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Gingerbread Old Fashioned Cocktail

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Smooth bourbon stirred with homemade gingerbread syrup, muddled fresh orange and candied cherry, a gingerbread old fashioned cocktail is easy to make and a delicious holiday spin on the classic bourbon lover cocktail!

three glasses of gingerbread old fashioned

Cheers! The December holidays are right around the corner, there are gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and holiday parties to attend. If you’re hosting, the holiday themed cocktail just got even easier. Gingerbread old fashioned cocktails are putting a sweet holiday spin on the classic bourbon drink.

No mixing, no shaking, just a quick muddle, pouring some ingredients and stirring with ice. You can channel your Mad Men office party vibes while sipping.

ingredients for a gingerbread old fashioned

Gingerbread Syrup

The key to infusing this cocktail with sugar and spice is the gingerbread syrup. A few classic gingerbread ingredients simmered on the stove top in under 10 minutes.

In this gingerbread syrup you’ll have classic flavors like molasses, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon.

Leftover syrup is great for adding to coffees, frostings, or eggnog!

Orange peel being placed inside a gingerbread old fashioned

How to Make a Gingerbread Old Fashioned

When it comes to classics the old fashioned is exactly that, a classic. It’s like the LBD of cocktails. Simple and never out of style.

You only need a few ingredients to make a classic old fashioned cocktail:

  • sugar cube
  • orange slice
  • candied cherry (these are my favorite!)
  • bitters
  • bourbon

The sugar cube and cherry provide sweetness, the orange adds a little acid, we taste a little spice from the bitters and, of course, delicious and mellow bourbon give it that boozy kick. 

muddling orange and cherry in a glass

To make a gingerbread old fashioned, we’re taking the classic ingredients with just a small twist.   Instead of the sugar cube and bitters, we substitute gingerbread syrup. It’s full of the spice you’d normally get from standard bitters and adds the necessary sweetness usually provided by the sugar cube.

We can really love the simplicity of this cocktail because it’s built right in the glass. Muddle the orange and cherry together, add gingerbread syrup, bourbon (or whiskey!), fill with ice and stir with a cocktail spoon until the syrup and bourbon are well mixed and the cocktail is chilled.

holiday old fashioned cocktails with container of gingerbread syrup

How are you going to serve up your gingerbread old fashioned? Personally, I’m looking forward to sipping on one post holiday shopping, but it might also make a great “this might be coffee, but is probably a cocktail in a travel mug” for walking around and looking at Christmas lights. Let me know if you went fancy or low key in the comments and be sure to tag #gingerbreadweek in your social media posts!

Cheers friends!

Gingerbread Old Fasioned Cocktail

A warm and cozy spin on the classic cocktail with minimal effort and maximum flavor.  Gingerbread spices with just the right sweetness stirred into muddled orange, cherry and bourbon.
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Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gingerbread cocktails, gingerbread old fashioned, holiday cocktails, old fashioned cocktails
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 217kcal
Author: Lauren


Gingerbread Old Fashioned Cocktail

  • 1 orange slice see notes
  • 1 candied cherry maraschino or luxardo
  • 1 ounce gingerbread syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon or whiskey

Gingerbread Syrup

  • ¼ cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Make the syrup: In a medium size saucepan, combine the ingredients.  Heat over medium heat, stirring until combined.
  • Bring to a slow boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes – stirring occasionally.  Let cool 5 minutes before using.
  • Make the cocktail:  In a short tumbler glass, muddle the orange slice and cherry until lightly smashed.  Pour in the gingerbread syrup and bourbon.  Fill the glass 3/4 of the way with crushed or cubed ice.  Stir with a cocktail spoon until all the syrup and bourbon have combined, about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Optional:  Using a vegetable peeler, peel a piece of orange zest. Heat the outside of the zest with a lighter for 1 to 2 seconds then rub on the lip of the glass.  Garnish with a fresh candied cherry.


  • Gingerbread syrup will last for about 1 month when kept in an air tight container.
  • The orange slices should be half moon slices and about 1/4 inch in thickness.
  • The point of lighting the orange zest garnish is to release the aroma and flavors from the zest, then rub them on the lip of the glass so you can both taste and smell the sweet orange acidity.


Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg





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