It seems like every day there’s a new bar popping up around the corner, slinging innovative craft cocktails, using house-conceived recipes of specialty ingredients and infused liqueurs. It is impossible to be bored when looking over a great cocktail list. And, I don’t know about you, but I love to try them all. However, as your perusing these menus, mixed amongst the new recipes, you’ll notice some tried and true favorites popping up on almost all of them as well.
One that’s impossible to miss is the Old Fashioned.
Looking back to the earliest days of the cocktail, the recipes were pretty simple. So long as you had a spirit, sugar, bitters, and water (or ice), you were good to go. Then, as bartenders began to get creative and cocktail options grew, it left some customers longing for the good old days. Rather than a Whiskey Fizz or Whiskey Sour, they wanted an “Old Fashioned” Whiskey cocktail – made the way it used to be.
Because of its humble (but delicious) recipe, Old Fashioneds are not only great to grab from your local bar, but it also makes them perfect for your at-home happy hour. Even if you’ve never made a cocktail yourself, you’ve got this one in the bag.
For a perfect Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned
*(You can also substitute Bourbon or Scotch)
• 2 oz Rye Whiskey
• Orange Wedge (I trim off the peel and pith)
• 1 Cherry (Splurge for the Luxardo Maraschino Cherries… trust me!)
• 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
• ½ oz Simple Syrup
Muddle the Orange, Simple Syrup, Cherry and Bitters in a rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add Whiskey and stir until chilled. Fini!
Now looking at the original definition, you’ll notice the first Old Fashioned cocktails would not have included fruit. Whether you choose to include the orange and cherry is up to you. If you want to forgo muddling, try rimming the glass with orange peel to release the essential oils.
Once you’ve perfected the Whiskey Old Fashioned, feel free to experiment. Just remember the original definition: spirit, sugar, bitters, ice. The possibilities are endless!
Here are some ideas using a few of my favorite Texas Spirits.
Waterloo Antique Gin Old Fashioned:
- 2 oz Waterloo Antique Gin (From Treaty Oak Distillery)
- Lemon Wedge
- ½ oz Simple syrup
- 2-3 dashes Angostura or Fee Brother’s Orange Bitters
Z Pepe “Anejo” Fasioned:
- 2 oz Z Pepe Anejo Tequila
- Lime Wedge
- Grapefruit Wedge (optional)
- ½ oz Agave Nectar2-3 dashes
- 2-3 dashes Fee Brother’s Grapefruit Bitters