Spirits, bitters, water, and sugar. These serve as the fundamental components of the Old Fashioned, a drink that perfectly typifies the essence of the cocktail. Kristan and I have been enjoying this drink recently and she suggested I share the recipe on The Broken Bread. Though I know little about cooking or baking (besides perhaps a mean French Toast), I have developed a knack for rudimentary mixology. Even then, I only know how to create a few drinks, all of which feature whiskey as their base ingredient. But the Old Fashioned is quickly becoming a favorite of ours.
Usually the first question people ask is, “what’s in an Old Fashioned?” Well to begin with, it has the ingredients listed above, with whiskey as its spirit and occasionally an orange or lemon peel as its garnish. The bitters provide a special characteristic herbal taste, which along with the orange provides a welcoming citrus aroma. The sugar and water, which used to be a dissolved cube of sugar and now is usually a simple syrup, serve as a sort of “smoothing agent,” that is, a component which takes the edge off the brisk kick of the alcohol while contributing to its flavor. The Old Fashioned needs a very small amount of sugar; just enough to give the whiskey boxing gloves if you will. And speaking of whiskey, I almost exclusively prefer bourbon, as its natural notes of brown sugar, molasses, oak, and honey are all elaborately supported and enhanced by the other elements. Lastly, as with any good cocktail, the Old Fashioned must be well-iced. My choice is a large, spherical cube, which adds to the beauty of the drink, keeps it satisfactorily chilled, and yet refrains from causing dilution.
The second question that is asked usually runs along the lines of, “why is it called the Old Fashioned?” Remember the ingredients listed before? Well spirits, bitters, sugar, and water were established as the basic parts of the original cocktail, which first found prominence in the late 18th to early 19th century. Therefore, as cocktails began to evolve, when an individual wanted a classic, timeless drink, it was prepared the old fashioned way. It is quite an interesting fact actually, as the Old Fashioned cocktail is itself literally the Old Fashioned cocktail. The taste of this drink is intricate in light of its simplicity; sophisticated in light of its directness. I encourage you to enjoy this wonderful concoction, cheers!
For the Recipe, Read more here »