After spending time, and money, on buying simple syrup I thought I’d try my hand at using sugar cubes and an appropriate amount of water instead. It looked pretty fancy in the YouTube videos I watched. However, I just couldn’t get the same taste…

So, I will continue to practice – but as I began experimenting with the sugar cube, muddling, and variables, I did come up with a variance that I liked and also replaced the need for simple syrup – I’ll refer to it as the “Orange & Cherry” or the “OC” variant. This came up as a matter of convenience, after having used up all the orange peel on an orange and I didn’t want the main part of the orange to go to waste (see… frugal).

I realize that the quality of ice in my mixing glass is ‘crap’ by any bartender’s standard. Still, I’m not a whiskey snob, or a bartender. I’m a guy making a drink at home. So I’m looking to effectively create the drink with a balance of fun tools, and also realistic expectations. That said, I did buy a couple of ice molds to create two sizes of solid-clear ice spheres and ice cubes.

The Simple Recipe

  • 3 oz Bourbon
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry
  • 1 Orange wedge, peeled (not a cut piece, but a peeled off wedge)
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 4 dashes angostura bitters


  1. In mixing glass, add and muddle the bitters, sugar cube, cherry, and orange wedge until sugar is fully dissolved.
  2. Fill mixing glass 3/4 full with ice from my (or your own) fridge’s ice dispenser
  3. Add bourbon (notice 3 oz here instead of 2, to help balance the added fruit juice)
  4. Stir for 30 seconds
  5. Pour into glass with solid ice cube of choice (cube or sphere); I use a drink strainer to keep all the pulp and muddled pieces in the mixing glass.
  6. *Optional: Add an extra cherry or orange peel to garnish