Has holiday stress gotten the best of you? Perhaps a delicious cocktail is all you need in-between gift wrapping and holiday baking to calm those stressed nerves…
This is probably not the Don Draper-style Old-Fashioned your grandparents or parents know that is filled with giant pieces of muddled orange, maraschino cherry and undissolved sugar cube. This is a more basic, classic version, lightly sweetened and simply garnished. Feel free to change up the flavors; I’ve included a Fall/Winter version I’ve been making recently with maple syrup swapped for simple syrup and a clove studded piece or orange peel for garnish.
Old-FashionedAdapted slightly from Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas Makes 1 drink As ridiculous as it may sound, make sure you use fresh ice; those cubes hanging in the back of your freezer for far too long have probably picked up all sorts of funky tastes that you don’t want to add to your cocktail.
Classic2 ounces of rye or bourbon 1/4 ounce of simple syrup 3 dashes Angostura or other aromatic bitters Garnish – thick piece of lemon or orange zest
Fall/Winter twist on the Classic2 ounces of rye or bourbon 1/4 ounce of maple syrup 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters Garnish: thick piece of orange zest studded with two whole cloves
Combine liquor, simple syrup and bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled and then strain into chilled double old-fashioned glass filled with large pieces of cracked ice or a large ice-cube. Garnish.
Making Simple Syrup:
In a sauce pan, combine equal parts sugar and water over medium heat; stir to dissolve sugar. Just as syrup starts to boil, remove from heat and let cool. Store refrigerated in a glass jar with lid for up to one month.
Making Clear Ice:
Pour filtered water into sauce pan or teakettle. Bring to boil, then let cool. Return to boil again; cool until cool enough to fill ice trays or molds. We’ve recently got some awesome round ice-cube molds by Tovolo. Boiling the water helps to reduce the cloudiness in the ice spheres.