Cocktail Hour

Entertaining is wonderful, but it can sometimes be a lot of work. From deciding what’s on the menu, to making sure your home is guest-ready, it’s hard to find the time to just relax. To help ease your entertaining worries (and help with your relaxation!), John Cusimano, Rachael’s hubby and a self-taught mixologist, perfected a classic cocktail so you don’t have to.

John not only mixes drinks for Rach at home, but he also creates cocktails for many of her cookbooks, including a cocktail chapter in her newest edition, Everyone is Italian on Sunday. With a reputation for crafting delicious drinks, his recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser: 

“This drink is based on the oldest known cocktail recipe, when a cocktail was literally defined as a spirit of any kind, sugar, and bitters,” he says. 

Delight your guests and check a to-do off your list with John’s Old Fashioned. The sweetness of the citrus and sugar help cut the intense flavor of rye whiskey, hitting all the right notes for a tasty drink that is classy and a classic.

Afraid you don’t have the right bartending tools? John also curated a brand-new barware collection for the Rachael Ray Store with all the essentials to start and build your home bar. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Now for the recipe!

John’s Old Fashioned



  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 oz. rye whiskey


Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a glass, add the water and the bitters, and muddle until a syrupy consistency is achieved. Add the whiskey.

Fill the glass with ice, and stir with a bar spoon. Peel a long zest of orange and twist it, skin side down, over the drink. Drop it in. Garnish with an optional cocktail cherry.

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray