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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just an old fashioned Old Fashioned

In my last post of humorous Tweets from the Twitterverse, I mentioned the Old Fashioned cocktail.  As I did so, I realized that it had been quite a while since I had had an Old Fashioned.  In fact, it had been so long that I couldn’t remember the last time (that happens when you get old…).  And so I set off on a quest for the perfect Old Fashioned.  I always thought that an Old Fashioned is made with Bourbon, but it turns out it can also be made with Rye.  As a matter of fact, according to the Savoy Cocktail Book, you can make an Old Fashioned with Canadian Club, Brandy, Gin, or Rum.  Old Harry Craddock doesn’t even mention Bourbon, but it can probably be squeezed in under his “etc.”  In other words, you can make an Old Fashioned with just about any good sipping liquor you like.  You could even throw an Old Fashioned based cocktail party, where you serve a variety of Old Fashioneds as a signature cocktail made with each guest’s favorite liquor.  We’re having friends over next week-end, and I plan on doing just that.

In the recipe below, I went with the classic Bourbon Old Fashioned, paired with Angostura® Bitters; many of my favorite Bourbon cocktails use Angostura.  If you go with Rye, you might want to use Peychaud’s® Bitters, which are paired with Rye in another of my favorite cocktails, the Sazarac.  If you decide to go with a nice Rum, you should try orange bitters, perhaps Stirring’s® Blood Orange Bitters.   I would use either Angostura® or Peychaud’s® with Brandy, and either Stirring’s® Blood Orange or Angostura with Gin.  Have fun and experiment, especially if you have a good collection of bitters.  Be sure to use good quality liquor, since the liquor is the primary ingredient.  I highly recommend adding the optional orange wheel and cherry and eating them after you have finished the cocktail when they are infused with Bourbon.


Classic Old Fashioned

½  oz Simple syrup or 1 sugar cubes or ½ tsp. sugar (use brown sugar with rum)

2 ½ oz Jim Beam® Black Label Bourbon whiskey

2 dashes Angostura® Bitters

Put the simple syrup and bitters into a mixing glass.  Add the bourbon (if you’re using sugar, add ½ a teaspoon of water and stir until the sugar is dissolved).  Fill the mixing glass half full of ice, and stir until Carrie Prejean gets smart (or when you think it’s cold enough, whichever comes first).  Fill a chilled Old Fashioned glass ½ full of ice cubes.  Add a maraschino cherry and an orange wheel to the glass (optional).  Strain in the cocktail mixture.  Add more ice as necessary to fill the glass.  Garnish with a twist of lemon and serve.   


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