Improved Whiskey Cocktail

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

In Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide, an “improved” cocktail is a simple cocktail in the traditional sense of the word (spirit, sugar and water) that is “improved” with some added liqueur and/or absinthe, and garnished with an expressed lemon peel. The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is essentially an Old Fashioned with the addition of maraschino liqueur, a dash of Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe. If you’re a fan of Sazeracs—and obviously Old Fashioneds—this enduring libation is destined to become your new favorite.



  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • 1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Bitters
  • 1 dash Absinthe
  • lemon peel


Step one

Add the sugar cube to a lowball glass and soak it with bitters, maraschino and absinthe.

Step two

Muddle until the sugar cube is dissolved.

Step three

Add the whiskey to the glass with a large cube of ice and stir until incorporated.

Step four

Squeeze the oils of a large swath of lemon peel over the cocktail and rub it over the lip of the glass before discarding.

Contributed by Supercall

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