Cocktail Moment: Improved Whiskey Cocktail


[Adapted from the show script]

At the end of a stunning week, here’s how you make an Improved Whiskey Cocktail.  

This is a Jerry Thomas drink that dates back to the 1870s. A 19th century “whiskey cocktail” is what we now call an Old Fashioned: whiskey with sugar and bitters. An improved whiskey cocktail is that, but with the addition of two other sweetening agents in very small proportions.


  • Swirl absinthe in glass, throw out the absinthe and fill the glass with ice

In mixing glass:

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup (sugar water)
  • ¼ oz. Maraschino
  • 2 oz. bonded rye

Add ice to the mixing glass and stir.

Strain into your prepared glass.

Add a lemon twist to the drink as a garnish.