This is the first entry in my classic cocktail series of blog entries. The next entry will come whenever I feel adventurous enough to discover something else. Heck – it might not come at all – because as for now, this drink does me just fine, and is a fine drink to enjoy while winding down the day…
I feel like I’ve undergone quite the transformation in my drinking style over the years. From my first drink as a senior in high school during spring break (a 40oz of Olde English – I don’t recommend it) to college beer bongs, I’ve moved on to nice scotch and tequila. It only seems natural that I take that appreciation for the finer things and discover the classic cocktails. My most recent obsession has been the Old Fashioned. Not that “old fashioned”, Beck.
An old fashioned is one of the first things any decent bartender will learn. The ingredients are simple: sugar, bitters, rye or bourbon, orange / cherry garnish. I prefer rye, as it is drier and less sweet than bourbon, but I think bourbon may make it a more approachable drink to many.
1. Start with a cube of sugar. Add 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters, and maybe a drop or two of water.
2. Muddle the sugar into what becomes a bit of a syrup to line the glass with.
3. After muddling the sugar, add a shot of rye (or bourbon).
4. Then add some ice…
5. Then add the garnish. I tend to stick with half a slice of orange and two small cherries. Black cherries are a good call, but any old bar should have maraschino which works just fine in my book.
6. I like to add the garnish last, so that I can muddle it just a bit to add some (but not too much) orange and cherry juice to the mix.
Some people like to add it early and turn the whole thing into a pasty cherry mush before adding the rye. Feel free to experiment, but I discourage that. Tried it, don’t like it. The flavors of the garnish tend to overtake the rye / bourbon, and you’re missing the point in my opinion.