Bitter Citrus Old-Fashioned

Glendon Hartley, Service Bar | Washington, D.C.

Glendon Hartley Old-Fashioned Drink Beauty

Elijah Craig Bourbon’s annual Old-Fashioned Week returns for its second year supporting the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, October 15-24. Sign up your bar or restaurant to participate by featuring Elijah Craig Old-Fashioned riffs on your menu. 

Hartley’s Old-Fashioned riff employs his “no ingredient left behind” mentality, while also upcycling a few underutilized ingredients. He matches the bitterness of naringin (a flavonoid found in citrus fruit pith) and oversteeped black tea with the wood tannins found in Elijah Craig Small Batch. The result is an unusually citrusy, bitter Old-Fashioned.


Yield: 1

  • 2 ounces Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • 2 ounces Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce bitter Earl Grey & citrus peel syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1/4 ounce bitter Earl Grey & citrus peel syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish: lemon twist

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Garnish with lemon twist.
Editor's Note

Bitter Earl Grey & Citrus Peel Syrup
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea
2 cups dark brown sugar (Demerara or turbinado preferred)
Lemon peels or shells

Heat water with tea until steaming, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Strain out loose-leaf tea and keep to the side. Add lemon peels or shells and steep over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and discard peels. (For extra-bitter tannins, add tea back to syrup overnight and strain in the morning.)