A New Feature: Spirit Saturday, Old Fashioned

I promised a new feature, and here it is: Spirit Saturday. In celebration of the weekend I will introduce a new cocktail recipe every Saturday, or at least try to.

This first post I will start off with one of my favorite cocktails and a true classic, the Old Fashioned. This is not a drink for the faint at heart...it pretty much is straight bourbon or rye. I am presenting to you the most pure and classic variation of this drink, which is easy to make and perfect for your upcoming Mad Men party!

The Old Fashioned name gives way to it's pre-prohibition existance, in the 1800's. It is composed of spirit, sugar, water and bitters. Although over the years this has fluctuated, but what I will share with you is the truly classic recipe. David Embury's classic 1948 book, "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks," considered the Old Fashioned to be one of the most important drinks.

The trick to crafting good classic cocktails is first starting with fine ingredients. This is not a cocktail you want to use well liquors for. This recipe is meant to best showcase quality bourbon or rye whiskey. Over the years this recipe has been bogged down by the addition of muddling fruit or the addition of lemon/lime soda which washes out the quality ingredients.

With that being said, let's gather our ingredients. You will need a quality bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar cube, bitters, orange and Amarena cherries.  Here are some good suggestions for whiskey:

Blanton's, Woodford Reserve, Makers Mark, Basil Hayden, Elijah Craig (Bourbon); Old Rip Van Winkle Rye, Templeton, Rye One, Heaven Hill, Redemption Rye (American Rye Whiskey)

Next, you will want to muddle and dissolve the sugar with a few dashes of bitters and a teaspoon of water in an old fashioned or tumbler glass.

Then you will add ice to the glass and measure out 2 oz. of whiskey (Bourbon/American Rye) and add that to the glass.

Stir the whiskey and ice until well chilled. 

Twist an orange peep over the drink to catch the pith and add twist to the cocktail. Add an amarena cherry as garnish.


Old Fashioned Cocktail

1 sugar cube

1 teaspoon water

2 dashes of Angostura bittes (although I used Fee Brothers, orange)

2 oz. American Rye or Bourbon

Orange Peel

Amarena Cherry

Muddle sugar, water and bitters together until the sugar is almost dissoved.

Fill glass with a few cubes of ice, and then whiskey and stir to chill.

Garnish with orange peel and amarena cherry.