provide the “dirty” element, similar to the olive juice in a martini.

What is in virgin co*cktail? ›

The non-alcohol version of the co*cktail removes the vodka but keeps all the heat and flavour as it contains tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, black pepper, hot sauce and a celery stick to garnish.

How unhealthy is an Old Fashioned? ›

There are few drinks manlier than an Old Fashioned. But the simple syrup in this staple (as well as co*cktails like a Whiskey Sour) isn't so simple, nutritionally speaking. “Just 1-ounce packs in over 5 teaspoons of added sugar,” Holthaus says. “And a 6-ounce Old Fashioned will cost you around 260 calories.”

What is the difference between Old Fashioned and Old Fashioned? ›

The term you are looking for is 'old-fashioned'. The hyphen is needed because 'old' and 'fashioned' go together to make a single word meaning 'of days gone by'. 'Old fashioned' could be used if you want to describe something that was 'fashioned' (made) and is now old.

What is the name of the virgin mocktail? ›

Virgin Grapefruit Mojito

Delightful for a party or even for a lazy Saturday brunch, this no-booze spin on a classic co*cktail is fun to make and a tasty mix of flavors.

What should you order at a bar if you don't drink? ›

11 Most Popular Mocktails To Order At A Bar
  • Virgin Mojito. At number one (but in no particular order) is the alcohol-free Mojito. ...
  • Virgin Bloody Mary. Fan of cooking a tomato soup? ...
  • Shirley Temple. ...
  • Arnold Palmer. ...
  • Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule. ...
  • Roy Rogers. ...
  • Virgin Piña Colada. ...
  • Non-Alcoholic Gin and Tonic.
Oct 26, 2022

What is 1 most popular non-alcoholic drink? ›

Water is, by far, the most consumed non-alcoholic beverage in the world.

Can children drink lemon lime and bitters? ›

The bitters component contains an alcohol component. When made up the drink has an almost negligible alcohol component. Can I serve it to a minor? The simple answer is “no” because it contains alcohol (even though it is a trace amount).

What can I substitute for bitters in a co*cktail? ›

Best bitters substitute
  • Campari. The best bitters substitute? Campari. ...
  • Absinthe. Another bitters substitute? Absinthe. ...
  • Fernet-Branca or other amaro. Another bitters substitute? Any type of Amaro, a family of Italian herbal liqueurs that taste bitter (amaro means bitter in Italian).
Dec 27, 2020

What are virgin versions of popular co*cktails? ›

11 Most Popular Mocktails To Order At A Bar
  • Virgin Mojito. At number one (but in no particular order) is the alcohol-free Mojito. ...
  • Virgin Bloody Mary. Fan of cooking a tomato soup? ...
  • Shirley Temple. ...
  • Arnold Palmer. ...
  • Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule. ...
  • Roy Rogers. ...
  • Virgin Piña Colada. ...
  • Non-Alcoholic Gin and Tonic.
Oct 26, 2022

Is an Old Fashioned a feminine drink? ›

Similarly, for the past few decades, the old-fashioned has been seen as a man's drink, but after Prohibition, the old-fashioned was one of the most popular drinks ordered by women. Understanding this connection between women and co*cktail culture places women back into a story that popular culture has removed them from.

What is a substitute for virgin alcohol? ›

Some options are non alcoholic beer, non alcoholic wine, Shirley Temples, “Virgin” Marys (a bloody Mary without vodka), bitters and lemonade, seltzer with a lemon or lime twist on the rocks, virgin Mojitos (a mojito without the rum), orange juice and grenadine syrup and virgin Coladas (a Pina Colada without the rum).

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