Fancy Free

Difford's Guide
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There are approximately 193 calories in one serving of Fancy Free.

Times, Seasons & Occasions


Fancy Free image

Serve in an

Old-fashioned glass

Photographed in an

UB 1910 Old Fashioned 10.5oz


Orange zest twist

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass (preferably over a chunk of block ice).

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Aromatised, tamed bourbon with complex maraschino notes. Basically, a Whiskey Old Fashioned with maraschino in place of sugar syrup. Surprisingly dry, thanks to generous dashes of orange and angostura bitters.


Served straight-up in a sugar-rimmed coupe or Nick & Nora glass.


Origin: The first known reference to the Fancy Free appears in Crosby Gaige's 1940 Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion as follows:

"Fancy Free
1 jigger Fine Arts Whiskey
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Dash of Orange Bitters
2 dashes Maraschino

Frost the rim of a cocktail glass with lemon juice and fine sugar. Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into prepared glass.

As you can see, the Fancy Free was originally a shaken drink served in a sugar-rimmed stemmed cocktail glass. And that's how I first encountered this cocktail back in the 1990s. However, modern bartenders have reworked this cocktail to be an "improved" Old Fashioned with 'improved' referring to the use of maraschino liqueur in place of sugar syrup. Hence, the stemmed glass and sugared rim have gone, giving way to a stirred drink served old-fashioned style, on-the-rocks (or rock if you've block ice to hand).

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