The first taste is always the best. The combined sweetness of the sugars undercut with the bitters hits you first. As you delve further, the full body of the whisky kicks in, the drink’s superiority to the average bourbon and coke combination becoming abundantly clear. Bear in mind this isn’t a cocktail to be thrown back in a single gulp. It should be nurtured and given the time to be appreciated. This is the old fashioned, and it deserves your respect. For those curious to try their hand at whisky, but need some time to warm up to it, an Old Fashioned is the cocktail for you. It is Don Draper’s drink of choice. It is simple yet firm and gets straight to the point. A true Old Fashioned shouldn’t stray too far from the original recipe that dates back to the 1800s. To truly enjoy the Old Fashioned as it should be, make sure your bartender doesn’t try to get too creative with the cocktail. Many have subjected the Old Fashioned to unnecessary additions, such as soda, helpings of sangria, fruit and over-servings of fruit slices. For this drink, follow the example of all the Old- Fashioned purists and enjoy as it is, simple and dignified. In 1806 what was known as a “cock tail” was simply a mixed drink to be enjoyed in the morning, consisting of water, sugar, liquor and a few splashes of bitters. It is from this old recipe that the name Old Fashioned stems from. The traditional concoction of the Old-Fashioned features whisky. Garnished with an orange slice or a maraschino cherry, the Old Fashioned has become a staple of being suave and sophisticated. In the 1960s the drink was vogue, but by the end of the decade anti-establishment culture had turned young people away from this classic cocktail. As the 1970s and 1980s wore on choices in beer, wine and watered-down cocktails became more popular as strong drinks like the Old Fashioned had fallen from grace. However, like many other classic cocktails the Old Fashioned has enjoyed resurgence in the last 20 years, thanks to a combination of bartenders seeking out better ingredients, a nostalgia for what is considered “old school” and to match the better quality found in the culinary industry. And of course, after becoming the signature drink of fictional character Don Draper, the Old Fashioned can give some thanks to a little show called Mad Men.
MAKES 1 DRINK
2 Dashes of Bitters
2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
1 Brown sugar cube
Splash of soda water
METHOD: Soak sugar cube with bitters in a rocks glass and add a splash of soda water. Crush sugar with base of bar spoon. Add half a glass of rock ice and half the bourbon. Stir for 1 min, top up ice, add the rest of the bourbon and stir for 1 min more. Continue to stir to desired temperature and more importantly, dilution.
GARNISH: Orange twist and bourbon soaked cherry.
GLASS: Old Fashioned