Libations for All Occasions: The Thompson Old Fashioned

Libations for All Occasions: The Thompson Old Fashioned

There’s nothing like being friends with your bartender. I have a feeling anyone who gets the luxury of having Robert Thompson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FreshSource, make them their drink will become instant best buddies with the fun-loving industry name. With an infectious enthusiasm and easy laugh, the leader is not only a produce ace, but a skilled mixologist with a penchant for details—and as we all know, the devil is in the details.

While his drink is an Old Fashioned, Robert breathes new life into the cocktail, making it anything but outdated. From Traeger smoked simple syrup to black walnut bitters, he has become a scientist when it comes to concocting the perfect balance of flavors for this beverage. When you get the chance to sample it, your taste buds will thank him.

Luckily for us, Robert is as giving as he is fun, so he shared his secret formula with us for a very special edition of Libations for All Occasions, of which he is an avid reader. So, transport yourself behind Robert’s bar with this in-depth recipe for what is sure to be one of the tastiest Old Fashioneds you’ve tried yet.



4.5 oz of your favorite Rye or Bourbon (Robert suggests Pendleton® 1910 Rye Whiskey because it’s not too sweet or smooth)

A few healthy dashes of black walnut bitters, which provides an earthy flavor

½ tsp simple syrup (Traeger Smoked Simple Syrup is Robert’s choice for added pizzazz)

½ tsp cherry syrup (One of the most critical ingredients for Robert. If possible, you must use Luxardo Italian Maraschino cherries. They’re a little pricey, but well worth it)

Splash of club soda

Cocktail ice

2 cherries and an orange peel, for garnish


Time: 5 min

Servings: 1 cocktail



1. Mix black walnut bitters, simple syrup, and cherry syrup in a glass.

2. Add bourbon or rye.

3. Throw in a splash of club soda and add ice.

4. For garnish, take orange peel, roll it up, and squeeze over a match or torch until lightly scorched. Rub peel around the lip of the glass for added orange flavor. Skewer peel and two cherries, then add to the cocktail.

5. Sit back, relax, and take in all the flavor—and send Robert a thank-you note if you enjoyed this drink as much as we did.


Want more?

Robert also provided an alternative twist to his Old Fashioned recipe called the In Fashion.

To craft this beverage, follow the same instructions, but swap simple syrup for 1 measure of Grand Marnier. This adds a citrus-sweet taste that is an excellent option for those not ready for the strength of an Old Fashioned.