Old Overholt Cocktail Recipe

Class up your Friday night with this old-fashioned cocktail!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated October 31, 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kirsten Mae Magbanua
Kirsten Mae Magbanua

Medically reviewed by

Kirsten Mae Magbanua

Kirsten Mae Magbanua is a graduating student with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from University of the Philippines Los Baños. She is set to graduate as magna cum laude this coming August 2022. Kirsten has been a consistent honor student throughout her college years and has been a member of an academic organization.
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Step foot into any old-timey bar and you’ll see this Old Overholt cocktail on the menu! This straight rye whiskey cocktail packs a serious punch, and never goes out of style.

Old Overholt cocktail

Old Overholt is one of the oldest brands of whiskey in American history. It’s made in Kentucky and is known as one of the main whiskies served at Wild West saloons.

Old Overholt became more popular after Prohibition ended when it became a staple of cocktail recipes like the Manhattan. With hints of caramel and vanilla and that classic rye spice, it has an undeniably timeless flavor.

This cocktail includes old fashioned ingredients like sweet vermouth and bitters. The result is a strong cocktail that can be served with dinner, as an aperitif, or as dessert!

Since this cocktail only needs four ingredients, it’s easy to prepare at home for guests at parties. It’s a hit at holiday gatherings, or for an evening inside with a movie.

Tips For Making The Best Old Overholt Cocktail

  • Serve this Old Overholt cocktail over ice for the smoothest taste. Ice helps dilute the alcohol flavor and makes it less boozy and bitter.

  • Avoid shaking this drink, since shaking will kill the subtle flavors in the whiskey. The whiskey aroma is the enticing part of this drink, so all it needs is a little stir.

  • Don’t forget the garnish! Finish off your Old Overholt Cocktail with a mint sprig, orange twist, or a lemon peel to keep it classy.

Old Overholt cocktail recipe

How To Make Old Overholt Cocktail

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time0 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Servings1
  • Yield1

Level: Easy




  1. Combine Ingredients in Mixing Glass

    Pour Old Overholt, bitters, and sweet vermouth into the mixing glass. Add three ice cubes.

  2. Stir

    Use a stirrer to blend the ingredients with the fresh ice.

  3. Strain into Cocktail Glass

    Strain the cocktail into your serving glass.

  4. Garnish and Serve

    Add a maraschino cherry to the cocktail glass and enjoy!

Old Overholt Cocktail Variations

  • The Old Overholt Cocktail uses simple ingredients, so it’s easy to put your own spin on it! If you prefer your cocktails more sweet than boozy, you can swap out the vermouth for simple syrup instead.

  • If you do use simple syrup instead of vermouth, just add orange peel you’ll have an Old Fashioned. Since an Old Fashioned is a bit sweeter than the Old Overholt cocktail, it’s a great after dinner treat!

  • You can also make this drink less sweet by using dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth. Swap out the cherry garnish for lemon peel and you’ll have a Dry Manhattan.

  • If you like classic gin cocktails like whiskey sour, you can alter this drink to give it a similar flavor. Swap out the sweet vermouth for simple syrup, and add an ounce of lemon juice to create a sour mix.

  • To add more fruity flavor to your drink, use orange bitters instead of Angostura bitters.

  • Old Overholt rye whiskey gives this drink its spiciness, but you can use blended scotch for a smoother finish. Or if you prefer bourbon over rye whiskey, feel free to use that instead.

Old Overholt cocktail serve

What To Serve With Old Overholt Cocktail

Cheese Platter

Cheese is a classic pairing for alcohol, especially subtly sweet drinks like this Old Overholt Cocktail. The creaminess and hint of salt help cut through the bitterness of the alcohol.

Meanwhile, the alcohol helps accentuate the sweet flavors of the cheese. Pair your cheese with salty meats like ham and other charcuterie food like olives for an upscale party snack.

Chocolate-Dipped Fruits

If you’re serving this Old Overholt cocktail as an after dinner drink, chocolate-covered fruit would be an excellent companion. Sweet fruits like cherries and strawberries help accent the vanilla notes in the Old Overholt.

Crudite Platter

It’s great to have a crudite platter to snack on when drinks are being served. Assorted vegetables like carrots and cucumbers are a healthier alternative to popular drinking snacks like chips.

Keep things simple and fresh by serving these vegetables on their own. Or, you can pair them with a ranch or blue cheese dip.

Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs provide a creamy texture that balances the bitterness of the alcohol. The saltiness from the seasoned egg yolks also helps bring out the flavor of the cocktail.

As a plus, devilled eggs are full of protein and healthy too!

Chips And Salsa

Sometimes you just want something crunchy to munch on with a drink, and these chips and salsa hit the spot. The saltiness from the chips and the tanginess of the salsa help cleanse the alcohol from the palette.

Storage Instructions

I find that cocktails always taste the strongest and most flavorful when freshly made. But if you don’t have time to make individual cocktails, you can mix this drink before an event.

Simply mix your cocktail ahead of time and store it in a plastic juice container with a lid. Omit the ice when you mix the drink because it will melt in the refrigerator and water down your drink.

You can keep your pre-mixed drink in the refrigerator for a maximum of two weeks.

Nutrition Advice

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, men can safely consume 2 drinks a day. Women should consume no more than 1 drink daily. (1)

These guidelines pertain to healthy adults with no underlying health issues. Pregnant women and people taking medications that may interact with alcohol should not consume any amount of alcohol. (2)

Alcohol should also not be consumed by anyone who has or currently suffers from alcohol addiction.

Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to many serious health issues. Heart disease, cancer, mental health issues, and alcohol addiction have all been attributed to the overuse of alcohol.

Always drink responsibly, and stick to the dietary guidelines around alcohol. It’s best to consume alcohol with food, as it will slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. – Kirsten Mae Magbanua, RND

Old Overholt cocktail - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 220Calories
  • 0g Fat
  • 17.6g Carbs
  • 0.2gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat0g 0%
Saturated Fat0g 0%
Cholesterol0mg 0%
Sodium393mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate17.6g 6%
Dietary Fiber0.3g 1%
Total Sugars14.3g
Vitamin C0mcg 0%
Calcium3mg 0%
Iron0mg 2%
Potassium31mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.