When you think about cocktails, it’s understandable to assume it’s all about those colorful drinks that seem to change with the season. It feels like in the world of cocktails, there’s always something new which seems to push the older cocktails out of the limelight. However, there is such a thing as the Old Fashioned cocktail - the original recipe. It’s a cocktail that has withstood the test of time, and one that has won the admiration and the distinction as the most balanced cocktail around.
The very best part is the fact that you can actually craft the wonderful Old Fashioned in your home with little fanfare. It’s quite easy to make, which is a testament to how perfect this old fashioned cocktail recipe truly is. It is rooted in the simplicity of the drink, and it’s not something you need to search far and wide for ingredients.
In a nutshell, the Old Fashioned goes as follows: some bourbon whisky mixed with a bit of sugar, without forgetting those bitters - then stirred alongside some ice and finally garnished with a classic orange peel. While that is certainly all there is to the Old Fashioned, in order to get it done right we’ll get right into the details in a step by step process!
Ingredients of a timeless classic
- Bourbon whiskey- You absolutely cannot have an Old Fashioned without the main ingredient; in this case, it’s certainly the bourbon whisky (but the other ingredients are no slouches either!). While this means that you’re going to have to shelf out some money in order to obtain a true quality bottle, there is absolutely no reason to overspend. For example, with a twenty or thirty dollar value you will no doubt have a bottle of bourbon whiskey worthy of being part of the Old Fashioned. Four Roses, Bulleit and 1792 are only some of the quality bourbons that are along this price range.
- Bitters - Before we start talking about the sugars, it’s best that we talk about bitters because it’s an incredibly important part of the Old Fashioned - of just about any cocktail really. You know how you spice certain meats through the use of salt, pepper and other spices? The same concept used with bitters, only they’re made primarily for drinks. Bourbon whiskey already has quite a bite, which means it needs to be refined through the use of bitters. To make the Old Fashioned, the Angostura bitters are basically the only way to go. Just like salt and pepper, even just a pinch can go a long way!
- Sugar - Last but certainly not the least, you can add sugar to a bit of water to use as a syrup when it comes to the Old Fashioned. This allows it to bind along with the other ingredients effectively to create quite the concoction. Sugar just like the bitters helps to elevate the taste of the bourbon to new heights.
Stirred, not shaken
Whilst James Bond would certainly want his martini shaken, not stirred, when it comes to the Old Fashioned it’s the other way around. The general rule here is that if your cocktail happens to contain anything that includes dairy, egg white or perhaps juice, you shake it. Otherwise, you stir the cocktail if it only contains spirits.
With the use of a mixing glass, combine all of the ingredients together, before finally adding the ice last. Make sure to mix only for a maximum of fifteen to twenty seconds. Remember to go for quality ice, as the taste of the water will eventually be a part of the drink itself. Add the garnish, and that’s all there is to it!
A Breakdown of the Old Fashioned
Makes a single cocktail
What do I need?
- Bourbon whiskey (about two ounces)
- Syrup (water mixed with sugar, ¼ ounce)
- Garnish (Orange Peel)
- Angostura bitters (about two dashes)
What equipment is needed?
- A cocktail mixing glass/ pint glass
- Hawthorne strainer
- One bar spoon
- A cup to measure liquid
- A Y peeler or a knife
- Whiskey glass
- Mix your cocktail by adding all of the ingredients except the garnish and ice into the mixing glass set. Afterwards, you can then add the ice before mixing it utilizing your spoon for a maximum of twenty seconds.
- Strain your Old Fashioned into the whiskey glass over cubed ice, or a large ice cube.
- Use your knife or Y peeler to cut an orange peel, allowing its oils to be part of the cocktail. You can then rub it over the rim of your glass before dropping it inside the drink.