Fancy-Free Cocktail Recipe

The Fancy-Free is one of my favorite cocktail recipes. It is a simple, elegant variation on an Old Fashioned. In terms of preparation, this cocktail recipe lives up to its name. If you find the ritual of muddling bitters and sugar too much you will like making this drink.

The Fancy-Free uses Maraschino liqueur as a substitute for sugar in the Old Fashioned. The classic sour cherry liqueur brings depth and a luxurious mouthfeel to the Old Fashioned. The bitters in this drink really seem to open up and reveal more of their underlying flavors. The orange peel in this drink is more than a mere garnish. Twisting it over the glass adds a bright citrus note to the nose.

The Fancy-Free cocktail recipe calls for two types of bitters. If you would like to know more about cocktail bitters check out our guide.

Fancy-Free Cocktail History

The Fancy-Free may not be a classic in the sense that it is both a popular and historic cocktail. It is, however, old. And delicious. The recipe first appears in a 1941 cocktail book called Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. It hasn’t been seen much since.

These days you will find it on a few cocktail menus. If you do see it in the wild give it a shot. You won’t regret it.

Fancy-Free Cocktail Recipe


  • 2 1.4 oz. Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Maraschino
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Orange bitters
  • 1 large swath of orange zest


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in all ingredients and gently stir for 10-15 seconds
  3. Strain cocktail into a chilled coupe glass or a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube
  4. Twist orange zest over drink to spray with citrus oils.
  5. Drop zest in drink to garnish.

Structuring Cocktail Recipes & Developing Your Own

Learn more about the structure of classic cocktail recipes. When you learn the ratios of Seven Classic Cocktails you can easily start to develop your own recipes. As a bonus, you will also be able to instantly recall dozens of recipes just by knowing the ratios.

Classic cocktail recipes that provide a foundation for great bartending.
Seven Classic Cocktail Recipes Every Bartender Should Know

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