Mixing Elixirs: The Old Fashioned
Since I’ve turned the big 3-0, I’ve been trying new drinks. Gone are the days where I’d order drinks like Adios Mother F*ckers and Long Islands to get me as drunk as possible. Yes I still enjoy getting tore up, but my drink base has expanded into whisk(e)ys and similar variants the past few years. With that I had an idea to take another break from everything zombie. An experiment into drinks. We already have two alcohol books at the house, and this post is another excuse to imbibe. Here we go!
The Old Fashioned
While looking fruity in appearance, don’t let this drink fool you. It will get you drunk as a skunk. The original Old Fashioned was created in Kentucky so I used bourbon for the main ingredient. Naturally. You’ll need the following for an awesome time:
- Bourbon or Whisk(e)y
- Angostura Bitters
- Club Soda
- Simple Syrup or Sugar Cube
- Orange Slices
- Maraschino Cherry
1. Take either a teaspoon of simple syrup or one sugar cube and add three dashes of Angostura bitters.
2. Muddle a half orange slice into the Angostura/sugar mixture
3. Coat the mixture into the lower portion of the glass
4. Add large ice cubes (I use four)
5. Add two parts bourbon/whisk(e)y
6. Add one part club soda
7. Garnish with cherry and half an orange slice
And there you go. The Old Fashioned. Now, according to Slate and Esquire, there’s been a huge wrongdoing with this famous cocktail. During the Prohibition years, fruits and such were mixed into the drink to make the smell less distinguishable at speakeasies. After this ungodly ban on booze was over, the tradition carried on for better or for worse, depending on how you like your drink.
Because of the history behind the drink, there’s a bunch of different ways to mix Old Fashioneds. Old school purists eschew putting cherries or oranges into the mix, and for good reason. In my experience thus far, muddling an orange slice into the bottom of the cup sweetens the cocktail a bit, but that shouldn’t be necessary if you have a quality bourbon.
In my case, the quality bourbon is Maker’s Mark. Simple syrup and bitters are enough for me if I’m using this, but anything less and I might be tempted to start muddling. I’ve posted the most popular recipe, but if you’re a fan of the old school, roll with just bitters and sugar. A few people actually use an orange peel and squeeze it over the top of the drink to release the oils into it. I haven’t tried this method yet, it’s usually either muddled oranges or no fruit at all for me. Also, when I mix my drink, I don’t really follow the measurements. I make my Old Fashioned with about 5 oz of bourbon, with a spritz of club soda to top it off. If someone gets on your case about cherries in your drink, kindly direct their mugs to your nearest fist. You’re welcome. Cheers!