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The power of TV influenced the cocktail-making world in a big way as one of the oldest cocktails in the world, the Old Fashioned, had a resurgence in the last couple of years thanks to Don Draper, a character from the hit show Mad Men. The movie Big Lebowski did similarly for the White Russian cocktail. While everyone has their own old fashioned cocktail recipe, or at least it seems that way when you order one at a bar and the bartender asks you if you would like olives in yours(?), we’ll teach you how to make an Old Fashioned in an old fashion.
Old Fashioned History
As the name suggests, Old Fashioned is a historic drink, originating from the end of the 18th century! While various iterations of the Old Fashioned drink were already existent, the name was firstly used in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The city celebrates the cocktail during two first weeks of June, focusing on bourbon itself as well, the true American drink.
Old Fashioned ingredients
– Old Fashioned glass
– Jigger/shot glass
– Caster sugar
– Bourbon/Rye Whiskey
– Angostura Bitters
Photo: Ysbrand Cosijn (Getty Images)
Seeing how this how to make an Old Fashioned guide is intended primarily for those who take up mixing as their hobby for improving parties or just normal late nights for which they want to feel like manly men, we will demonstrate the classic and the simplest old fashioned recipe.
Firstly, take an old fashioned glass, which got its name from this cocktail, and keep in mind that Old Fashioned is made in the serving glass, we will not use a separate preparation glass.
Simplification starts with sugar, while most professional bartenders will use sugar cubes which will they later mash with a muddler, we recommend using caster sugar, which is not as crystallized as normal sugar, nor as fine as powdered sugar. Some professional mixers use sweet or sugar syrup since it makes the blending of ingredients easier, but it’s likely that you won’t have that lying around the kitchen cabinets. Put just one teaspoon of caster sugar in the glass.
Proceed to apply four dashes of Angostura Bitters onto the sugar. Pour little short of 2oz of whichever drink you prefer, bourbon or rye whiskey, in a jigger or a shot glass if you don’t have the first. Proceed to splash just a tiny portion of the whiskey onto the sugar to help yourself dissolve it with stirring.
Try using as big ice cubes as possible in order not to dilute the drink too much. So if you’re not using huge one-per-glass ice balls the process for making the Old Fashioned cocktail is next. Add just two ice cubes to the mixed base, then pour some whiskey on it and stir the glass for a couple of times, then proceed to put in two more ice cubes and to pour some more whiskey and stir it again with a spoon. When the ice cubes almost fill the glass pour the remaining whiskey and stir it nicely.
No Old Fashioned recipe is finished without the orange, but unlike some bartenders that don’t even know what is in an Old Fashioned putting in a slice, we’ll go the old fashion way. Peel of a strip of orange, place the strip over the glass with the white part facing upwards, and just bend the bit down the middle for it to release its juices onto the drink. Twirl the strip and place it in the side end of a glass.
There you go – the Old Fashioned.
Best Old Fashioned Recipe Variations
There are too many variations of this classic drink, starting off from the choice of going with the rye whiskey or bourbon, but some even use rum as the spirit. There’s, of course, the famous charry adding for garnish and some who put a lemon peel next to the orange. If you don’t feel like you can’t taste the orange as much as you would like to go for two dashes of Angostura Bitters and two of Orange Bitters.
At the end of the day, the Old Fashioned drink has become so popular as people adjust them to their flavors, so feel free to experiment now that you know the basics.