By: Sofia Wan
It’s a Classic for a Reason
Now that we are moving into the Fall, it’s time to switch gears with our cocktails. Over the past several years, certain rules have blurred the lines and are giving people various options to delight their tastes with classic cocktails. The Old Fashioned is a classic bourbon or rye cocktail that can be modified to your choosing with different liquors and by adding additional flavor with bitters to make it your own. Rules don’t seem to apply anymore and I think it’s awesome. Love mezcal–make it an Old Fashioned! Love armagnac–make it an Old Fashioned! The possibilities are endless. What’s important is the execution to ensure it stays true to its most basic form. This cocktail takes quality time to create, should be stirred to perfection and garnished with only the freshest fruit.
Add .5 oz simple syrup
Add 3 dashes Angostura bitters
Add 2 dashes orange bitters
Add 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Add 3 oz bourbon
Add ice and stir to chill
In an old fashioned glass, place either 1 large cube or 3-4 smaller cubes
Strain stirred contents over the new ice
Garnish with an orange and lemon peel
Now let’s go over the most important part, the execution. You can use a sugar cube if you like, but I prefer simple syrup as it already has that dash of water you would probably add to the sugar cube to help muddle it down. Once the simple syrup is made (I prefer equal parts water to equal parts sugar stirred with cold water until clear) and added to the mixing glass, I add several types of bitters…that extra flavor I mentioned. You have to be careful with the dashes as to not overdo it or add too little to the cocktail. A dash should be a hard movement of the hand and arm over the mixing glass, with the bitters bottle turned almost completely upside down. Trust me, this makes a difference. Once you add the liquor and the ice, it’s time to stir. You are stirring to slowly chill and mix all of the ingredients–do not shake it, for the love of all bar things holy! After you have chilled your beverage, strain the contents of the mixing glass over fresh ice and garnish with both a lemon peel and an orange peel. You want the peels to be wide and thin, but not too thin. If you have a thick layer of white rind on the inside of your peel, then you have peeled off too thick of a piece. This takes practice and patience. Squeeze the peel with the outside of the skin (the inside of the peel towards you) directly over the cocktail allowing the zest to spray the natural oil from the fruit into your concoction for flavoring. Lastly, rub the outside of the peel around the rim of the glass to get a bit of the orange taste when you sip your cocktail.
The Old Fashioned is a classic because it has stood its ground over the years, continues to be the base of most spin-offs and is fantastic–plain and simple. Try it and perfect it for yourself. Until next month, keep the cocktails fresh and drink responsibly. You can always contact me with questions and comments at [email protected] or @sofresha on instagram.