My son, who is a bartender, introduced me to the Old Fashioned a few years ago. When I go to a bar, this is what I order. And when I want to make a cocktail, this is what I’ll make; though I have to admit that I do like a Manhattan as well. Actually, a Manhattan was my first go-to for several years. But since I discovered the Old Fashioned, well, I’d rather have one those than any other cocktail.
I have since perfected my own recipe for an Old Fashioned, and have taught it to bartenders at the bars I frequent. This recipe is actually a bit of a vamp on the Old Fashioned made at Willard Hicks in Campbell, CA. BUT, it has to be made either by one of the female bartenders. No, that’s not a sexist remark. They’re just way, way better at it than the guys there. But without further ado, here’s my recipe.
Brendan’s Old Fashioned Recipe
1 tspn sugar (turbinado or raw sugar is better if you have it)
3 dashes Angostura bitters
6 dashes Orange Bitters
1/2 tspn water
2 1/2 – 3″ long by 3/4″ strip of orange rind (use a peeler)
1″ other citrus rind (lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.)1 1/2 oz of bourbon or rye or American whiskey
2 Luxardo, Maraschino or Morello cherries (optional)
In a single rocks glass, carefully pour sugar into a neat pile on the bottom of the glass. Dash the bitters over the pile and let soak for a couple of seconds. Place the orange and citrus rinds over the sugar pile, then muddle well to express the citrus oils. Once well muddled, add the water to help fully dissolve the sugar. With the muddler still in the glass, pour in the bourbon and mix with the muddler. This helps to rinse off the muddler and make sure you get all the goodness that sticks to it. Remove the muddler. Once everything is fully incorporated, add an ice globe or large ice cube, then give it a quick stir with a bar spoon, careful not to let any spill. 🙂 Finally, skewer a couple of cherries on a toothpick and place directly in the liquor. Enjoy!
I really don’t know how accurate this recipe as compared to the traditional recipe. Chances are it’s a bit off. But this is how I like my Old Fashioned, and I’ve actually taught several people this recipe after they’ve tried mine. I know that some people only muddle the pulp. But I like the bitterness of the citrus oil. It’s a nice contrast to the sweetness of the sugar, cherries and the bourbon.