Any excuse we have to make an overnight trip to Portland is sure to include a stay at the historic Heathman Hotel (and they’ve recently completed a major renovation, which is amazing!). On such occasions, it’s no surprise that our whiskey tags along with us.

Partnering with the best of local is a big theme at the Heathman. They’ve chosen to pair up (or co-conspire if you will) with local Portland purveyors like Jacobson’s Salt Co.  and Steven Smith Tea Company, as well as regional distilleries which they feature and treat their guests to a speciality cocktail featuring the local craft spirit at a happy hour of sorts daily from 5-6pm.

Enter Wanderback Whiskey Co!

Already a local favorite at the bar at  the Headwaters, run by James Beard Award winning chef Vitaly Paley, Wanderback isn’t new to the hotel. Add that to the opportunity to craft a specialty cocktail and we couldn’t be more excited.

Together with Director of Guest Services, Daniel Kahn, we decided that our double gold award winning Batch No. 1 would be an ideal fit for their guests. An aside, we typically sip our whiskey straight, but sometimes a cocktail feels more to the occasion. Such is the case for the Heathman. So, we crafted our favorite version of the classic Old Fashioned whiskey cocktail.

Two requirements: The cocktail needed to be knock-out tasty; any additions need to compliment not overwhelm the complex, yet delicate flavors in our American single malt And it had to be quick to make. Bonus, this makes it an easy go-to to make at home as well. Here’s our recipe for the Heathman and everything you’ll need:

Wanderback Old Fashioned



  • Strainer

  • Standard Peeler

  • Bar Spoon

  • Cocktail Mixing Cup

  • Jigger


  1. Prepare the rocks glass with one large ice cube and set aside

  2. Add all ingredients into mixing cup and top with ice about 3/4 full

  3. After stirring* use your strainer to pour the cocktail into the rocks glass and over the large cube

  4. Then take a nice large orange peel off of your orange with the peeler**

  5. Zest the orange peel over the cocktail with the pith facing away from the cocktail

  6. Twist the orange peel and add to glass

  7. Enjoy!

*Depending on the ice and it’s thickness you will then stir for 20-30 seconds to dilute. If the ice is thin you will need less time to stir as it will dilute faster. Opposite the bigger the cubes get.

**Zest the orange peel over the cocktail with the pith facing away from the cocktail to maximize the oils coming out of the outer skin.  

For just a bit more fancy, add an angostura cherry with your orange twist on a cocktail stick. Twist the orange peel and skewer it onto a garnish pick. Finish by adding 1 cherry to the end of the pick and place on top of large cube.  

Our favorite tools for this cocktail (and others) are from Cocktail Kingdom.

Enjoy the cocktail and next time you’re in Portland, swing into the Heathman Hotel and tell them we sent you. Cheers.